Friday, April 1, 2011

The Gentle Instructor

Dear Mothers,


For the past couple of months, I have been parenting solo for much of the time. I sort of hit a wall the other day. It had been coming on for about a week. I kept fighting it, praying, staying in the Word, but no matter what I did, I just couldn’t help but sound annoyed with my children. Truth be told, we were driving each other crazy. Everyone wanted what they wanted, when they wanted it. I was no acceptation. As the week wore on, my patience kept waning and everything went downhill.

I knew I was weary. I knew I was tired of trying “to do good”. I kept praying about it until God hit me with a verse that was very familiar, but applied directly to my situation. I thanked God as I read it with freshness that my new “spiritual eyes” could have only picked up on.

“The Lord’s servant must not quarrel; instead he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.”-2 Timothy 2:24-26.

After I got my breath back and myself under control again, I started taking this verse apart and applying it to my situation from a mother’s standpoint.

1. I am the Lord’s servant. I must not get sucked into quarrels and arguments.

2. I am to be kind to everyone, especially to the child who is having a hard time. This is not easy. When I am angry, I am not kind. If I feel disrespected,I can get ugly fast.

3. I am to be able to teach. I can’t teach what I don’t know. If I don’t know what the Word of the Lord says, I can’t instruct my children. I need to constantly be in “learning mode” when it comes to Bible study.

4. I am to not be resentful. I can start resenting Steve and the children for all the times they get out of the house. I can resent the fact that I am by myself most of the time with the children. But ultimately it doesn’t do any good. The reality is that I chose this lifestyle when I married a firefighter. I also chose to have a large family. That in itself is a lot of work. I shouldn’t be surprised when I get tired and worn out. Instead of being resentful, I need to ask God what it is I am NOT supposed to be doing. Resentfulness wastes valuable energy that could be directed towards gaining strength in the day to day activities that God wants me to be doing.

5. “Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth”. I have not always been a gentle parent. Many times when I am instructing, I raise my voice to make sure they hear me, instead of lowering so they have to pay attention. In my mind I think I have to have a firm voice so they can hear the annoyance. This is to make sure they KNOW I am displeased with them. Honestly when I parent this way, it sucks the life out of me. You can only thrive on anger so long before it wears you out. Instead, I need to gently and lovingly teach them so the end result is repentance. I want them to know the Truth, but I can’t beat them over the head with it. I need to know when to back off and let (especially the older children) come to a place where they can repent and seek restoration. They too, can feel when the relationship is strained. They are learning to take responsibility for their actions and not “let the sun go down on their anger”.

Even though I had fallen down on my mothering job, I knew that if I kept seeking Him, I would find Him. I knew that if I repented, He would lovingly bring me to where He wants me to be. What a loving Father! What a good God! His Word gives us all the answers we need.

Here is another verse He gave me, “The wise in heart show discernment. Pleasant words promote instruction.”-Proverbs 16:21

“Father God, let my heart be wise! Let my instructions be promoted by pleasant and gentle words. Take this harshness from my speech. Fill me with Your Spirit so I can love my family the way You ask me to. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”

From One Mom to Another,

13 comments:

Sarah said...

This was such an encouraging post Stacie! Thank you for sharing! I too tend to use 'the voice' when instructing my children and although they obey 'the voice' immediately, they are not obeying from their hearts but out of fear. I do try not to do this but it at times it is hard...thank goodness that the Lord is so patient with me!

Mama Hen said...

Ouch, have you been peeking in my windows lately? :)

It is hard at times and thank you for this encouraging post.

Wanting What I Have said...

Oh Stacie, I wish I could sit at your feet and soak up your wisdom. This post could not have come at a better time. Thank you for your honesty and vulnerability. I love you and appreciate you!!!

Rachel and Family said...

Uh, resentment speaks to me... the roots of bitterness. Yucky, yucky. Thank you for your exposition.

Stacie, A Firefighter's Wife said...

Jenn, I always have to learn the hard way it seems. Glory to God for any wisdom that He sees fit to give me. I am so thankful that His Word speaks to us so clearly in every circumstance we find ourselves in. We only need to seek Him and to listen to Him.

h. rae said...

You're a special lady, Stacie! Going to God's Word can only bring you wisdom and solace.

Catherine said...

You are an angel, Stacie! You have learned to lean on Him, the maker of heaven and earth. You ARE victorious...be He is.

Kimberly said...

Stacie what a lovely post. As the children are aging, I sometimes forget that they still need instruction. Only to be reminded when I'm using that tone with them upon finding the vague instructions not met. Your posts are most certainly transparent and encouraging.

PS- I'm back with under a new blog name!!!

Jenn said...

What a beautifully honest post! I loved this so much because I can relate with it SO much!

RaD said...

Amen!

Cheesemakin' Mamma said...

I should have read this post BEFORE I caught Josiah riding his bike through the house today, LOL!

Trina said...

I know how hard it is when they are gone for so long. We are only human, you are doing great.

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. – Matthew 11:28-30

Hang in there.

Marie said...

This happens to all of us.

Reading this taught me more of how to behave when I'm in a situation as such, thank you! and you are a wonderful mother!

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