I was going to write this morning about how I’d accomplished some my weekly goals, but then I read a comment left on my blog yesterday.
It was written by a mom who was really beating herself up about not being able to control her anger when correcting her children. I’ve been where she is and because this isn’t the first time I’ve gotten an email along these lines I want to share my story and provide a little bit of insight and hope about what comes after the guilt trip.
For those of you who have completed my devotional or are working your way through it, know that it took me three years to stop being a woman who loses her temper with her kids.
That’s roughly 1,000 days and nights of losing the battle, then getting a victory, and losing the battle yet again.
Many of those days I’d beat myself up about my failure as a mom and wife. It was so bad that I’d considered taking a handful of pills or just running away.
The grief was so deep because the look on my kids faces when I’d go bizerk was too much to bare. What I didn’t know at the time and what you probably don’t know is that grief and overwhelming sense of failure is necessary. That remorse is a sign that you haven’t become callous to the affect your behavior is having on your family nor have you accepted this as normal.
Let me share a quick story with you that came to my mind when I though about us women. It’s from Matthew 27:1-5.
When the morning was come, all the chief priests and elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put him to death: And when they had bound him, they led him away, and delivered him to Pontius Pilate the governor.
Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood.
And they said, What is that to us? see thou to that. And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself.
Here are some similarities I see between us and Judas.
1. He did something awful.
2. He repented.
3. He tried to make it right.
4. He ran away and killed himself.
I want the similarities between you and Judas to stop at number three. I want you to realize what you’re doing isn’t good for your family.
I want you to apologize to who you’ve wronged whether your husband or children and explain to them in an age appropriate way that mommy is trying to be more Christ-like, but struggles with getting angry. Explain to them, that it’s not their fault. It’s yours and your working on it.
Once you’ve done that with a sincere heart you have to allow our family the room to demonstrate their faith. We are raising our kids to be believers and part of that is demonstrating forgiveness and grace. Engaging them in dialogue gives them an opportunity to do that.
God doesn’t want us to be so overwhelmed with condemnation for our action that we make a terrible decision. Judas decided to end his life as a result of what he did, but I believe God wants us to fight to live holy and accept his forgiveness and grace.
God said, “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” Romans 8:1
And also promised that if we allow it, He will change our spirit, and set us free from this behavior.
“For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh”. Romans 8:2-3
We cannot fight this battle in our own power alone. This is spiritual warfare, which is why there are so many prayer prompts in my book. When the devil has a foothold into our parenting style, he doesn’t relinquish it easily.
Your children’s souls are at stake and the Devil knows it. If he can use us to destroy the hope of our children, he knows it’s hard to restore that without the intervention of Jesus Christ our Savior.
It’s hard for us to restore, but nothing is impossible with God. Luke 1:37