I had a good old-fashioned “Come to Jesus” talk with one of our boys this week. Sometimes I enjoy those. Sometimes I don’t. He’s been in trouble over and over the last couple of months. Skipping school. Sneaking out. Stealing things. His mom is at a loss as what to do with him. He has a big heart, a big smile, and such an innocent approach to life. It’s been tough watching him slowly slip away now that he’s in high school. Things have gotten to the point that he’s at a crossroads. If he wants his diploma, he has to reverse his behavior or those prospects don’t look so good.
We stood in his driveway. His head was downcast as I explained to him the importance of school, obeying his mom, doing the right thing. I asked him why he was acting like he was and doing so many stupid things. I told him I think he’s given up and I want to know why. His head still down, he mumble quietly, “Nobody believes in me. So I don’t either.”
He has a single mother raising several other kids, doing the best she can jsut to survive day to day. His dad has been out of prison for 2 years now after spending most of his son’s life there. He thought once his dad was out, they’d get to spend lots of time together. That hasn’t been the case. Far from it, actually. Life’s been rough. He feels alone.
I told him to look me in the eyes. “I believe in you.”
He just stared at me.
“I believe in you. That’s the truth. I believe you have a future. I believe you can make something of yourself. That you can go further in life than both your parents. That you’re a good kid. That you can graduate. That you can get a job. That you’ll make a good husband and father. You’ve got so much potential. I care about you too much to let you throw all that away. Do you believe that?”
He smiled and nodded. “Go to school tomorrow. And obey your mom. You got that?”
Sometimes, kids just need to know someone cares. I hope he gets that. I hope he believes my words. I really do.