As I look at the woman sitting opposite me, the twisting of her hands, the set of her shoulders, and the stress on her face tells me she is willing to do anything I suggest. Another desperate parent—I shudder at the memories. The responsibility of knowing that what I say could make or break her child is more than I care to bear. Yet, here I am searching my mind for an answer, silently begging God to please tell me what to say. Letters are so much easier. There is time to think, to pray, to finally give up and throw the letter away. But now she waits, and I see her pain. Her son is eight years old. The professional diagnosis was Attention Deficit Disorder. He is angry, often explosive, and sleeps very little. His violence is usually directed at his brothers and sisters, but occasionally at his parents as well. His eating habits are not good. On occasion he wildly explodes, using vile curse words. The list goes on and on.
I know she loves him. I can see it in the twisting of her hands. But I can also see she doesn’t like him. It is revealed in the frustration and bitterness of her voice. What one thing can I tell her? She asks about herbs to replace the drug he is taking. But neither drugs nor herbs are the answer.
I think about diet. I see the boy eating cheesy puffs and drinking coke. I know the yellow and red dye in the cheesy puffs has been found to contribute to his “problem.”
My thoughts of diet are interrupted by the mother speaking of her past—and her husband’s past. Yellow dye seems so unimportant now. They have surely given place to the devil. They carry the shadow of guilt. Their sins are past, but a sense of captivity remains.
I consider telling her of strongholds. But before I speak she turns the conversation to homeschooling and I see and hear the tension increase. “He refuses to sit still. He constantly bothers the other children. It is a nightmare trying to get him to do his work.” Again I start to answer, “He doesn’t need to sit still,” but I realize this isn’t the answer either.
Quickly and without even knowing, she turns the conversation again, this time to sickness, “He’s on antibiotics again this month,” she replies offhandedly. My ears perk up and I want to jump on my favorite bandwagon, but still I know there’s more. She begins to wind down when she starts talking about child training, our book, lack of early discipline, babysitters, public school, anger in the home, TV, etc.
She wants me to tell her some singular thing to do that will make it all right. Her child is a complex singular being, but the roots run out in all directions. He has a body that is reacting to antibiotics, red and yellow dyes, sugar, lack of self-discipline, and lack of sleep. He has emotions that are being bottled up in an unnatural school structure. He has a spirit that is being tortured by the devil who lurks about seeking whom he may devour. He has a mind that is being filled with the lust of Hollywood, the anger of his parents, the licentiousness of public school, the bitterness of his babysitter, and more. He is a whole boy whose body is being poisoned, his mind filled with ugliness, his soul is being destroyed, and his emotions are going wild. You can drug his body, numbing the vehicle of the soul, but someday he has to be free from those drugs, and when he is, the sickness of his soul will again be revealed.
Looking into the eyes of this hurting young mother, I wish with all my soul I could give her the quick fix she so urgently desires, but there’s not one answer. The child’s problems are many and complex. It would take a book, and still all the answers would not be found.
Clean. He needs to be made clean. He needs a clean body, free of poisons, sugars, and dyes. He needs a clean home, free of anger, Hollywood, and deceit. He needs a clean day, free to roam the countryside until his body is relaxed and tired. He needs a soul cleansing that can only be found in Jesus and His shed blood. He needs a clean daddy whose heart wants only to bring healing for his son. He needs a clean mother, whose heart is turned to honoring and reverencing her husband. He needs a clean world, both physically and spiritually. This little boy has big problems. He is bearing the penalty of a generation of neglect.
How do I tell his mother? Where does she start? After listening to the whole story I finally know. It must start with her, for she is the one seeking a solution. This mother can’t clean up the world. She can’t dictate to Daddy; that would create further strife. But she can decide to honor and reverence her husband, thus bringing to her son at least one area of peace and security. She can go to the library and study the effects of foods, dyes, and sugar, then take that information and act on it. She can take him to a place where he can run for hours, instead of forcing him to labor over a workbook that will never make a difference now or in eternity. She can pray, asking God for a miracle both in herself and her son. She can laugh and sing the joy of the Lord right into his presence. Everyday, he needs her smile. If she will do these things, it will be a beginning. Like a young tree bent in the wrong direction, she can begin to straighten that which is crooked.
If you identify with this mother’s condition, right now ask God to forgive your rebellion toward your husband. Stop your grumbling and ask God to fill your soul with thanksgiving. Ask God to give you wisdom. He has promised wisdom to all those who ask. So ask and keep on asking, and go out looking for information to help your son. No one loves him like you do. No one has your willingness to do something about it. No one can help your son like you can. He needs your heart first, and then you need his. This whole boy needs a whole solution.