We did not work on any fun projects in the frugal house today… 🙁 We had some character issues and “training moments” come up today that delayed everything! Actually, I shouldn’t say “delayed everything” because the character development and spiritual training is the most important part of parenting! It’s just also very exhausting at times!
Let me start with last night… After the boys went to bed, I sat down to work on a plan to help them deal with anger. We have had LOTS of bickering, name-calling, and all out fist-fighting going on at our house lately. Some friends loaned us The Heart of Anger by Lou Priolo, and this book has helped tremendously. But I needed a plan.
I decided to spend today’s Bible time talking with the boys about Romans 12:17-21:
“Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all men. If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men. Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, ‘Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,’ says the Lord. ‘But if your enemy is hungry, feed him, and if he is thirsty, give him a drink; For in so doing you will heap burning coals on His head. Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”
I consolidated the point of these verses and some key ideas from Priolo’s book into this chart: (We actually made the chart together this morning after reading the verses in Romans)
Here’s what it means:
Basic definition of (sinful) anger – A selfish response to a problem
Problem – something like your brother having a toy that you want, or something of yours gets broken, etc.
There are two basic responses when things don’t go your way – selfishness in your heart, or godliness in your heart.
Selfishness in the heart will lead to outburst of anger, mean words, and acts of revenge. A godly attitude will result in trusting God (because He can provide what we need without us having to sin to get it), looking for a peaceful solution, and exhibiting the fruit of the Spirit.
This is a good time to lead back to the gospel – we can’t have the godly attitudes without Christ in our hearts.
So how did this work with my kids?
Well, before we could even get to this chart, we had a 45 minute display of attitude from the oldest son. I am not exaggerating! After some time in his room to think, we were able to finally work through all the issues that were causing his bad attitude. So we sat down to study anger with Mom already angry. I had to repent of my anger towards their behavior before we could move on! I told my sons that Moms and Dads struggle with anger just like children do. “Yes,” my son commented. “I remember when you got mad and threw something and it broke!”
Thanks, son, for that reminder. We all need God’s grace!
We have our chart out on display, and it is helping all of us to think about our response when things do not go the way we want!