This week we hit the halfway mark with Warrior Prayers. We also began praying the fruits of the spirit. And I got totally nailed by my 6 year old for my attitude, and blew it in my response.

We were a tad bit stressed out on Father’s Day last week – we had just attended 2 services, and rushed home to finish decorating cupcakes, eat lunch and do family devos before rushing out the door again for a 1 3/4 hour drive to my sister-in-law’s to celebrate a bunch of family birthdays.

I had hollered at one of the kids about something they did, and Big Boy said to me “Mom, you forgot to remember Proverbs 12:18!” (A harsh word is like a sword thrust; but the tongue of the wise brings healing.) 

And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, ~ 2 Timothy 2:24

This boy has great potential as a teacher. He already has the kindness and gentleness (when he wants to), patience is a work in progress. 

I thanked him for the reminder, told him he was right, and apologized for my harsh words. 

Not 10 minutes later, I was still agitated, under pressure, and I snapped at my hubby. Big Boy, with a smirk on his face and pride in his voice said (if you can imagine the tone of voice), “Moooo–ommm, you forgot PROVERBS 12:18 AGAIN!!”

“…correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth,” ~ 2 Timothy 2:25

Well, that was too much for this momma to take. I hollered at him and sent him up to his room. Thankfully, my husband intervened, because I was totally just reacting to the truth of God’s word that he NAILED me with! Talk about feeling guilty! It was actually a combo – the truth of the word, but the word wasn’t spoken in love (which bothered me).

Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person. ~ Colossians 4:6

It took me a bit of time – I was so wrapped up in myself and the stress I was feeling that I stomped all over everyone else and shot down my son who was using God’s word to challenge me. I felt like a heel. My hubby gently pulled Big Boy aside and explained to him that he was really proud of him for using God’s word correctly – but sometimes we really need to make sure that what we are saying is being said in love.

…and have tasted the goodness of the word of God…. ~ Hebrews 6:5

He followed me up to my room and made the attempt again to appeal to me. I am sad to say I wasn’t ready to listen – I had dug my hole too deep to get out of that quickly – stubborn old me. I needed some time. Some space. But what I should have done was heard his heart in the first place and heeded the initial gentle rebuke.

God uses his word to influence and change us in ways we would never expect. I was shocked to hear him say what he did. Shocked and convicted. Which is why I reacted. But I shouldn’t have! I missed an opportunity to encourage and build him up.

However, God gave me a second chance. I was able to make things right with him and to encourage him to continue using God’s word, in love, to teach and encourage others.

Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. ~Ephesians 4:32

I’m definitely not perfect, and I am reminded of that every day by my children :D But how am I GROWING out of those im-perfect moments? Are my typical responses becoming less typical? Am I responding more in love, kindness, patience, gentleness? Am I seeking forgiveness and right relationship when I mess it up with my kids? WHAT KIND OF EXAMPLE AM I?

But this I call to mind, and therefore have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion”, says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.” ~ Lamentations 3:21-24

What kind of example are you? How are you learning? Growing? Teaching your children?

May my men have wisdom from above that is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. (James 3:17)

Photo courtesy of  shelley k photography