This verse literally saved me. As a frustrated, stressed, tired and depressed single mum, I heard Bishop TD Jakes mention this verse during a sermon on Liberation. I knew instantly that this was the beginning of my road to anger recovery.I didn’t know why I was angry, but I knew that I was. My work, home life and self were affected. I felt frustrated and I didn’t know how to pull myself out of the pit I was in. This verse reminded me of God’s righteousness, especially as I was stopping it from manifesting itself in my life.
The Causes and Results of Anger Ephesians 6:4 (NIV) tells us to “...not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.” To do this I had to let myself be instructed by the Lord. I was trying to do things my way, thus creating more anger and exasperation. The worst thing that happened in all of this; my daughter started imitating me!Imitation is Not Always Flattery American author, James A. Baldwin, wrote that “children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them.” That’s exactly what was happening to me! I would tell my daughter “no” and she would get angry and scream at me. I eventually caught on that it was not her fault; it was mine. She was merely imitating me.
Be a Loving Example God’s loving kindness is what our children need to see. While that is sometimes difficult as a single mum, it is of utmost importance if we are to raise them well. Noting Baldwin’s quote above, wouldn’t it be wonderful if we, as adults and children of God, imitated His behaviours in addition to listening to Him! That, right there, is the key to preventing anger and exasperation in our children’s lives; imitating God and how He is with us.Preventing Discouragement Colossians 3:21 (NIV) tells what will happen if we exasperate our children; they will become discouraged. The worst thing that children need, especially in single parent homes, is discouragement. They are already dealing with enough as it is. They look to the one constant in their life – us – for support, encouragement, comfort and love. When they don’t get that, imagine how confusing it is for them!
God’s Remedy For Change Spending time in the Word and reading about how God deals with His children, especially looking at the Israelites and their journey through the wilderness; can really help to train us on how we are to be with our children. Also putting ourselves in our children’s shoes is beneficial. Imagine if God screamed and yelled at us every time we made a mistake!Using Your Voice Being aware of how you speak to your child is important too. They will not only match mood, words and behaviours, but also the tone of voice. “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” – Proverbs 15:1 (NIV) Stopping, breathing and praying are ways to combat angry outbursts and to speak calmly. Ask God for His help when you feel you’re at the end of your rope. He is the knot you can tie in it to stop you from falling.
Dear Lord, I pray that as single mums we can remember that we are to not exasperate our children. I pray that as we come to You for help, that we will be blessed by Your guidance and love so that we can in turn show that to our children. In Jesus’ Mighty Name, Amen