Sharp, cutting words fly out of my mouth and trying to capture them is like trying to capture dandelion seeds. Impossible. The angry words are like dandelion seeds--you never really know where they are going to land and grow a weed in someone's hearts.
Our oldest girl, when she was but a wee little thing, was given a puff of dandelion seeds on a stem by her Grandpa, with the encouragement to blow them into the breeze. Instead of enthusiastically blowing with all her might, she tentatively reached for the stem and responded thoughtfully with this:'but, Grandpa, I don't want to destroy it!'. Such vocabulary for such a young one. And much God has taught me through the raising of this one.
Anger can grip me with such force as to take my breath away and before I am aware, the anger comes spilling forth with seeds being scattered in hearts and minds. Anger can manifest itself in not only my words, but my tone of voice, and my body language. It's not just the words that hurt, it's the execution of them that slices open the heart.
'Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted,' Galatians 6:1. Could gentleness be the antidote to anger? As a parent, I am fully aware of my own sinful nature, but my kids have a sinful nature that they are in battle with as well. And as the grown up (I think I'm grown up, but so often I pinch myself--it's really not a dream!), it is up to me to train and teach them God's ways. How often do I respond angrily at their sin? How often do I treat their disobedience with impatience and anger?
This verse comes with instruction as well as a caution. First, I need to restore gently. When one of my dear ones sins, my response needs to be done in gentleness. Gentle. Gentle. I do forget to be gentle and will respond without even thinking about what is coming out of my mouth! However, this verse clearly states that it is my responsibility to restore them gently with the awareness of the temptation to do otherwise. Be aware. Be gentle.
Mothering has got to be one of the hardest jobs we women undertake and when we forget the larger picture we can begin responding poorly to our children. 'Let your gentleness be evident to all,' Phil 4:5. Gentleness. Let's blow gentleness into the hearts and minds of those precious gifts placed in our care.
Blessings upon your heart,