We’ve been struggling with bad attitudes lately, and this morning was no different.
Just the other day I texted my husband in frustration, complaining about the way the kids have been talking. Seems like most of their responses have been riddled with sass and sarcasm and impatience.
I know there is something behind the bad attitudes and the tones of their voices are displaying something deeper. So I, of course, lamented to him how we need to be praying and “figure something out” because this is a heart issue that will only grow.
Funny how not just once, but on multiple occasions since texting my husband, God has stopped me dead in my tracks while I’m reacting to the kids, opening my eyes to see beyond the situation.
Their behavior may have been disobedient or foolish and sometimes just childish, but what God stopped me to see was my own impatience, annoyance, and sassiness spilling out with glaring ugliness!
I shouldn’t have been surprised when later that day, God led me to Proverbs 29:11 —
“A fool is quick-tempered, but a wise person stays calm when insulted” (NLT).
Ugh. That was me — quick-tempered.
The responses I so hated seeing in my kids were simply a reflection of me.
I have been the fool who “shows their annoyance at once” (NIV). I allowed the weeds of selfishness, pride, and impatience to grow into a full-grown garden of annoyance, choking out the joy and life I have been given!
If I want my kids to speak words that build others up and benefit those who are listening (Ephesians 4:29), I first need to model speaking words of life.
This means that I need to first examine my own heart, for it is out of the overflow of my heart that my mouth speaks! (Luke 6:45)
Have you ever experienced times in your own life when you are modeling the exact behavior you don’t want to see in your kids?
If you can relate or are struggling with short-tempered words or a complaining spirit, may I encourage you to take time today to examine your heart before the Lord?
Grab a journal and your Bible and find a quiet place — even if that means sitting in your closet or locking yourself in the bathroom!
Start by praying:
Admit to God how you’re feeling. Be real! Let your emotions out. If you’re frustrated or angry or feel defeated or overwhelmed. Use this time to open up your heart and be real with God. He can handle it!
If you’re having trouble getting started, tell God your answer to this simple question: How are you really doing?
Ask God to start showing you what the roots of some of those feelings are. What is causing them? Is it sin? Is there anything you need to ask God’s forgiveness for? Is it physical? Do you need more rest? Do you need to create more margin in your life?
Spend some time listening. Ask God to speak to you and just get quiet before Him. Wait and listen. Then spend some time in His Word. The Bible is God’s Truth, and He speaks to us through His Word. A great place to start, when trying to get to heart issues is Ephesians 4:20-5:2, Luke 6:27-49, or Romans 8.
What is God calling you to do as a result of your time with Him?
Write down what God is impressing on your heart and what He is calling you to do. Then respond in obedience. What is His Word saying? Are there things you need to confess to Him or for which you need to ask forgiveness of others? Is there something you need to do? How can you obey what His Word says?
Giving in to our emotions is easy; living by the Spirit can be hard, but we can do hard things, because the Spirit of God helps us in our weakness! May our hearts cry out to God all throughout the day and may we depend fully on Him!
I am praying for you, Friend. Through Christ, we can do all things — even conquering those bad attitudes!
Question for You:
How is God speaking to you? After spending some time with God, come back here and share one thing God put on your heart or one action point He is leading you to take.
After commenting, take a minute to pray for the person who commented above you. We need each other on this journey!
Resources for You:
Good and Angry: Exchanging Frustration for Character in You and Your Kids! by Scott Turansky and JoAnn Miller
Unglued: Making Wise Choices in the Midst of Raw Emotions by Lysa TerKeurst