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Monday, March 11, 2013

Fallout and Recovery

Photo from Sound Doctrine Ministries

March 11, 2013

The fallout of my battle with anger is obvious. Immediately, it leaves a path of destruction and tears. In the long term it has left something more harmful.

I have children who look to me (and my husband) to see how they should behave. And I have not been a good example!

How can I tell my daughter not to act out physically when she’s upset? How can I tell my son not to yell and boss everyone about when he’s upset? How can I tell my toddler not to throw a hissy-fit when she doesn’t get her own way?

THE ANSWER IS I CAN’T! I’m a hypocrite and they know it. Do As I Say And Not As I Do has never worked in the history of mankind. I now have three little mirror images of Mommy and it ain’t pretty.

The other day I was correcting my son for pointing out a flaw in my daughter’s character. A sin really. I called him to the kitchen and quoted Matthew 7:3 :

And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?”

Now that was a real pot calling the kettle black moment. He was trying to chastise her for something he does quite regularly. But I realized so was I. Here I was trying to tell my children that anger is a sin and they needed to weed it out. But I wasn’t following my own advice. Instead I was justifying it. ‘If they would only listen’, ‘If I didn’t have to repeat myself’, ‘If they would…..’ The excuses just went on and on.

For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.” – James 1:20

How could I expect the righteous of God to fill my children’s lives when the wrath of Mommy kept exploding on the scene?

So what to do with myself and my mini-mes? I knew from working through the Mommy Anger Management booklet what my physical manifestations were, but were they the same for my children? Yep! I see the fists clenching. I hear the teeth gritting and the deep breath in through the nose. And I recognize them all too well.

Now that I know they have the same manifestations, how do I help them get rid of them? As I work at undoing all the physical manifestations of my anger I feel able to undo all theirs. Now every time I see a fist clench, I open it. Every time I hear teeth gritting, I kiss their little face. Each time they hold their breath or start taking deep breaths through the nose, I tickle them.

To be perfectly honest, maybe not each and every time. After all, I am still working out my own issues. But I can tell you one thing, since actively working to diffuse the situation instead of participating in its escalation; our days have been ones of relative peace and joy.

Do we have a long road ahead? You betcha! Every day I see progress; but, I see setbacks too. It’s like doing the two-step (you know, two steps forward – one step back). It’s slow going but by God’s grace we will get there. And when we do I believe not only will I have the hearts of my children again, but so will God.

“And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” -  Ephesians 6:4

That goes for Moms too.


  1. Carry on bravely! Youre a mom with a mission; dont be discouraged! His mercies are new every morning! Blessings

    1. Thanks Dana, words of encouragement are like healing balms when you feel you're all alone in the battle to overcome.