Children, Obey Your Parents...

When I began this noble journey, the first thing I committed to change was my lack of consistency as the family chef. Now that it’s summer time and I am on a bit of a vacation, it has been relatively easy to make sure that dinner is being planned and prepared in thenoblehouse and that there is always something available to throw together a good meal. I can say with confidence that at least 6 nights out of 7, I have been putting together a real meal and not just asking the family to fend for themselves.

Granted, that meal is not always what everyone would like it to be. Just yesterday theyoungernobleson began snooping around in the fridge, wondering what he could make for lunch. I don’t normally prepare lunch for myself and thenoblesiblings. More often than not, I use that meal as a catch all for the leftovers or for self-sufficient options, such as making a sandwich.

Theyoungernobleson was asking if he could prepare something using some meat from the freezer. He’s trying to bulk up and get conditioned for the upcoming football season so he is seeking out all forms of protein that he can get his hands on. He has even invested in two laying hens so he can have healthy, fresh yard eggs in his protein drinks. What a resourceful young man!

I know that what he was hoping for was to find some thawed chicken breast in the fridge. Quite the chef himself, one of his favorite meals is grilled chicken. (But please don’t tell the hens…they may stop laying in protest…) He even keeps a small container in the spice cabinet of his own custom concoction: a blend of seasonings from the pantry that he has painstakingly mixed himself. It is a custom blend whose “recipe” has remained, to this day, top-secret.

Failing to find what he “wanted” in the fridge, he complained that there was nothing to eat.

Now, I took advantage of this complaint to teach theyoungernoble son about being a wise steward. I pointed out the leftover taco meat from two nights before, and the chicken fajita meat that was less than 24 hours forgotten about. I asked him if he would consider using some of those leftovers instead of making something “new”, because I am trying very hard to keep from wasting any food. I acknowledged that eating the same meal two or three times in a row might not be the most appealing; I have a palate that desires variety, also.

But I also have a pocketbook that demands wise choices.

I was proud of his response. Instead of rolling his eyes or whining, as has happened in the past, theyoungernobleson nodded in agreement. “Yeah, that makes sense.” And in a matter of no time at all he had created a couple tacos and was seated in front of the television eating contentedly.

It’s tempting at times to simply tell a child what to do. It doesn’t even matter their age, really. Whether they are 6 or 16, I find myself tempted to say “because I said so” more often than I find myself attempting to explain the decisions I make.

But when the maturity reveals itself in each child, no matter the age, I believe parents are required to help lead their child in exercising it. I’m not sure how I would have responded if theyoungernobleson had not seen things my way. Hopefully I would not have replied in anger, which is always my close associate, waiting to be released like a snarling lion into the arena for battle. I would like to think that I would have been one of those calm, cool, collected mothers that I know in my own personal circle. I won’t call them out by name, but everyone in my circle knows who they are! At all times they appear to communicate with their children in a calm, affirming, and respectfully authoritarian voice.

Me? Well, sometimes I scream. A lot.

Thank you, theyoungernobleson, for understanding the reasoning behind what may seem like an insignificant thing through your eyes. I promise I will not make you eat molded bread, stale cereal, or sour milk. I appreciate the fact that at 14 years old you can cook for yourself, do your own laundry, and work an 8 hour day in the hot sun like some men twice your age are still not willing to do.

I know that God is going to bless you for your respect and submission, as he has blessed me to be your mother.

“Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. ‘Honor your father and mother”-which is the first commandment with a promise-‘that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.’

Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.” Ephesians 6:1-4