Friday, August 13, 2010

A Women with Solid Walls

Like a city whose walls are broken down is a man who lacks self-control. Proverbs 25:28

Do you ever feel like the walls that maintain order in your house are broken down? I think we've all been there. I know for sure that I have. And what I have found is at the root of the problem is not my children. It's me.

Children will be children. They will push boundaries. They will disobey. They will have bad attitudes. Okay. Children will be human. And when they tend to be more human (i.e. more controlled by the flesh than by self-control) I generally find that it is because I have been that way myself. When I have not been submitting to the Holy Spirit and exercising self-control in the way I act, speak and react I see that reflected in my children.

I used to think that I was a very self-controlled person, until I had children. Then I learned that they were capable of pushing buttons that I never knew I had. One of those buttons is defiance. It will drive me crazy quicker than anything else. (Ever felt that red-heat anger in your belly? I hope I'm not the only one.) If I allow that feeling and anger at being disobeyed in how I handle that disobedience, I am myself stepping into disobedience against God.

This is a practice that takes practice. It is a skill that takes submission to the Holy Spirit and a recognition of how sinful I am myself. Because I have learned that consequences of losing it (I never feel good after having acting without self-control) are, I pay very close attention to myself when I'm dealing with my children when they are acting up. I'm no where near perfect, but I continue to work on developing the skill of self-control. (1 Thessalonians 5:6)

And when I do, I see improvements in my children's behavior. They are still human (as am I) and they are still children, but they exhibit more positive behaviors the more I exhibit positive behaviors. I don't have any regret about losing my temper or yelling at anyone. The walls of my city stay intact and are not broken down, opening up the way for more sin to creep in.

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