We have these Willow Tree figures in our living room – I love the nurturing feel these figures convey!
A few weeks ago, I posted Part 1 and Part 2 in our Biblical Boyhood series. I had intended to write Part 3 last week, but I got stuck. Not stuck on the content or ideas, but stuck on actually living out Part 2! Part 2 of Biblical Boyhood was on Fighting, Revenge and Bullies. We looked at the fact that scripture gives no room for us to take our own revenge.
And yet, how often do my own words lash out in revenge at my sons?
Why are you up here squirting toothpaste out of the tube when I sent you to bring down some tissues? What is wrong with you? How can I get anything done when you are making these messes?
Children need discipline. But what is the point of discipline? Biblical discipline should be a rescue mission to communicate to my children that sin is serious and that they need to turn to Christ for forgiveness and the strength to honor Him. It should not be about my anger or frustration or the inconvenience that their bad behavior is putting on my day. And how can I expect to teach them to stop seeking revenge when someone sins against them if I am responding in that same way to their sin? Consequences are a necessary part of discipline, but doling out consequences can easily come from a heart of revenge - I am so tired of you asking to play Wii! Now you may not play Wii for the rest of the week!
Life at my house with four boys, homeschooling, a dog, and private music students is often majorly overstimulating. The other day, we were sitting at the school table doing one of the crafts from our five senses unit. Owen was gluing the table instead of the craft, Aidan was in the middle of telling me that he had “no idea” that he had not followed the directions on an assignment and was trying to put the blame on me, and Gresham was telling me that he didn’t know what word he should write next. All of this – at the same time! And I responded with sinful anger.
A busy house is not an excuse to talk unkindly to my children.
“There is one who speaks rashly like the thrust of a sword,
But the tongue of the wise brings healing.”
“A gentle answer turns away wrath,
But a harsh word stirs up anger.”
“Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person.”
“Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it may give grace to those who hear.”
I have decided that I need to work on applying these scriptures so that I will be a good example of godly speech to my children. Do any of you struggle with this? (Please tell me I’m not the only one!)
- This week I will start each day in prayer asking God to help me speak the right way to my children.
- I will memorize all four of the above verses with references.
- I will make an effort to slow down the pace of our life when busy-ness is interfering with my ability to “handle it all.” It’s not worth being caught up on all the laundry, for example, if it’s causing me to be a grouchy mom!
- I will not complain about my children’s behavior or messes or interruptions for an entire week. (Oh boy, this is going to be hard…)