Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Anger


Lately I've been horrified to see how much anger resides in my heart. I would have never described myself as an angry person before having kids... or shall I saw, before having 3.5 kids 4 and under. All previous "spiritual accomplishments" or thoughts of my "great" maturity fizzle away into mist when I daily see how much my  heart gravitates towards a wicked, self-seeking, prideful anger. In the midst of all my attempts to "fix" my problem, I've come to realize I will NEVER have victory over this sin... without an active, aggressive, war-like attack on it using God's Word as my main weapon. I am so weak, but thankfully God is strong. Of course, each day I have to try to look past the enormous red wood tree sticking out of my own eye as I try to shepherd my kids through their own outbursts of anger.

What's been the most convicting is realizing that perhaps my own sharp words or knee jerk responses to their misbehavior has served to fuel the fire of their own anger. How can I ask them to lay aside anger and put on patience and kindness when I so readily model the opposite. At the core of my anger, I see a simple root that runs to the heart. PRIDE. When I am angry, it's because one of my children has dared to defy ME. They have ignored ME. They have disrespected ME. How dare they! So, in my attempt to control them, I lose utter control of myself.

These simple yet VERY true verses have been my weapons this week. If you struggle with anger, I encourage you to memorize them with me...

Proverbs 15:1- “A gentle answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger.”

Proverbs 29:11- “A fool always loses his temper, but a wise man holds it back.”
What's more, I'm finding that a mother's anger is easy to conceal. It's possible I can be hiding a red-hot heart from Nathan, from my kids, and from onlookers. I can put on a sweet smile, say soothing words, and have the appearance of a nurturing heart, when really I'm seething inside. Philippians 1:27 has been convicting in this regard:

"Only conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ.” (In the Spanish translation, it says, "Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner  worthy...") I want my heart to honor Christ and my life to be one that is worthy of the gospel EVEN IF NO ONE IS LOOKING! To all my fellow mothers out there, I pray that we take this verse to heart, and we begin waging war against the sins that are threatening our families...

Proverbs 14:1- "The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down."

2 comments:

Brett Lizzi Ethan Seth said...

Thanks for sharing Julie! I can very much relate. : )

Dana said...

Man, you must be really bad. :) It's painful to watch our little mirrors isn't it? Thanks for the encouragement!