Sunday, after church, we stopped in the parking lot to talk with some friend/acquaintances and in the course of our discussion we were sharing how John and Jarrod, at 16 years old, still played with Legos, most kids their age pretty much shunned them, and they were thought of as uncool and didn't want to have anything to do with them, even other 'Christians'. This disclosure was met with - I'll say - judgement. Our boys don't drive yet, they haven't seemed interested other than they certainly seem to know the rules of the road; but, we've also let them know that they won't get their license until their Eagle projects are done. The disclosure of this to this couple we were talking with was met with - I'll say - judgement. Let me pause here to say that we came to this decision to ensure their focus was accomplishing their Eagle project and not split with driving - and all that goes with it.
Because of their experiences through Boy Scouts, and serving at church (with adults), and homeschool co-op, etc. they communicate well with adults. Even when they were younger and they had to visit a speech therapist she would always share with me how enjoyable she found talking with them as they led such exciting lives. Their talk was never about the latest video game but the latest neat activity they did, whether it was camping with family, white water rafting, visiting this museum or that, hitting the beach, and any number of exciting things the boys have been exposed to. They were interesting. Even more currently, a couple that pick them up to take them to and from church, absolutely love the time they travel with them because of their communication skills. They are exciting conversationalists. This couple can't say enough about their maturity and ability to communicate and what they share.
It was clear that this couple we were talking with in the parking lot weighed our sons against their kids and found our sons as wanting and theirs as cool. Their judgement reaked in our midst.
This couple we were talking with couldn't seem to get past the facts that John and Jarrod don't have phones, still play with Legos and guns, and aren't driving yet - at sixteen. I truly felt like they were judging my boys and us in our decisions (regarding phones and driving).
And you know what? Here's a thought:
That's ok. Let them judge.
These same Lego-playing, gun toting sixteen year olds run a neighboorhood lawn care business (with 5-8 yards at any given week). They give first fruits back to the Lord and they save at least 10% of everything they make. They pay one employee 10% of their gross and they pay maintenance and upkeep of the lawn equipment. They are learning amazing accountability and responsibility.
These same 16-year olds have younger kids come to the house wanting to 'play outside' because John and Jarrod give them the time - and go play outside.
These same 16-year olds are in the planning stages of Eagle Scout projects. Only 4% nationally, of all Boy Scouts earn the rank of Eagle.
These same 16-year old boys have built a barn along side their dad.
These same 16-year old boys mow lawns for military families - for free - when the service member is deployed.
These same 16-year old boys memorized the Sermon on the Mount this past semester of school.
These same 16-year old boys serve every Sunday in the technical booth of the children's ministry at church.
These same boys cook an entire meal for the family 4 nights a week. The do laundry, clean bathrooms, clean the house...they sew on patches on their scout uniforms...and so much more.
Here's a thought:
They may be niave, but they are young men who have strong servant hearts, love the Lord, can still be silly and fun, yet are seen as mature in so many ways by adults. I say again, let them judge.