After studying the Word for awhile, I went to go start a project, but my soul was still unsettled and thirsting for God. I know why. I have been doing my bible study in the morning, but I have been checking it off my list, just getting something else done. I know I will be called upon to share in class, and I want to have "good answers". So instead of meditating on truth, I have been glossing over it.
And I was wondering why I have been struggling with the children. (!) We are in a time of heavy training right now. It is exhausting. Here is how a typical conversation will go lately:
"I want juice."
"That is not how you ask. And if you want juice, you need to get your cup out of your room and bring it to me".
"But noooooo. There is sumpin' makin' noise under my bed."
"Turn the light on. Go get your cup."
"Nooooo. I want yooooou to."
My face is turning redder at this point. I notice my fists are clenched and my heart is getting harder.
"Go get your cup now."
"Then get in your room. You will be getting disciplined!"
Bah. See where I have been going wrong? I am training a two year old and a three year old. This is their sin nature. Why have I been surprised or frustrated? This is what is to be expected. I have been forgetting that the children are two and I am 27. They are born this way, and God has put me at home with them to train them up in the way that they should go. Here is how it should go:
"I want juice."
"Please go get your cup, then you may come back and ask again, politely."
"Then please go to your room. I will be there in a moment to discipline you".
When I am training properly, there is no room for arguing. When was the last time you argued with a three year old? It is the definition of insanity- I keep talking, expecting a different response. There can be none! He is three, silly girl! When I am faithful to train correctly, the children learn lessons much faster. They are more obedient. They take initiative to bring cups and ask politely because they know that this is what is expected of them. When I am lazy and wrongly believe that I can keep sitting there and folding laundry, and my *words of wisdom* will sink in to a three-year-old's brain, I am the definition of a fool. And my foolishness has been feeding my frustration. Resolved: that, by God's grace, mercy, and wisdom, today will be different. I will be obedient to the call to train my children rightly. I have been stepping off the path, and I have been reaping what I have sown.
The sermon I was able to listen to this morning was called "Slow Down and Show Grace", by Francis Chan. Here is the verse that taught me:
My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires. - James 1:19
So, instead of getting angry or frustrated with the kids (this obviously in practice and in truth does not bring about righteousness for me or the children), I can remember God's Word that tells me to be slow to become angry. I can obey God and first train my children instead of yelling at them or talking at them. As I obey God, I am being trained to teach the right kind of obedience to Jackson and Rebecca.