Yelling at a bud won’t make it bloom.
As we start a fresh new year, I want to turn our hearts towards our children. I remember the first time I ever “lost it” with my son. He was around 2 1/2 and his baby sister was 6 months old. I had laid them both down for a nap and up he popped out of bed – “mommy, I’m not tired.” I gently laid him back in bed and told him mommy knew he needed rest. But again, he popped out of bed and refused to sleep…after about 5 times of returning him to bed, this weary mommy’s temper began to rise until I raised my voice in anger at him.
I remember feeling terribly guilty that day…I could not believe the anger that was inside of me. I NEVER thought I’d yell at my children. But there I was – with the situation out of my control I felt helpless and lost it. I repented, apologized to my son…but little did I know that that was the beginning of a long road of my patience being tried by my children lol!
Matthew Henry says “What is spoken wisely should be spoken calmly, and then it will be calmly considered. But passion will lessen the force even of reason, instead of adding any force to it.”
Are you baffled at the fact that your children are not listening to you? Research has shown that when a parent raises their voice at a child – a defense mechanism kicks in that helps the child emotionally protect themselves by tuning out what you are actually saying. When we as moms go on a long rant about something the child has done wrong – we may feel better because we got our feelings out – but our child has not been brought any closer to wisdom and understanding.
Surprisingly, when we harshly tell our children we do not like something they are doing – all they hear is – “you don’t like me“- period. It’s the harshness that accompanies the correction that causes the child to take personal offense and not listen.
And so I’d like to embark humbly on a Gentleness Challenge for mommy’s everwhere who struggle with raising their voices to their children, scowling, speaking in rapid fire foolish words or lecturing in anger.
It’s interesting to note that all of the fruit of the Spirit address this very issue – the fruit of the Spirit is: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control (Gal. 5:22). When we walk in the Spirit – we will be gentle mothers. But when we walk in the flesh – we lack all of these attributes.
Which brings me to conclude that we must be in God’s word and on our knees daily – depending on God to help us be the gentle mothers he has called us to be.
Each Monday in the month of January, I will be posting a video excerpt from the Summer Book Club I led over at GoodMorningGirls.org. We were reading in Sally Clarkson’s book the Ministry of Motherhood and there’s over 20 videos in the series – but I have chosen the ones that best fit our challenge to share with you - in hopes that it will give you further inspiration outside of my writings.
So here is our first video featuring me in Ohio skyping my partner Angela in Texas. They are a little lengthy (10 minutes), so grab a cup of coffee and sit back and relax. We discuss using words of encouragement, food, and kindness to minister to our children along with our fears of being a push over or lecturing too often lol!
If you are taking the challenge, I invite you to leave a comment in the comment section telling me that you are joining me on this journey! If you are a blogger, I invite you to “copy” and “save as” this button and put it somewhere on your blog and link it back to http://www.womenlivingwell.org Then link up below!
Let’s focus this January on dealing gently with our children. Touch them gently, use their names gently, use your words gently, slow down and be loving, kind, and gracious.
Walk with the King!