The January Gentleness Challenge has been a good thing for me. When dissolving an old habit and developing a fresh habit, I have to be on alert, accutely aware of the bad habit creeping around. It’s a good thing to admit there is a problem. Realize it is wrong. Call it what it is.
Strife and confusion, losing our temper, no self control, pouring bitter words and ugly tone over our children is sin. It is.
We all know the hurt that can be caused, the damage done. Maybe some of you have been on the receiving end and now find yourselves dishing it out, as much as you don’t want to.
Acckkk. Yielding myself, my “there is none righteous, no not one” flesh to the goodness of the biblical guidelines is hard work! Duh. Right?
Our sin nature cannot succeed, but Christ in us can succeed! Look at what Romans 7 says to us.
~The Conflict of Two Natures~
For we know that the Law is spiritual, but I am of flesh, sold into bondage to sin.
For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate.
But if I do the very thing I do not want to do, I agree with the Law, confessing that the Law is good.
So now, no longer am I the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me.
For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not.
For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want.
But if I am doing the very thing I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me.
I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wants to do good.
~Romans 7:14-21 (nasb)
What then shall we do?
Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death?
Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin.
Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.
For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh,
so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.
For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace,
because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so,
and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him.
If Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness. ~Romans 7:24 – 8:10 (nasb)
James 3:13-4:10 explains clearly where our strife comes from, uncovering its evil motive, our lust (I want this or that and I want it now). Step by step directions are given to follow for achieving grace and peace. I hope you will look it up.
I can see myself in these passages. I have found that I am most likely to become angry when things around the house aren’t going my way. When the order I am striving for is crumbling, when the kids are misbehaving, disturbing the peace :), when they resist my efforts and thwart my plans. Hmm. Sounds like the book of James chapter 4 verse 1 hit the nail on the head.
What is the source of quarrels and conflicts among you? Is not the source your pleasures that wage war in your members (in your flesh)?
Why yes. Yes it is. When life in the home is not pleasing me I am prone to blame, when I should lovingly train. I lose my cool when disaster strikes and call it urgency, even though seldom is the matter urgent at all. When I am distressed I am prone to point to my children when the truth is I am the responsible one. I’ve made it all about me.
God will show me how to manage our home, gently parent my precious children, and live as the godly woman He has called me to be. I can choose to step aside, open my heart, let His Holy Spirit control me from the inside out and bless through me.
I’m so glad that Jesus loves me, even me and He chose me to be Mommy to my amazing children!!! They are a great joy! The silly things we Mommas usually get worked up over are temporal and soooo not important. Our relationships are the spiritual matter with eternal consequences. We choose to nurture and nourish our relationships or we choose to spoil them.
Oh! How I want to nurture and nourish my children’s souls by the work of the Holy Spirit in me! That’s what I determine to do today. One day at a time. Hour by hour, or some days, moment by moment.
God bless you, Mommas!!! We are chosen. We are called. Let us not major on the minors and minor on the majors! We have a Heavenly purpose. Let’s live like it! We can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth us!!! (from Philippians 4:13)
Have you been challenged? Any victories you would be willing to share here? I’ll be watching for your comments.