1. First, I had to acknowledge that I had a problem.
- This may seem obvious but there are a few routes I could have taken instead of acknowledging my problem. I could have said, “I am making too big a deal of this. It’s not like I’m hitting my kids ~ I’m just using words.” Jesus likened lust to adultery and hating your brother to murder. In God’s eyes, sin is sin and it is serious! I was sinning against my kids and God and I needed to acknowledge the seriousness of it.
- The second route I could have taken was it wasn’t my fault. I think I could have stayed there for a while. To me, it was my kids. If they would just learn to obey and wouldn’t test me I wouldn’t have to yell at them. This is a slippery road. Yes, my kids need to learn to obey but that was a totally separate issue than the way I was responding and it did not justify my behavior.
- The last route I could have taken was, “that is just the way I am, it is part of my personality.” I will address this more in depth in another point below. It may be a part of your personality but when it crosses the line it is NOT okay and it is not an excuse for you to remain in that place.
2. I had to walk in humility!
- Again this may seem obvious but it was hard. I had to say sorry to my kids and every single time. I would take my kids and sit on the floor. I would look in their eyes and say sorry that Mommy was wrong and she should not have reacted that way. I would ask them to forgive me and then we would pray together. To me, forgiveness is one of God’s most powerful tools and our kids are so willing to use it. Yes, I know what was happening was hurting their spirits and I needed to stop but I was sooo thankful for the power of forgiveness as I walked down the road to freedom.
3. I surrounded myself with truth.
- Check out my posting called Put your clothes on! This talks about putting on the Spiritual Armor on a daily basis. I realized in trying to uproot this sin that I was in a spiritual battle. I also realized God had equipped me to fight. This was one of the most powerful tools to protect me during the fighting.
- The second set of verses I clung had e putting more clothes on (I personally find them more beautiful to wear than wearing the armor!)
Colossians 3:12 Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
4. Get to the bottom of it!
- Anger and most behavioral sins are just a symptom of a bigger problem (remember the posting The Overflow of the Heart). I could chop off the anger but it wouldn’t be getting at what was causing me to be angry. I wish I could say there was this huge revelation, or an incident from my childhood that caused me to be this way. I can’t. I wasn’t raised the way I was acting so that one didn’t work for me. I think sadly enough what it came down to for me was I like to be in control, I don’t like being challenged and I don’t like to fail!
- I had to learn to not take myself so seriously and realize that I was going to be challenged by my kids.
- I had to accept that my kids were going to sin and that was okay. What I mean is they are sinners too, to expect my kids to always obey and always listen perfectly was an unfair expectation. I wasn’t failing when they disobeyed me and so I didn’t need to “protect myself” by lashing out at them.
- I had to take on an eternal perspective. Really, in the light of eternity the little stuff that would cause me to blow up really was not important. The only thing involved that was eternal was their little spirits and that was what I was harming. The fact that we were going to be late and they weren’t cooperating with me was not going to have a lasting effect on eternity!I had to refigure out what my job was. My job was not to control these little creatures who had their own free wills! My job was to train them to make wise choices. I guess that helped me to release this idea of control and take on a new perspective of my job.
- As a side note: For those of you who know my family I am so grateful that my first child was compliant and that I began battling this anger issue before my second one came along! Her name is Mercea Grace (which means Mercy and Grace). I thought we named her that because she was going to be an example of Mercy and Grace to the world. But at least thus far it has been to teach Mommy how to be merciful and graceful! She is one strong willed little girl and I realize that I am probably the one to blame for that! She has a power and a fire to her that I can’t wait to see released for the Lord, but until then…
So that's all for today. There is a little more to the list for tomorrow! I saved the best for last so that you would have a reason to come back.