I wanted to share this email I got from an email devotion I subscribe to. I am taking the 5 Day Pause Before You Pounce challenge and today is day one. I challenge you to come along with me and let’s help each other out to be the best women we can be!.
“Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger.”
Ephesians 4:26 (ESV)””
*please note the article below is not written by my. It is by Karen Ehman*
“I wrestled with several grocery bags as my purse swung wildly from my shoulder. I was trying desperately to free up a hand to open the back door that leads from our garage into our kitchen. Tired from a long day of errands and appointments, I just wanted to get into the house, get the groceries all put away and then collapse on the couch in a heap of exhaustion.
As I fumbled with my keys and stepped up onto the landing that leads into the kitchen, I nearly tripped and broke my neck. I also broke out into a horrible rant as I saw the reason for my near trip and fall.
“Kenna! Mitchell! Spencer! You kids get out here RIGHT NOW and take care of these shoes and boots. I am sick and tired of how you all just toss your shoes here with absolutely NO REGARD for what I’ve told you. You know your shoes go on the rug. I don’t want to EVER see this junk laying here again. You hear me?! You are all so lazy! Now I said get out here…… RIGHT NOW!!!”
My kids heard me alright. So did half the neighborhood.
I have a major pet peeve about the shoes, sports cleats, boots, and flip flops that collect in our garage. First, I’d prefer that each family member only have a pair or two there. (That day there were about nineteen and only four were from my husband and me. The other fifteen or so were from our three darlings. Yes. Crunch the numbers. That’s FIVE pair each!)
I also prefer that they be lined up neatly in a row on the lovely industrial rug that is strategically placed just to the right of the landing for my clan’s convenience. I’ve even timed out how much longer it takes to actually place said pairs of shoes neatly on the rug instead of just kicking them off haphazardly. Just three seconds!
But my kids just couldn’t seem to get with the program and so? It made me get angry.
Later, after the shoes were straightened and some even put away in the house, I felt God tap me on the heart prompting me to apologize to my kids. I fought with Him for a while, arguing that the kids were the ones who should be apologizing to me for not doing as they’d been asked.
It was then that I felt God clearly say, “Mind your own sin, mom.”
Ouch! Yes, my kids disregarding an instruction isn’t right. Children should obey their parents. (Ephesians 6:1) But, when they don’t? Well, I couldn’t recall a single verse that then grants parents the right to holler and scream.
I did apologize to my kids that night before they went to bed. I asked them to forgive me for my angry mama mouth. Then together we strategized about how we could remedy the whole footwear fiasco in our garage.
We compromised. I didn’t get my entire desired neat-as-a-pin plan but rather a modified version. And it is working out much better even several years later. As a result, my poor kids aren’t badgered about their shoes anymore. My vocal chords aren’t so sore and the neighbors can now weed their gardens in peace without earplugs in.
Do you too struggle in this area? When you can’t always control the look of the house (or the garage!) do you also seem to be unable to control your tongue and your temper?
It is never too late to mind your own sin. To say, “I’m sorry for my mama mouth. Will you forgive me?” And then to work together with your kids and hubby to come up with solutions that will help prevent such outbursts in the first place. Like declaring that the whole family goes barefoot from now on!
The Questions: What Do You Think?
Think through the times that you let loose of your anger verbally, unloading on your family. Is there any sort of pattern to why or when it happens? What could you and your family members do differently next time to try to avoid mom turning into a maniac?
The Challenge: What Will You Do?
Print off this challenge and cut out the Bible verse below. Post it in a prominent place where you will see it often like on the bathroom mirror, vehicle dashboard or at the kitchen sink. Make it your goal to memorize this verse during the course of the five days of this challenge. Then, when you are tempted to pounce….pause and recite the verse to yourself. And then? Don’t let your anger make you sin. Make you instruct? Yes. Explain? Sure. Correct and direct? Yes ma’am.
But not sin.
Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger.”
Ephesians 4:26 (ESV)””
My favorite part of this is the “mind your own sin, mama” sentence! We will all experience anger in our lives. Especially with kids….its just going to happen. But we have to learn to not let our anger cause us to sin. This is a hard challenge for me. With little sleep having a newborn in the house and 2 toddlers full of energy, I find myself doing the same things the Karen has experienced. Day one challenge – MIND MY OWN SIN!