Yelling at Youngsters

by Martha Barkman

Isaiah 11

  1. And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots:
  2. And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD;
  3. And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears:
  4. But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.
  5. And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins.
  6. The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them.

Visions of being the ideal mother were mine. A super mom. So I was never going to yell at my children. Yesterday I did it again.

Then my five-year-old said, "Mama, I feel you don't love me when you talk to me like that."

Oh, ouch. I felt that. A super mom? My daughter doesn't think so evidently. I sat down, brought her close, and said, "Sweetheart, I was wrong. Jesus doesn't want me to talk to you like that. I listened to the devil and that's not good. Forgive me. Let's ask Jesus to forgive me, too."

She understood, forgave, and promised to pray for me. I was so touched... and humbled.

A super mom? No, my children will not see me like that. But I want them to see a mother who fears the Lord, who seeks Him with all her heart, and who is Lord, who seeks Him with all her heart, and who is never to proud to say, "I'm sorry. I was wrong. Forgive me."

God can extend His grace again and again to such a mother. And grace is what I need. Grace -- the power of God in my life, doing what I can't do. Grace to love again and again. Grace to be patient and gentle. Grace to listen to questions and answer them. Grace not to yell but to have the law of kindness on my tongue. Grace to read stories and more stories. Grace to put the Word into them at every opportunity.

Then I think of my Father. He never yells at me. When I come to Him and say, "God, I've done it again," He says, "What have you done? I forgave you the last time and I don't remember."

He doesn't even yell at me, "I told you so. Why didn't you try Me first? Won't you ever learn?"

I've come to see that my Father delights in seeing me come to the end of myself. "God, I'm finished. I can't do it. I need YOU."

A super mom? No. I need help. I need Jesus. I want my children to see that -- so they'll know where to go, too.

A super Father? Yes. MY Father.

Pages 90 and 91 of Tea Leaves, compiled by Nancy Stutzman
© Copyright 1990, Christian Light Publications

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