That’s my little boy, with a Spiderman tattoo on his cheek and a princess ring on his finger. He has the softest skin and the most tender heart, and I would fight FOR this child in the face of danger–against a lion, against ISIS, against bullies, against the evil one himself!
And yet… sometimes I am the one he needs protection from. Me. His mother.
I can be dangerous when my tongue is unbridled, when my body is tired and my thoughts are selfish, and I forget to be on guard. I can be the danger lurking in our home, ready to attack.
There are so many directions I could take this short post. Talk about how God is the preeminent example of gentleness as a parent; focus on the fruit of His very Spirit in our lives as we learn to abide in Him and bear His patient fruit; give you my testimony, how God has taken this overwhelmed woman and is transforming her slowly and steadily as this child’s mom; offer practical advice about how to stay calm in the midst of exhaustion and weariness; confess the triggers that still cause me to explode in a fresh mess all over my children sometimes… Wouldn’t those all be great?
Instead, however, let’s talk about what to do when we’ve failed. Because we do. Fail. Here’s what to do when you blow up at your kids: Of course, we must apologize to our little loves, their father, and anyone else that’s been wounded by our words, our haughty eyes, our exasperated sighs and slamming cabinet doors. But then we’ve got come to God in humility and let Him do a serious work on our sin-stained heart.
Five things you can do when you’ve found yourself sinning against your loved ones again.
1) Recognize – “Search me, Oh God, and know my heart; try me and know my anxious thoughts; and see if there be any hurtful way in me, and lead me in the everlasting way.” (Psalm 139:23-24) Ask God to shine the spotlight of His Holy convicting love into the dark corners of your mothering heart. He will be faithful to reveal the root causes of those sinful tendencies.
2) Repent – “…the kindness of God leads you to repentance” (Romans 2:4) It is easier to focus on the ugliness bound up the hearts of our children than be bound and determined to consider our own sin-tendencies. But a kind God wouldn’t leave us shackled. He shows us our sin that we might receive His forgiveness, then learn to actively turn from those hurtful ways. Repent literally means, “turn around and go the other way,” and that’s what this step is all about. If you have been convicted of your own wrong behavior as a mom. Repent. Stop, turn around, and ask the Lord to lead you in the right direction.
3) Replace – “Put on your new nature, created to be like God–truly righteous and holy.” (Ephesians 4:24) When God convicts a mother’s heart that something’s got to give, something’s got to change, some evil root is needing to be pulled completely out of the soil of her heart, He will partner with you in the replanting. He tells us over and over again in scripture to take off our old nature, and put on righteousness. Let Him pull out your sin by the roots, and trust Him to plant something beautiful in it’s stead.
4) Rally – “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works,” (Hebrews 10:24) Surround yourself with peace-loving women. Emulate their gentle, Christ-like spirits, and learn from them. If you are looking for a community of women who are actively, daily encouraging one another in the transformation process, from angry women to gentle moms, then look into our private facebook page – No More Angry MOBS. Miracles are happening as we learn to Recognize, Repent, Replace, and Rally together. You are welcome in our midst.
5) Rejoice – “For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 1:6) Lastly, rejoice. Today, right now, humble yourself like a child, like my son there in the picture, and cry out, “Holy God, thank You for continuing to transform me into the image of your Son. I praise You because You aren’t finished with me yet! I praise You because You faithfully teach moms to stand firm in righteousness, even when it’s hard. And when we have done everything in our ability to stand… you help us to keep standing! Thank you, Lord! -Amen.”