"I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, with all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace."
I have had a good life. In many ways it has been an easy life, and in many ways it has been hard. Very hard. In anybody's life, whether it was a hard life or an easy life, there is always room for offenses and bitterness to creep inside one's heart. It is YOUR choice!! What will it be??
"Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: and be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you." ~Ephesians 4:30-32~
Let's say you are trying to get dressed and ready for your day. You just got out of the shower and you feel like you are running behind yourself and your day. You feel stress entering in through the door of your heart and your tension is rising (and you know your hormones are flying high as a kite) as two of your children bicker right outside your bathroom door!! You hurry to throw on your clothes and dash out the door, your tangled hair streaming behind you as you attempt to silence the battle.
It is one thing to silence your children and tell them to ask forgiveness of each other, but did they merely parrot your request?! You know in your heart that it is important to teach them how to forgive others, yet you know that neither of their hearts were 'in it!' They really did not forgive each other. You know bitterness is prowling (and Satan is prowling too) at their door!!
What you might not have realized, is that you just planted a seed of bitterness in your child's heart!! Your sharp tone (whether you were shouting, just tense, or sweetly covering the tone in your heart) gave off a not-so-sweet aroma (not so pleasing to the Lord) that spoke to your children far more than what your words conveyed.
Being a parent has been the hardest and most humbling thing I have ever done. Children are born in sin and it doesn't take long for those 'cute' little wipper-snappers to start exhibiting that nature. I wanted to be the best parent in the world. God has shown me over and over how far I fall short. I have come to believe that the main reason for being a parent was so that I would constantly see the need for my Saviour and see that I just couldn't possibly do 'it' on 'my' own!!
It helped when I could see how my emotions were responding because of my hormones being out-of-balance but that didn't give me any excuse. It seemed like my children were acting worse during these times, but were they? Or was it me? God commands children to 'obey their parents' but He never said that we as parents would always 'be right' or 'do right.' All the more reason to come before the throne of grace and find forgiveness and direction for raising your children. It is also good to know that others have been there before you.
Love is patient, kind, and not selfish, and is also thoughtful. Many of the same attitudes of love that can be given to your husband can be given to your children. Instead of coming out of the bathroom stressed because your 'mom time' was interrupted, Come out with a cheerful approach to their shortcomings and a soft, humble tone in your voice. Be conscious that offenses build in a person's heart and turn into bitterness.
I had to learn that although I was saying the 'right' things, requesting the right actions from my child, that my 'spirit' could be wrong...even with the right intentions and outward actions. I had to learn to check my inward thoughts. Hmmm!! Out of my thoughts....off my tongue slip the words!!
You are NOT alone!! I have made all the mistakes that helped me write this blog!!