Monday, February 22, 2010
Learning to Have Self-Control
This happened about 2 weeks ago.
Whew! What a tantrum I just experienced. God is so wonderful and faithful. I can see that in the pages of His word. His word is so true, living and active. (Hebrews 4:12)
My boys and I were at the store today getting a few office supplies and making some copies. We own a sit and stand stroller, and my older son decided that he was not going to sit the right way, and if you’ve seen or own a sit and stand stroller, they are not easy to push when you are hauling an 18 month old and a 5yr old at the same time as being pregnant and being only 5ft tall. So when the child sitting on the back of it is not sitting the right way or is wiggling as you are trying to push this stroller, it’s not an easy task.
Deuteronomy 6:6-7 (NASB) says: “These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up.”
I instructed him to sit the right way because it makes it difficult for mom to push the stroller. So the pouty face shows up as he is trying to obey. Once again, he decides to wiggle and sit on his knees, so I said: you need to sit the right way or you will have to walk. So, the pouty face shows up again and this time there is no movement, no obedience whatsoever. So he had to get off the stroller and walk like I said he would. So the tantrum begins. First, he tries to reason with me and promising me that he will sit the right way now. No, you disobeyed me the first time, now you have to walk. But mama (tears come out and the loud voice begins), I want to sit down, my feet are tired and so it goes on. I told him that he needed to gain self control and stop his whining and that his behavior was not acceptable or pleasing to the Lord. If you don’t stop your whining you will be disciplined when we get home. So the tantrum continued. He realized that people where listening and watching his disobedience and his tantrum. Proverbs says: “Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child; The rod of discipline will remove it far from him.”
Proverbs 29:15 says: “The rod and reproof give wisdom, But a child who gets his own way brings shame to his mother.”
You see, I could have lost my temper as people where watching the free show my son was putting on for them and the melodious background cry. But thankfully for my sake and my sanity, the Lord helped me through it. Proverbs says: “The heart of the righteous ponders how to answer, But the mouth of the wicked pours out evil.” I could have responded with anger and with a raised voice to my son. But what kind of example would I be to him if I would have done that? That would have made him respond even worse. Proverbs 15:1 says: “A gentle answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger.”
Ephesians 6:4 says: “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” His ways are better than my ways.
I was able to have self control with my voice and my attitude toward my son and was able to deal with the situation with gentleness, kindness and love. And boy was the reward great!
Galatians 6:1 says: “Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted.”
As we were walking through the isles and making our way to check out, my son said to me. Mom I have to tell you something. I am sorry for disobeying you and for not obeying the first time. Please forgive me!
This is the reward! To hear my son say those words and for him to realize that he had sinned, not only against me, but God, and that he was not going to let us leave the store without him saying what he had to say, because he was not comfortable with how he had behaved and he felt guilty.
It is so easy to give up and to throw in the towel. To get weary and discouraged because you are seeing no change with all you are trying to teach your children. And you say, ‘til when, ‘til when. When is my time going to come? When are my children finally going to get it?
Galatians 6:9 says: “ Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.”
Thank you Lord because your ways are higher than my ways. Your timing is better than mine.
~Karla V. Cox