Monday, June 18, 2012

Fail Safe

Ephesians 6:1-4 (NKJV)

Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother,” which is the first commandment with promise: “that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.” And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.

James 3:2-3,6,10,17-18 (NKJV)

For we all stumble in many things. If anyone does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle the whole body. Indeed, we put bits in horses’ mouths that they may obey us, and we turn their whole body.

And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell.

Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so.

But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.

***

My children provoked me to wrath this morning. Becoming a parent means you will do and say things you never thought possible. For better, for worse. Children teach you both about utter unconditional love and utter frustration.

I tell my students at school that I have a jar of patience. I let them know when it is close to being empty to help them know when they have worn me thin. We are all human after all. I tell them my jar of patience can be filled by their choices and I could use their help with that. I also inform them that my jar of patience refills over night.

Today I woke up and my jar of patience was empty. Whining and tantrums had filled my night. Oh, and feeding Addisyn, but that didn't empty my jar as much as the sleeplessness caused by the former.

My alarm clock this morning was more fits of screams from Rylyn. I don't whether this is symptomatic of her eating gluten or toddlerdom or both. I guess I will find out in a couple of weeks. I do know, after a week full of episodes like this, and a full night of being patient, I had no more patience for screaming or tantrums.

I plopped Rylyn down at the table to eat breakfast, gave a consequence on which I would not be able to follow through, and attempted to work through my frustration by failing to accomplish morning routines more quickly than usual. Chris brought Addisyn down and left with a kiss and the reminder to call if I needed him today.

I sat on the couch and thought, "What I am doing?" I needed to refill my jar. I prayed. I repented. I read the words from the Bible I posted above. I apologized to my children for not being the role model I should have been this morning.

One of the wisest things I have read was said by a God-loving man named Oswald Chambers: "Never let the sense of failure corrupt your new action." God's grace covers our failures so we can move on. Today, I filled my jar of patience by remembering this. Through His grace I bridled my tongue and actions and made peace with God, myself and my children. If by God's grace, we do not let the sense of failure corrupt our new action, then we have not failed at all. I would call that success, my friends.

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