If anyone thinks himself to be religious, and yet does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this man's religion is worthless. (James 1:26 NASB)
And the tongue is a fire, the very world of iniquity; the tongue is set among our members as that which defiles the entire body, and sets on fire the course of our life, and is set on fire by hell. (James 3:6 NASB)
Paint brush in hand, I sat in the minuscule space behind our fridge and God spoke to me about my speech and heart problem. I'd rather have had Him miraculously solved our impromptu kitchen renovation, but fixing my heart is the immediate need.
Momma Hume had stopped by earlier with Miss I and was telling me about the Father's Day sermon, "A Father's Challenge", given that morning by their minister. She summarized that we would not speak (or treat) to our co-workers, boss, friends as we do our children. They bear the brunt of our harsh words, frustration, anger, and other negative words and actions. Ouch! The Momma also gave valuable insight that really helped to open my eyes to this... Oh, this has not been fun.
The last two months I know my negative thoughts and words have over taken my heart, spilled over into my everyday life, and I don't like who I've slowly morphed into. I found myself becoming more angry and bitter towards my boys for their lack of participation or the increased level of reminders (aka nagging) to get them to do anything. I lost focus on what is really important and allowed Satan I get a foothold in my life. It threw everything outta whack! You really don't want or need to know my frustrations, I'm sure. I have sobbed, ranted, stood silent, and given "the Look" to those I love the most, wounding them in the process. I can see when I start in on them, they shut down, enduring and wanting to run out of the room. I have pierced their hearts with my unbridled tongue.
When people talk about our kids, we always hear what great kids they are, sometimes that frustrates us. I need to remember they are kids who are growing, learning, having new experiences and that is normal. They are learning about responsibility and still have a ways to go, but shoot! Why do I think my kids need to have it together when I don't or ever will the way I'm expecting them to! If I don't set about to be an example of how to encourage and even admonish in a more positive way, my kids will only know how to use fiery speech to tear others down. Not exactly the legacy I want to leave or be known for. I feel I've lost my joy and I'm definitely not a joy to be around.
Can you help me or join me? If you think about it, ask me how I'm doing. Don't let me slide by. Just today in my inbox, the morning devotion from MOB Society (Moms of Boys) came through and it was JUST what I needed. I know God sent it my way. If you have time, take time to visit and read I Mostly Pray for Help. Oh, and guess what I also got in my inbox - yet another email from God: What Goes Through My Head After Yelling at My Kids.