Here is my 2nd post following The Gentleness Challenge, over at Women Living Well. I hope you all had a good weekend and are ready for the new week!
This week is about getting in the habit of not raising our voices. I find this really hard, especially since it’s just plain noisy in my house! (Just now, I was interrupted by my 2 year-old running in yelling, “Mommy, Mommy! I spilled my juice!”)
Like most habits (both bad and good), I find that once I start something it becomes easier and easier to do. For instance, if I raise my voice once at the kids, I notice that I’m more likely to raise my voice more often, even over issues that aren’t really all that important. Snowball effect.
A verse that I need to keep reminding myself of is Proverbs 15:1
A soft answer turns away wrath,
But a harsh word stirs up anger.
If you read on a bit farther, we’re given a warning.
A wholesome tongue is a tree of life,
But perverseness in it breaks the spirit.
The last thing I want to do is break my children’s spirit! And each biting word that I allow out of my mouth is like chiseling away at their spirit. Eventually, it will break.
We also need to realize that talking harshly to our children is a sin. Ephesians 6:4 tells us:
And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.
So raising our voices in anger at our children will stir up anger, and we’re clearly instructed not to provoke our children to anger. We are also instructed to bring them up in the training of the Lord. We need to model it to them, and what better place to start than the fruits of the Spirit, found in Galatians 5:
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
Now, this isn’t to say that we need to go out of our way to never make our children mad at us. We need to correct and discipline our children and they will likely get angry when they don’t get their own way. But discipline is done in love, with our childrens’ best interest in mind. Raising our voices in anger or frustration isn’t; it’s lack of our own self-control.
Will all of this in mind, we come to this week’s challenge.
When we feel like yelling, stop, take a few breaths, then whisper instead.
I have a feeling I’ll have the opportunity to start practicing this one very soon!
If you’re joining me in the Gentleness Challenge, please let me know in the comments. If you missed my first post in the challenge, you can find it here.
I hope you have a great week!
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.