“The conversation was going fine – Why did I say that at the end?!”
“Why did I have to have the last word?!”
“Why didn’t I just listen?!”
None of these are my thoughts as the “unfortunate” words run out of my mouth. Instead, self-righteousness, self-justification, judgement or pride won the moment – sadly. It’s later on, when a little – or a lot – of time has passed, depending on how stubborn I’m feeling. Ugh, I really don’t want to share all this.
Saying SOMEthing may be the right thing to do. Sometimes saying NOthing demonstrates wisdom. Often, prayer – and lots of it – are ALL the words we’re supposed to say. BUT, saying the wrong thing or saying what doesn’t need to be said can wound, offend and often strain our relationship with our child.
So, knowing this, why do I continue to do this?
I’m tired physically … Always a sign that I should probably hold my tongue, get some rest, and anticipate a fresher perspective and disposition to follow.
I’m tired emotionally regarding a particular issue … Big red flag for “I haven’t been releasing my burdens, concerns, feelings to God to restore in His mercy, healing, and refreshing.”
I am discouraged. My eyes are on the circumstance, the person, the state of our relationship… Misplaced hope. I have hopes FOR my children, but my hope is to be IN God.
I’m distracted by a circumstance that has nothing to do with my children … My thoughts are turned inward rather than Upward so I react from the place of my thoughts.
Wouldn’t it be great if parenting was like making a movie? When we don’t like the way we acted in the scene, we can say “Take 2…Take 27…”
God has a better way. He provides “opportunities” for practice, inspiring guidance and boundless help. He wants us to learn about Him – His grace, His love, and His mercy. He wants us to learn about ourselves – humbled that we still behave like children and we need Him. He wants us to be inspired by His faithful love – to mirror the way He parents us as we parent our children.
“Be still, and know that I am God.” (Ps 46.10)
“Be still…” Still means calm, quiet. That’s HARD in the moment! God knows this. Stop for 30 seconds and don’t say a word; excuse yourself for 5 minutes; tell the child you’ll call her back in a little while – and invite God into the moment. Yes, He’s already there, but too often our behavior in the moment says “I’ve got this one God.”
“…know that I am God.” Believe this. Believe God. HE is God; we are not. We need to let go and let God. Our participation is prayer, for our child and for our self. Asking Him to hold our tongue and guide our words. Asking Him to change us and change our child.
“Be still, and know that I am God.”
Thank you, Father, for this challenging yet comforting word. Lead us to know you as our refuge and our strength.
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