Friday, April 1, 2011
The Gentle Instructor
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,