Saturday, May 7, 2011

It Starts with Me

My 8yo is self-centered. . .

My 6yo is hyper-sensitive. . .

My 4yo is angry. . .

My 3yo is manipulative. . .

I am all these things.

I'm beginning to see that the first step in dealing with these sins in my children is to deal with them in my own heart first.

Like my 8yo, I cry and stomp my foot when things don't go my way.  I question when asked to do things I don't want to do.  I argue when I don't agree.
  • Oh, to be thankful in EVERY situation.  To smile always, even through tears, and give out-loud praise to God in every circumstance.
  • Oh, to do the hard work without asking anyone, "Why?"
  • Oh, to seek to agree - to humble myself, to get off my own platform, to release my own opinions.
Like my 6yo, the littlest things set me off.  I wound myself with every word, action and look that makes me uncomfortable.
  • Oh, to take criticism as Divinely directed help and let insults roll off my back.
  • Oh, to allow God to use others to guide and help me.
  • Oh, to see God in everyone's face.
Like my 4yo, I boil over - some days it takes almost nothing to set me off.  I shout and hurt myself and others with my actions and words.
  • Oh, to live a life of peace - always seeking to live in the peace of God - to live peace, react peace, be peace to others.
  • Oh, to shut my mouth, bite my tongue, choose quiet.
  • Oh, to still my body - to be still before God.

Like my 3yo, I take the easy route of manipulation to get what I want and need.  Rather than firmly communicating my needs and trusting God to provide, I nag and pout and bicker to get my needs met.  Rather than discipline and train my children, I bribe and threaten to get obedience, cooperation and respect.
  • Oh, to want less.
  • Oh, to correctly communicate my needs to others and trust them to God alone.
  • Oh, to choose the difficult path of consistent discipline and training that leads to life rather than the easy path of bribery and threats that leads to destruction
These things that my children struggle with will need correction and disicipline and teaching and training.  There are specific actions that need to take place to help my children deal with these sins and heart issues.  But the first and most important thing I can do for my kids is to work on my own heart and deal with these sins in my own life - to be an example of righteousness and show them what to do when they slip and fall in these areas.

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