Well... it finally happened.
I watched my child being mistreated by other kids, and I let my emotions get the better of me. It was certainly not the first time that we had been in a situation like this, but for some reason this time, I became so upset with the other children. I never did anything too regretful in the situation, but inside I was so enraged. I was thinking about all the faults of the other kids, and never took the opportunity to teach all of the kids involved.
Later (after I had time to cool off), I did have several good conversations with Rush about not returning evil for evil (Romans 12:17), turning the other cheek (Matthew 5:38-39)= saying "I have other toys that I can play with, you can have it", and doing to others as we would have them do to us (Luke 6:31).
I recounted the whole situation to Ben (my husband) that night. He had some great words of wisdom, as always. [Ben's spiritual gift is wisdom!] He reminded me that I don't have to let my emotions get the better of me. God gave us emotions, but Christ living in me is what should be controlling my reactions to life. During our conversation, I realized that I have fears about how our son will mesh socially as he grows. It is one of those weird tactics that Satan uses on me sometimes; it comes and goes, but when it creeps in, it's very strong. My fear (aka lack of faith) is what caused my poor reaction. How many times have you reacted sinfully as a result of suppressed fears?
All I could think was "Those kids are so unfriendly and have no manners whatsoever! They are just provoking my son to the point that his social "quirks" come out. All they can think about is themselves!"
Deep down in my spirit, I know that there is no reason to worry about my son. If I am living the kind of life in Christ that I should be living, those worries won't even seem valid; I will be able to dismiss them the moment they pop into my head. And my response to conflict will be peace-making, life-giving, Godly instruction.
"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. That is how we have conducted ourselves before the world, and especially toward you." 2 Corinthians 1:12
If I can keep this verse and others like it stored in my heart, then my mama bear claws will not come out at the wrong time. My main weapon of defense should always be the full armor of God, because really I am not just protecting my child from other people; I am defending his heart (and mine) from invisible evil powers.
"Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.
Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.
Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness,
and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace.
In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one;
and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God,
praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication." Ephesians 6:11-18a ESV
Lord, please give me the strength and wisdom to show my children how to respond to conflict. Help me to be sincere, gracious; to control my tongue and my feelings; and to use Your Word as my main line of defense and instruction. I cannot do it on my own. Only you can help me trade in my mama bear claws for Your Armor.