Love on Him
By Lori Freeland –
“I hate night class. My throat is on fire—”
During the lengthy pause, I wondered why I had answered my cell.
“—and I got a 65 on the test.”
Kyle’s cranky attitude set my stress on fire.
Twice a week, he griped about Spanish night class and twice a week I lectured about ten key ways to study for college.
I gripped the phone. The semester ended in a few weeks. Not much time left to pull up his grade. “Come home and we’ll talk about it.”
He cut our connection with a typical, “Whatever.”
What did he expect? You have to work hard in college—even if you are still in high school. His college transcript reflected these grades. That’s what dual credit meant.
That’s not what he needs to hear.
Lord, of course that’s what he needs to hear. Slacking off is not an option. Where’s his drive? His motivation?
Love on him. No lectures. No advice.
Over the last year, I’d given a lot of advice in an attempt to fix him. Study more. Use better time management. Make a plan. Beg for extra credit.
Love is the fix.
This has nothing to do with love, Lord. Love doesn’t motivate him or push him to try harder. Look at all the mistakes I made when I was seventeen. I didn’t realize my choices then would affect my life now.
This isn’t about you. Love on him.
The garage door opened with a slow grind and a few seconds later, the back door slammed. Kyle wandered in, dropped his backpack on the couch, and kicked off his shoes in the middle of the hallway. I opened my mouth—
Love on him
—closed it and wrapped my arms around him. Taller than me, he rested his chin on the top of my head. Where was my little boy?
He shivered. “I’m cold and my throat hurts.”
Ah, there he was.
Love on him. Say the opposite of what you want to say.
I wanted to say, you were sick last week. Instead, I hugged him tighter and mumbled into his chest. “Do you want to take a hot bath? I can make you some hot chocolate.” I waited for his standard, “Whatever.”
It didn’t come. He pulled back and lifted the corners of his mouth, just a bit. “A bath and hot chocolate?” His smile deepened. “You gonna run this bath and make the hot chocolate?”
I headed into the kitchen and grabbed a mug. “Right now.”
“We’re not gonna talk about the test?”
“Nope.” I filled the cup with milk and stuck in the microwave.
He picked up his backpack and shoes and headed for the stairs. “Cool. Be right back.”
I slumped against the counter. You were right, Lord. You always are.
Kyle needed loving, not fixing. He needed understanding, not pressure—so he could relax, renew, and recharge.
Exactly the way I do when Jesus loves on me.
Now, Lord, help me remember that next week.
“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God” (1 John 4:7 NIV).