"Get away from me daddy!"
"Leave me alone!"
"Go away daddy!"
These are words that have recently come out of both of my kids' mouths. Yesterday from my daughter and this morning from my son.
Without any context, it would appear that they are simply being children. Easton is 6 and Elie is 5, so what is the big deal?
Let me back up a little bit. It was a Sunday morning. The kids and I had gone to church. The message was cutting straight to the heart. I've talked before about my struggle with anger. I've talked about my struggle with micromanaging and controlling tendencies. All of these things were swirling around in my mind during the sermon. Let's take a look at a few phrases I wrote down in my notes:
People see how you act; it doesn't matter how you feel it's how you act.
The best way to preach God and Jesus is to not be in a bad mood but in a good mood.
You don't need to put your bad mood on people.
Don't only do good when you feel good. Do good when you feel good AND when you feel bad.
Sometimes our personality - who we are - have gotten us into a problem. We need to change who we are and not move away from the problem.
OUCH! These things seem very obvious; however, I have consistently failed to embody them in my marriage. As the believer in the home, I should be the one taking charge in setting a culture of love in my home. Great talking points Pastor. I will ponder them deeply!
I come home to the same dirty kitchen with evidence of days worth of meals consumed on numerous dishes. (#thestruggleisreal)
Instantly I begin to feel a simmer in my spirit.
My husband is sitting in his La-Z-Boy and staring at his computer screen. Has he even done anything today?
Temperature is rising.
I sit down with a loud and audible sigh. No response. Did he even hear me?
I'm clearly upset. He is ignoring me. Game on.
I will spare you the details; but, needless to say a fight ensued. He raised his voice to match mine. I got scared (because of past trauma and regression to those times) and began to scream, "Just go away! Leave me alone! Get out of here! JUST. GO!" All within earshot and sight of my children.
It's time for me to confess. It's time for me to admit it. I've really messed up here!
This scenario has been typical in my home. I opened the door for a foothold with the words, "Just go away! Just leave me alone!" These words spoken in defense have become an overplayed song inside the walls of my household.
Back to my kids.
Just yesterday I was arguing with my daughter about getting dressed for school. I stormed out of her room and motioned to my husband and said, "I wipe my hands of this. I'm done." My husband (who isn't a morning person) sat calmly on my daughter's bed and talked gently with her. He was trying to understand what had happened. His loving demeanor was met with, "Go away daddy! Leave me alone! I don't want you, I want mommy!"
After he had left the room and Elie had calmed down a bit, I talked sternly with her. I said, "Don't you talk to your daddy that way. He didn't do anything to you. You need to love and respect your daddy......" As I'm talking to her, the light bulb when on and Holy Spirit met me there mid sentence.
Tiffany, do you realize what you are saying to Elie? You need to listen very carefully to your words. You've modeled this to her, just a couple of days ago. OUCH! Sorry Lord. Please forgive me.
That night I read this golden nugget of Scripture:
9 Now I rejoice, not that you were made sorry, but that your sorrow led to repentance. For you were made sorry in a godly manner, that you might suffer loss from us in nothing. 10 For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death. 11 For observe this very thing, that you sorrowed in a godly manner: What diligence it produced in you, what clearing of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what vehement desire, what zeal, what vindication! In all things you proved yourselves to be clear in this matter. -- 2 Corinthians 7:9-11
This morning was a similar scenario. My husband was dealing with an issue with my son and the same type of words came out of Easton's mouth. As I heard this going down from the other room, I whispered quietly to the Lord. I am so sorry! Look at what I've done! Lynn always tells us that 75% of warfare is awareness. I knew it was time to cut this thing off!
Pride, ol' buddy, ol' pal. We can't be friends any more. It's best we part ways.
I brought everyone into the living room and said it's time we have a family meeting. My husband was standing next to me as we looked down at the kids sitting on the couch. I took a deep breath and apologized to Jason for yelling those horrible words to him. I apologized to the kids for setting the bad example of how to treat their daddy. I apologized for setting up the culture of demeaning my husband in the home. I told the kids I don't ever want to hear those words out of their mouths and mommy is making a choice to never do so again either. I told my husband to hold me accountable if I ever utter those words again because it is not right. I emphasized to the kids that we don't ever want daddy to leave. We want him with us. He is the man of the house. He is in charge. We respect and love daddy, no matter what.
I'm tired of saying sorry without any heart change being made. This was the first intentional step toward repentance; toward healing. For myself, my family, and for future generations.
I left the house this morning knowing that seeds of righteousness were planted in each and every heart of my household. It is only a matter of time when it will reap a crop of love (Hosea 10:12 NLT).
I've gone on far too long today, but I want to talk in the comments. What is something that you've been able to model for your children in order to honor our husband before them?
Love and hugs,