Right now as I am writing this, there is a pile of stuffed animals on the floor of our toy room. By pile, I mean five square feet of stuff animals covering every inch of the carpet. Clutter and I don't get along well.
In the past, a pile of clutter like mentioned above would have sent me into a frenzy of frustration with my three little ones, followed by threats of giving away every single toy they own.
This week I am in the middle of a wonderful Bible study with Proverbs 31 Online Bible Studies with Melissa Taylor. We are reading the book, Let. It. Go by Karen Ehman.
The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish ones tears her down. Proverbs 14:1
God wants us to parent with grace.
Karen points out, "Learning to walk the fine line between being controlling and conscientious is a constant yet sanctifying struggle. It keeps you going to God for direction. It will find you asking for forgiveness for the times you blow it (there will be many). It will force you out of a stance of selfishness and into a posture of grace." (pg 124-125)
To parent with grace is not possible without yielding to the One who freely gives grace. Parenting with grace requires yielding to the Holy Spirit.
In the above scenario with the stuffed animals, I could let my sinful flesh control me and lose my temper with the kids. (It would not be the first time.) It is interesting how when we are letting our flesh control us that we desire more control over others. Perhaps it is because we feel out of control that we attempt to control our kids by losing our temper and yelling at them. However, when we react that way, it doesn't breathe life into our home. It destroys our homes.
Which woman will we choose to be? Will we choose to be the wise woman who builds her home with words of kindness, love and grace? Or will we choose to be the foolish woman who tears down her home with words of criticism, anger, and control.
Today I have a choice to make. Everyday I have a choice to make.
“For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. 6. For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. “ Romans 8:5-6
Jesus says in John 6:63, "It is the Spirit who gives life, the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit and they are life."
The Holy Spirit gives life and peace. Yielding to the Holy Spirit when you would rather yell will bring life. The words we speak are so important. They can bring life or death.
Words can build up or destroy a home. Words can bring death to relationships. Words can cut the self-worth of a child with wounds that may take years or a lifetime to heal without God's divine intervention.
Whether it is clutter, chaos, cleanliness, or compliance in our homes that causes us to seek control, we need let it go and to cling to Jesus. Nothing is worth the price of destroying our relationships with our children. Their little spirits need nurturing not knocked down by the piercing of our know-it-all intonation.
The Holy Spirit alone brings life. Only by His grace can we be the wise woman who builds up her home. His grace is sufficient. With all the grace He has given us, how could we not extend it to others, especially the precious ones He has entrusted in our care.
Which will it be, yield or yell? Today, I choose to yield.
Dear Father, I pray for your help. Help me to let go where I need to in my parenting. Help me to yield to Your Holy Spirit and not give into my sinful flesh. Father, help me to be loving and kind to my children and to remember they are only children. God, I need you. Help me to yield instead of yell. Give me wisdom to be the mother who builds up her home and her children. In Jesus' name, Amen.