The other week, Pastor was preaching out of James 4. Verse 1 says; "Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members?" If you look at the conflicts that arise in our daily living, it is usually because we, or someone else, is being selfish. When our Pastor applied this to parenting he said that whenever we get frustrated with our kids it is because we are in the flesh (being selfish). I can see how this is true. I did a little test and SURE ENOUGH....whenever I felt my anger rising at the kids, I have stopped and said to myself, "how am I being selfish right now?" And the answer is usually something like this:
*I do not want to be bothered right now, I want to do my own thing and not have to help my child
*I care about myself and what I am doing more than I care about my child right now
*I cannot even take the time to explain something to my child right now, because I am lazy and want my child to just quietly and perfectly go about his/or her duties
It sounds pretty bad to say it that way, but really when it comes down to it, every single time I get frustrated with my kids, I am being selfish. Even in a scenario when they are dead wrong- my job here is to nurture them, & take time to teach them.
Let me just tell you that this road of learning is a LONG one, and right now I feel like I have just started on this road, because the problem is identified....now what do I do with it?!?!?!
At least now that I can see the problem clearly, each time this happens, I can catch myself and know that the frustration is rising....and hopefully I can decide the right choice- which may be....
**to take the extra time to deal with a discipline problem- take time to talk and pray with my child.Take the opportunity to love and nurture and teach them about God and His lOVE, instead of just snapping their head off and going on to my more important matter (what is more important??).
**put away my personal desires to give attention to my child- this is sometimes hard but rewarding...I find that my day is much happier (even for me) when I put others first.
Slowly, slowly, I can see that true happiness and joy comes when we are trying to live for God and others and not ourselves. It sounds backwards- but it really works...God is wise!
Strangely enough, when I do get my priorities right and give to others, it seems God gives the gift of time and energy to do things we want. Some of my best painting has been done when I have used my daily energy for others. What a gift.
Good thing we have God to help us. It is hard to live for others before self! Does anyone else have this problem, or am I the only wicked one?!?!?!?! :)