Friday, January 10, 2014

Control Your Temper

The name of this blog is Fruitful Family, which is inspired by one of my favorite bible passages, Galatians 5:22-23, that says, "But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!" There may not be another verse that states more clearly what I hope to model my life after. But to be honest, I fail everyday. 

Philippians 4:5 says "Let your gentleness be evident to all." 

This is the one "fruit" that I have struggled with the most lately. If you are a parent, I know you can relate. 

I find myself getting flustered with my kids' behavior to the point that I raise my voice too often (um... yell, actually), grunt (I know!), and even use sarcasm sometimes. {They're only four and two!} My explosions of temper happen most when my attempts at being gracious and gentle are ignored, but the only thing I'm teaching them is to react in the same way when they are frustrated. And I am seeing that result. :(

My prayer is that being gentle will not only be not be my first reaction to their disobedience, but my second and third as well. 

But I know that I cannot simply ask God to take that attitude/reaction out of my heart; I must ask Him to search my heart; to reveal to me the root of my sinful reaction: I'm not reacting to the defiant attitude; I'm reacting -er, having a "grown-up tantrum"- over my feeling out of control. 

My children need to see me displaying gentleness and self-control if they are to be able to produce those fruits in their lives. 

"We can say with confidence and a clear conscience that we have lived with a God-given holiness and sincerity in all our dealings. We have depended on God's grace, not on our own human wisdom..." 2 Corinthians 1:12

Oh, Lord God, only you can give me the grace that I need for these trying moments. Wrap your hands tightly around my heart when my attitude is on the verge of ugly. Remind me that my children's willful disobedience is just like my disobedience to you; and that you correct with gentleness. Turn my frustration toward them into simple words of guidance and LOVE. 

"This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you." The words of Jesus in John 15:12

How do you handle the willful disobedience of the little hearts in your home?

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