I have three boys ranging from one to seven years old. In other words- three little bodies filled with so much energy they are mostly found running; jumping; climbing; furniture rebounding; building; wall, table, and cabinet coloring; snack mix dumping; juice box drinking; constantly questioning; loudly singing; clothes scattering; wearing brand new pants while grass and mud staining; muddy puddle jumping; toy box emptying; banana smashing; snot smearing; video game playing; “Mommy” pleading; wrestling; Roomba riding; spitting; and calf clutching while crying. Would you believe that they manage all that in just the first several hours of the day? For a young lady like me who likes everything clean, in order, and under my control at all times- you can see where this new season of “Mommy” has had my head spinning faster than when I did full twisting back flips in gymnastics. I know many of you are saying oh yes I feel you. I’m sure many of you will find truth in this: I found myself being angry more than being Mommy.
What I mean by that is every time I saw a shoe in the middle of the floor, or a pair of little boy pants on the ceiling fan (they acquired a changing ritual of flinging clothes off of their leg to see how high they can propel it into the vast area of space between ceiling and floor), my anger would well up and gushing out would be angry thoughts and words of get this back in my perfect order! I realized one day that the majority of our exchanges including me yelling at them and disciplining them out of anger rather than love. I would let the situation make me angry and get me out of control. I spent so much energy on being angry- there was little left for being Mommy. I realized I respond better to someone correcting me in love rather than anger- yet here I am showing the boys correction always comes with anger. Ouch. Ephesians 4:26-27 NASB says: Be angry, and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not give the devil an opportunity. I do not believe disciplining your children is sinning. In fact quite the opposite according to Proverbs 13:24 ESV: Whoever spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him. Or Proverbs 29:15, 17 NLT: To discipline a child produces wisdom, but a mother is disgraced by an undisciplined child. Discipline your children, and they will give you peace of mind and will make your heart glad. Where I was doing wrong and giving the enemy an opportunity is when I was doing it out of anger instead of love. 1 Corinthians 16:14 NLT says: And do everything with love. I was letting the anger have total control of my actions. Kids mimic and they would eventually mimic me.
I respond better to someone correcting me in love rather than anger- yet here I am showing the boys correction always comes with anger.
Anger with my children most of the time comes out of annoyance from lack of obedience. We are very serious about our boys being polite, respectful, and well behaved. If they won’t obey us, how will they obey other authority? So I think that it is okay that we feel anger at lack of obedience but we must not let that have total control over our action. We can’t let anger run into rage and fury, but we MUST discipline. I have always admired how my husband deals with our boys. He is calm and he disciplines out of love, but he DOES discipline and they respect him greatly. He always goes into their room after a spanking and talks to them about why they received it and what to do to avoid it in the future. He tells them he loves them and gives them a hug. Ephesians 6:1-2 NLT says: Children, obey your parents because you belong to the Lord, for this is the right thing to do. Honor your father and mother. This is the first commandment with a promise: If you honor your father and mother, things will go well for you, and you will have a long life on the earth. It says this is the first commandment with a promise! All the more imperative we show them the importance of obedience! If they know how to honor their father and mother they can honor God. I love how Hebrews 12:11 NLT says it: No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening-it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in his way.
I learned to make a choice when I felt anger rising in me. First of all I need to decide if it is something worth being angry over (a shoe in the middle if the floor is not), and then I need to decide how to deal with it accordingly. I realized I needed to let go of the notion that everything needed to be perfect all the time- because it will never happen. It would be better for me to go play with them, enjoy those sweet giggles, and maybe even get messy myself. I realized I could make a choice to spend energy on everything being perfect – or spend that energy enjoying and playing with my kids while they are little and adventurous. This was freeing to me. To accomplish this means I MUST be abiding in his word daily! I find when I am in the word consistently my mind is more at peace and I am more aware of my thoughts and emotions. Ecclesiastes 7:9 KJV says: Be not hasty in thy spirit to be angry: for anger resteth in the bosom of fools. Proverbs 29:11 NKJV says: A fool vents all his feelings, But a wise man holds them back. If I am to teach my boys how to follow Christ I must be in the word so that my actions teach them what it says! I have to show them that we cannot let the flesh rule, yet here I was letting it win me. I’m not perfect and still fail daily, but that is not my standard anymore. My husband is a great help to me also because he can see when my gasket is about to blow so he looks at me and says calmly, “honey, its okay.” He helps keep me accountable and I let him. I don’t fire back at him I just let the rising anger go.
I can’t say enough how imperative it is we abide in his word! Proverbs 4:13 NLT says: Take hold of my instructions; don’t let them go. Guard them, for they are the key to life. Verse 20-21 says: My child, pay attention to what I say. Listen carefully to my words. Don’t lose sight of them. Let them penetrate deep into your heart. I want my boys to see me as one who loves God and reflects his image, not one who is always angry. I find myself a lot now telling them, “The bible says this…” I find myself being much calmer and consistent. Speaking the word will always bring you into check. If discipline is needed I know to step back and get a hold of my emotions before letting them rule my actions. I want to be a Mommy that reflects Christ’s character, not a Mommy that reflects anger. I want to be a Mommy that reflects the fruits of the spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and SELF CONTROL! I want to always find the middle ground of allowing them to be kids, have fun, express energy and creativity, and just be goofy without compromising respect for authority, manners, and the morals and values we hold important.
As our boys are not perfect, neither are we as parents, but we are growing and trying together daily and we look to God as our point of reference. Children are a wonderful blessing to be entrusted with. I enjoy all the laughs and fun we have as well as the growth raising them has brought to me. I look forward to seeing our Children grow in God and pray they be used mightily in the years to come. They will be a light to this world. My life now is messes often intertwined with chaos, but the joy of the Lord is my strength and I will give thanks in all things as I strive to be Mommy instead of angry.
Submitted by: Amber