Sunday, October 25, 2009

The ugly side of anger

While Joseph was gone, I really felt like my world was spinning out of control. Okay, maybe not my whole world, just my children. But since they are my little world, I guess it was my world. In any case, at first I was sure that the kids were out of control. There was lots of arguing, fighting and everything was a long drawn out battle that I was losing. I wasn't having much fun being a mommy and I'm sure they weren't having much fun being my kids.

Then God really spoke to my heart and reminded me that they weren't the issue. They were doing what children are supposed to do - be sinful and selfish. My response to them was the problem. My expectations of them were the problem. I was the problem.

I got this book on anger and God has used it to speak HUGE truth into my life. Are you ready for what I've learned? Here goes:

Kindness leads to repentance, anger breeds wrath.

Simple, logical, no brainer, huh? For everyone other than me, I guess.

I have been so angry lately. Angry at the kids for not behaving the way that they should. Angry at Joseph for leaving me here to do this hard thing by myself all the time. Angry at people for judging my motives. But most of all angry at God.

Very angry with God. Because I have forgotten who is the Potter and who is the Clay.

So I have been taking it out on everyone around me. It's no wonder that there is so much anger in this house. Anger breeds anger. Kindness leads to repentance.

I have been pondering Romans 2:4-6 and LOVE the way that The Message says it:

"You didn't think, did you, that just by pointing your finger at others you would distract God from seeing all your misdoings and from coming down on you hard? Or did you think that because he's such a nice God, he'd let you off the hook? Better think this one through from the beginning. God is kind, but he's not soft. In kindness he takes us firmly by the hand and leads us into a radical life-change. "

Gosh I love that he is doing that to me and that is exactly what I want to do to my children. Lead them to a radical life change - a relationship with Jesus!

Ultimately, in the end, when it is all said and done what I want for my kids is not to be successful or have good self image or be rich or any of the other things the world defines as successful. Ultimately I want them to repent for theirs sins, walk away from them and walk toward Jesus. Walk with Jesus. And if they happen to have success, riches, whatever...great! What an earthly bonus.

So how do I make that happen as a mother?

Definintely less anger, more kindness. Kindness that takes them 'firmly by the hand.' Anger has a place and isn't bad, but I don't want that to be my "go-to" emotion. I've used it as a crutch far too long to mask fear, insecurity and sadness. I don't want to pass on this legacy, so I need to stop it. Today. Each day.

And that is hard for someone who clings to anger.

Holy God, please continue to change me and teach me and mold me. More of you, less of me. Thank you for your kindness, grace and mercy that led me to repentance and a radical life change. Help me to help my children. And when I fail, please remind me that in my weakness you are strong. Where there is damage I have caused with my children, husband or relationships because of anger, I ask that you please heal in the way that only you can - completely. I love you Father.


Liana said...

Great post and insight, Sabrina. Tell me more about "The Message". Is this the book you are reading or a translation of the Bible?

Sab Mad said...

Hey Liana! Thanks for stopping by!! Yes, The Message is a loose translation of the bible by Eugine Peterson and I love it! When I am really interested in a passage, I like to read it in different translations.

BTW - congrats on the Hall of Fame!!! I read your stats and was super impressed!!

Oh, and when are you going to start blogging?!

Michele said...

I've recently been trying to change my go-to reaction to my children's sin: guilt inducing. As if I could be the Holy Spirit to them, I cringe at my arrogance. And I hate to think of a wrong legacy I could leave in their hearts. God wants us to see this and react rightly - and it sounds like you are headed in a direction that will be good for all of you.
blessings, friend.

Liana said...

Thanks-- The HOF was quite an honor and a fun weekend in Atlanta.

I'm going to find that book, in addition to Parenting in the Pew (I think that's the name). I need to work on our family church experience...

And me, blogging...maybe someday. But then I wouldn't have any time to live vicariously though all my blog friends and learn from them! :) The insight of other Christian moms is a great parenting resource. It helps me keep things in perspective.

Take care!

Anonymous said...

WOW! That has to be one of the very best blog posts I have ever read. Thank you for writing it, for putting yourself out there. Your prayer is beautiful. I struggle with all these things too and your post really helped me look at my situation in a different way and give me new goals to reach for. Thank you.