In the interest of maintaining my conviction to be transparent, I’m about to spill my guts to you. Some of you may judge me, but hopefully you’ll pray for me.
Last week I was the angriest person I have ever met.
I said,… no, I screamed awful things to my children. I let them think I was going to hurt them at times. I snapped empty threats, and gave into ridiculous rage through my words. I felt the pulse of my blood pushing me to be physical. This happened over and over in response to every little thing because I could not control them.
I could not make them obey.
It finally culminated in me physically, and roughly, picking up my middle child, the one that is the most matched to me in personality, the one that is like my reflection when he bucks me, and tossing him into his bedroom. This happened mainly because he is just as stubborn and disobedient as I am, and I was giving him plenty of an example to continue down that path. I walked away for a few after that, desperately grasping for self control again. I had broken the boundaries of verbal abuse. I needed to step away before I broke the physical ones.
I’ve always struggled with my temper. From the very beginning. I could site a million reasons that go deep into my family history about why I think this is so. I could blame my middle aged hormones. The fact remains though, that I am an adult and it’s my sin. I am aware of it, and it’s my job to get it under control. For many years I did have it under control. I was absolutely determined to have better social skills than the ones I had seen throughout my life. That all changed with children. Kids know a sham when they see one.
I remember being told once in my twenties, by someone attempting to give me career advice, that I was to appear as a duck, moving swiftly across a pond when I was in turmoil. Calm and collected, yet paddling furiously underneath the surface where no one else could see it. That made sense to me at the time. It correlated with much of what I saw as a child, and the person who shared the advice with me seemed to be successful so I mastered it. I put on one face in front of people, but my real face stayed hidden. As it turns out, this did not serve me well at all. I believe it may have compounded my fury, because I never dealt with my true heart issues. I just buried them.
Now, my duck is being be capsized.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life,and the life was the light of men.
The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
John 1: 1-5
The “light that shines in the darkness” has been in me since I was a little girl. I’ve kept it buried on this issue though, thinking I was the one that could control it. This light does overcome though, no matter how deep you bury things, and right now I am squinting with the pain of bright light that has suddenly blitzed the dark space in my heart. It’s not an easy thing to face, but I have to let Him be the one to change it. If I don’t let Him change it,… if I continue to bury it or try to control it alone, then I condemn one more generation to this sin. My sin compounded with theirs is not something I want to see my grandchildren take on. He’s already taken on my sin and forgiven it, but it’s a constant struggle to let Him sanctify me in this area.
Just as I can not make my children obey, God does not make me obey. This is a heart matter. He’s teaching me to change my heart. I have to want to obey Him. It has to come from my heart, not from my fear of punishment. My children must learn obedience through love, not fear. Just like I have learned to cast my fear upon Him, learning to cast my anger is no different,…It’s just one more burden I learn to cast, along with my ridiculous expectations of perfect obedience from my children. I can’t have perfect obedience without Perfect Love. I can’t give perfect obedience with out Perfect Love. And I’m thankful, that even when my obedience isn’t perfect, Perfect Love is.