I would never call myself an angry person. 99% of the time I am smiling. My kids are usually smiling or laughing.
Lately, I have been listening hard to the things we say to each other in our family. What is overflowing from our hearts? I am really good at listening to the kids. Just this week, I found myself telling the oldest “You need to stop shouting at her. Just tell her gently. Speak more kindly to her.” I could hear the rough correction of his sister as she sat on the potty. “She is just sitting there playing!” Although he was right, the tone was harsh.
I laid in bed last night venting a series of emotions to my husband. The sum of it likely sounded as if the world was out to get me. I went to bed praying for clarity about why I felt brushed up against. Why have the babies been fighting with each other? When did my 6 yr old become so disrespectful? Why are these people’s comments so rude? Since when did I want to stay inside my house to avoid an extra tear or tantrum.
I went to bed with a desire to be up early and get extra time tackling some to-dos. As I sat in my study of James, one passage hit me with complete conviction. James 1:20 “For the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.”
Annoyance, displeasure, irritation, impatience, distemper, mad, vexation, resentment. All synonyms of anger.
I typically don’t label myself as an angry person. I would just prefer to pray for more patience. But as I read those synonyms, why YES — that’s me! Resentment was seeping in. Clearly I am easily annoyed with my kids. Displeasure with others or situations in my path. Impatience with my children. Check, check, check — I sat before the Lord seeing the overflow of my sinful heart.
I have been looking at my kid’s hearts and other people of course, but it is so easy to miss my own. “Good job,” my oldest said yesterday morning as he clearly saw me frustrated with another toy/blowout/spilled potty/pen marks everywhere/damaged wall/just keep filling in the blank. “Good job parenting,” he elaborated and strived to encourage me. His words sat with me all day and I realized how much he sees me struggle. Just as I can easily hear his tone with his sister, he can easily see my face and hear my words with his brothers and sister.
The Word of God corrects us. It is a mirror that shows us what others see and most often brings to light that major blemish we miss. My study elaborated, “Man’s anger is contrary to the character of God. Whenever man gives way to anger, he never furthers the righteousness he professedly strives for; anger blocks his goal of fostering righteousness.” And that right there is the wall I was hitting these past few days. It is the wall of my anger starting to build in a little corner of my heart.
Thankful that God tears down the walls of our hearts. He does not leave us to wonder, but lovingly draws us to repentance. Turning from the subtleties of anger and turning to Christ’s sufficient supply of strength. May He soften me with more grace, mercy and kindness for those around me. Whether it is motherhood, marriage, people or places, I pray that I would face it ready and willing to be refined.
With All my Love,