Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Spiritual Abuse.

I'm almost halfway through my book on anger. It's AMAZING, and I HIGHLY recommend it if you are a mommy who struggles with anger in dealing with your kids.

I recently finished the chapter on abuse. It was powerful. It made me kind of shrink as I have thought about the way I have handled certain situations with my toddler, and it's also made me realize that some of the things that I say and have no intention to be harmful can truly hurt his spirit.

But the one paragraph that really gripped me and nearly sent me to my knees in guilt was on spiritual abuse. Since I can't really sum it up adequately, I'll let Mrs. Barnhill do it for me:
As mothers, we are the living, breathing "in your face" examples of Christ to our children. By our uncontrolled anger, words, and actions, are we creating an image for our children of an out-of-control, impatient and manipulative God? Will they be able to believe that God is merciful if we seldom demonstrate mercy toward them in their childishness? Will they EVER be able to grasp the concept of grace-- unmerited favor-- if we as their mothers never extend grace to the "least of these"? Will they be able to believe there is forgiveness for ALL sin if we never confess our own and ask them to forgive us? (She's Gonna Blow, Barnhill, page 126).

Did your toes curl when you read that paragraph? I know mine did. I have often been humbled when I start attacking Brayden for the things he is doing, for I quickly realize that I myself do the same things to God (albeit in an adult form of course).  Yet God doesn't breath fire from his nostrils and berate me for being foolish. He is gentle, and He reminds me of His promises and commands through His word. Of course, the consequences of my actions still remain, but I am never reprimanded by my Lord. How foolish of me to think that I should treat my toddler in that manner.

I LONG for Brayden to obey me because he wants to obey me. But forcing things down his throat will not bring that to existence, and I am convinced that it will even tear down bridges and build up walls between me and my precious boy. You know, I feel like this journey to unearth the mystery of my anger has me continually digging. I am finding such nuggets of truth, but the hole is becoming greater and greater as I realize that it's not just an "I'm angry, let's deal with it" kind of answer. The other thing I am realizing is that the dirt I unearth, it must not get put back where it was found. It should be hauled away, and filled with Jesus. He's the only way I am going to be able to achieve what I want to achieve as a mom. And you know what? I'm ok with that.

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