I speak soft answers
that turn away wrath,
not grievous words that stir up anger.
Much like I laughed on Friday when I mentioned that my throat was sore and my son immediately responded, "Well, it's not my fault you've been yelling at me so much!"
Definitely not your fault, Buddy, but you might have had something to do with it! And "so much" is an exaggeration.
Clearly, I haven't been my usual calm and serene self of late. (Cough, choke!)
I thought I was a really patient person before I had kids. I've found this to be a common theme among parents. Nothing can put patience to the test quite like Junior.
Most often I find that my anger comes from the sense of not being in control. The thing that makes it tricky is that most of what I want to control is really good stuff: Being on time. Finishing school in a reasonable amount of time. No fighting. Keeping mud on the doormat. Getting the kids in bed before the evening is all gone. It's not like I want to control the universe. Okay, I do want to control my universe. Is that such a bad thing?
"Let love be your highest goal!"
So there you have it. My motives are out of whack. When I'm angry love is not my highest goal. All these things are worth aiming for but without love as the driving force, they're lacking. I like the way the Amplified Bible renders this as "God's love in us." I sure don't have it and can't always conjure it up on my own. Love is the fruit of His Spirit working in us.
Once again, I'm helpless, leaning into Him to receive all that I need...so I can give what I do not have.
I have to say that starting the day aware of the need for love as a goal made us alert to the "grievous words" that have been stirring up anger. Thanks, little one, for the reminder.
Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters:
You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to get angry.
Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires.
Not in me. Not in my kids.
Proverbs 15:1; 1 Corinthians 14:1; James 1:19-20