Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Stumbling on Gentleness

I stumbled upon an amazing site that inspired me to spend more time with my children learning about God. This site appealed to me because it had very easy directions, the activities were engaging and always included an educational element.  What more could a Christian mom want?

Anyway, the site, Impress Your Kids, has activities that teach your child scripture and learn basic literacy skills at the same time.  I was excited to start this with my children.  I got all the materials ready and laid everything out.  I clicked on the first verse and found God speaking to me through a megaphone. 

"A gentle answer turns away anger." Proverbs 15:1. 

I have always struggled with anger.  My anger shows itself in yelling, name calling, and criticisms.  There are days where I feel sorry for the mess I put my children through.  I find most days I am squeezing my anger so tight so I won't "lose it".  The worst days are when I lose it and blame my kids, "if you had listened, mommy would not have to yell".  This is where I fail as a mother.  I allow my frustrations to get the best of me.  I excused my anger by telling myself that I was frustrated, tired and fed up.  So you can understand that when I stumbled on our very first verse and it is about gentleness I was convicted.

As we went on exploring this activity I had to demonstrate what a gentle answer was, apologize for my behavior and do a lot of reassuring.  I realized that through my constant reminders about what my son isn't doing right he got the idea that he "wasn't a good boy".  Our hearts lay broken side by side.  He cried and explained that he felt he "ruined everything" and he "couldn't stop doing bad stuff".  My mind searched for comforting words and I fell upon my own weaknesses.  I asked him if he thought I was a good mother.  His eyes lit up and he said yes.  I asked him if I did wrong things.  Then I said yes.  I explained that doing wrong things doesn't make me bad it just means I need God's help.   We talked about how remembering this verse could remind us that we need God's help.  

I did not expect this 'kid's stuff' to penetrate my heart.  I did not expect that by teaching my children the truth about God that conviction and repentance were going to follow.  I thank God that he can teach me to see his love through the eyes of my child.

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Kim Hyland said...

Thank you for your humility, Myrtle. I relate to your struggle with impatience and anger. God is so good to teach us through our children. This is a post that reflects what He is teaching me about my emotions. I hope it might encourage you:
Glad to have found you!

Misty said...

oh myrtle!!! yet again, i relate to what youve written here. anger is my weak link as well. like, really really really my issue. my hang up. my failure. and yet.
Gods grace.
we are still being perfected this side of heaven.
i love that he showed you thru the child's lesson exactly the truth he wanted you to hear... and that i'm sure it made a much bigger impact on your son!
oh, the tears you must've cried at his words, but oh the grace, b/cs he still thinks you are the best mama. i love that. love it. God is good to us.

oh amanda {impress your kids} said...

What a beautiful post! That one conversation spoke volumes to your son! Awesome.