Sunday, November 27, 2011

exasperated and convicted

Today, I must admit, has not been the easiest day for me to remember that I do it all for the glory of God.  I was awakened this morning to the sound of my children fighting.  Not just awakened but awakened from a wonderful dream that was nearing conclusion and once awake I couldn't remember what I had been dreaming.  So I woke up annoyed.  Annoyed with the fighting.  Annoyed that I couldn't have enjoyed just a few more minutes of a lovely dream. 

My attitude wasn't really improving.  I just bought new coffee.  Yesterday morning I realized that I had accidentally bought decaf instead of regular.  I took it back and exchanged it.  I made this new coffee this morning only to realize it was HORRIBLE.  I took 3 drinks and finally poured out the pot and scrounged around to find the last touch of my emergency stash in the cupboard.  Wasting coffee gets under my skin.  So I was still annoyed.

After breakfast my boys started rough housing.  I told them to stop.  They didn't.  I informed them that I was going to not hear any complaints if someone got hurt because they choose to keep rough housing.  They did fine for a while.  But after a bit the youngest kept getting hurt and I put the kabash on wrestling for the morning. 

I decided I was going to take a shower.  I had no sooner closed the door than I heard arguing and screaming again.  I flew out of the bathroom, removed my exercise ball (the reason for the feud), and yelled at my kids.  I tried again.  I got into the bathroom and as I'm prepping for the shower, my middle child just barges right in, no knocking, because he needed to go potty.  I finally exploded! I got him out, got decent and then completely lost my temper with my kids.  It wasn't pretty.

I finally got my bathroom lock to work and got into my shower.  I was still fuming in my shower.  And that seems to be when God likes to talk to me.  Maybe it is because I can't go anywhere and I because of that, I tend to stay more focused.  Whatever the reason, I suddenly had scripture running through my mind.  Ephesians 6:4 "Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord."

I chuckled.  God, would it have been too much trouble to add "children don't exasperate your parents"?  I mean really, I was very exasperated with my children today!  But He doesn't.  He commands children to obey and parents to teach, discipline and not exasperate.  I was seriously not training and instructing my kids in the way of the Lord today.  I was training them, training them to think that yelling is an acceptable form of communications.  I was teaching them that I am above the rules, that I think it is ok if I break the no yelling rule.  I was instructing them that I what I was frustrated about was more important than teaching them how to handle conflict.

But wouldn't have been nice if He would have added the children don't exasperate part too?  Then as parents we would have another thing to throw back at our kids  :-).   Don't make me angry, God said so.  Another way to not take responsibility for our own actions.  Fellow church kids, how often did you hear the "children obey your parents" line when your parents didn't know what else to say?  It always felt like to me is was a way to force me and my brother to obey.  Well, you know, God said you have to obey.  It doesn't matter if we are totally in left field, you have to obey us.  And God's the boss, so nanny nanny boo boo you have to listen.

I want to be the parent who my children obey me in the Lord.  I want to be the parent who instructs and trains my children in the way of the Lord.  I don't want obedience for obedience sake.  I want obedience for honor's sake.  I want to live a life that calls for respect and honor.  I want my kids to know God, not just to know rules.  I want to be the parent who doesn't exasperate my children.

Needless to say, I got out of the shower feeling convicted.  I came out and apologized to my kids that I had broken the no yelling rule and spent my morning yelling at them.  I'm just as human as the next guy, sometimes I lose my temper.  Sometimes I don't glorify God with the way I treat others, specifically my family.  And when that happens, I will be returning to the throne of my Father asking him to forgive me and to give me grace to live a life worthy of the calling.

No comments: