As you learn to deal with anger in right ways, it can be very enlightening to examine your feelings toward your children. In your thoughts, are you cursing them as burdens, or delighting in them as blessings? You can be sure that whatever is happening in your mind will come out in your words and actions toward your kids.
When I’ve fallen into times of anger and impatience, I have caught myself muttering, “Brat!” under my breath after I’ve disciplined one of the kids for something. During the worst times of anger I had a problem with swearing. It would very seldom come out of my mouth, but my mind would be full of very bad words as I got extremely frustrated and angry.
Psalm 127:3 says, “Sons are a heritage from the Lord, children a reward from him.” I know some days it’s hard to believe that, but we really must decide to see our children as rewards, blessings from God, in spite of their mistakes and outright rebellion.
I don’t think my cyber-friend Lisa R. will mind if I mention a few thoughts that she shared with me about this idea of considering our children “blessings”. Lisa has seven kids and she has been a source of wise counsel for me in many different areas as I learn to be a better wife and mother.
She shares: The Bible says children are a blessing, but I wasn’t acting like I believed it. So I decided to act like it. At first, it was really an effort. When they would do something irritating….I’d pause and say a quick prayer, literally reminding myself that they are a blessing and therefore as irritating as this must be, it is part of the blessing….Then, I’d ask myself what I would say to a child I was really enjoying and appreciating rather than the one standing before me…and I’d make myself say that. I began to realize that they weren’t trying to get at me on purpose. They were just being children and it was my job to train them. All the frustrations are just part of the process!
I really want to thank Lisa for these thoughts. I printed out her message and I’ve reread it quite often since she first sent it. The idea is so simple, but it certainly isn’t easy! When your child has done something destructive or irresponsible, it sure is tempting to focus on the negative and really let them know you’re mad. It takes a much greater effort to think instead about the blessing your child is and to discipline in love and with patience.
I believe that if we work on developing that “blessing attitude” in our minds and hearts, it will become easier to leave our angry ways behind us most of the time. If you are really feeling good toward your kids most of the time, you will lash out at them less and less. Why, you might even start to enjoy them again!
© Robyn Mulder 1999, therobynsnest.org