Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Entitled to my Anger

I feel entitled to my anger when one of my children, instead of putting the toy away like I asked two minutes before, is playing with the toy and starts fighting with a sibling over said toy and hits the third sibling (who is actually cleaning up), giving the child black eye.  I feel my anger is justified when one of my children hurts another because of disobedience (on that same note, I tend to have a lack of compassion for the child who hurts himself because of disobedience).
want to yell at my child when they have deliberately disobeyed and someone gets hurt because of that disobedience. I am angry. And rightly so. Right?
I may have a right to be angry, but do I have a right to yell? Do I have a right to shame the child who was disobedient? Is my anger righteous because the child was wrong? Is my yelling at the child going to cow them into penitence and obedience?Water Your Soul
I think you can tell the answer to all the questions is no. Even if I have a right to be angry, I do not have a right to yell at my child, to shame my child, to make them feel small and make them cry because they were being foolish instead of obedient.
I used to think I was a person who did not get very angry very quickly. If I am angry at another adult, rarely do I yell. In fact, I can't remember the last time I yelled at an adult. I tend to boil quietly and then go rant to a friend.
But then I had kids and I discovered that I can get angry lightning quick. Because they are little beings who are foolish; tiny humans who are immature and don't properly think through their actions; young minds that quickly forget what they were doing; curious hands that want to explore everything within reach; children who know exactly how to push my buttons.
For some reason, I think my kids should be more mature than they are, and when they show their immaturity, it angers me. When they don't do what I tell them to, it angers me. When they are being foolish, it angers me. And then I yell.
I am not proud of yelling or my anger; I am just telling you the truth because I know there are other moms out there who struggle with it.
So how do I get rid of this anger and the yelling with it? James 1:19-21 tells us how.  "My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you."
Yeah, I get it. Be slow to speak and slow to become angry. But how? The last part of the passage tells us what to do - plant the Word of God inside of us. That means reading the Bible every day. Purposing to sit down every day and spend time reading God's words to us.
Lately I've notice how quickly and how often I am getting mad at my kids. Then today I actually sat down to read my Bible. And you know what? It has been over a month since I last did devotions. A month! No wonder I was cranky! Any word that has been planted in me has withered. A stark contrast to the plants outside that are thriving with the spring rains, my insides have withered away because I have not been watering my spirit. And the withering has come out of me as anger.
So I encourage you, dear sister moms, be in God's word every day. It is the only way to control that anger inside of us.
Personalize this: Write James 1:19-21 on some note cards and put them where you can see them. I find that taping verses around (and making them look pretty!) helps me remember to bite my tongue.
Take it to my kids: I've had to sit down with my kids and apologize for my anger. I've noticed that they start yelling at each other and that is a direct reflection of my own sin in them, and it saddens me. Talk to your kids and say you're sorry for yelling. Read them James 1:19-20 and tell them you're trying to work on it. Ask them to pray for you.

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