I wasn't going to write this post today. I don't feel particularly encouraging or helpful lately. But this post really struck a chord with me.
Anger, head butting, harsh words, hormones. Yep. I've been there. Regularly. Sometimes daily.
One of the things I've been thinking about after our vacation last week was choosing my battles. I don't know how child rearing and relating works for everyone but this is what is (sometimes!) working in our home.
I choose my battles. And sometimes, I feel like such a failure because of I don't choose every battle. But honestly, weary mom, sometimes I just can't choose every battle.
Reading Ephesians 6 this morning showed me two things that helped me think maybe it's okay.
Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. (Ephesians 6:4 NASB)
In my weariest moment, if I cannot correctly deal with a situation or battle in love then I'm provoking my children to anger. All I'm going to do is escalate the situation into a full-blown war. So I (try to) choose to lay down my anger, ego and pride rather than pouring more gasoline onto an already intense moment. I choose a moment of alone time for both of the people in the situation. For me, one of my girls or maybe all of us.
This was the one that got me though -
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. (Ephesians 6:12 NASB)
My battle is not against the beautiful faces that fill my days. It's against the enemy of our souls that wants nothing more than to break apart families that are united for the Kingdom of The Lord. I need to remember this. I need to remember this when a harsh word comes out in a hormone-laced moment or a fight breaks out among the littlest people in our house. Yes, it's the people in those bodies that are choosing to fight, but it is the enemy that whispers and nudges each of us towards those battles. He wants nothing more than to see fighting and anger in the homes of families that are purposing to raise their children to follow hard after God.
So weary mom, this really is just a letter to me. That I might remember to aim my fury filled darts at the enemy and not at my children. In the heat of the moment when I don't want to be peaceful, I can remember to call on the Prince of Peace and ask Him to reign in our home.
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. (Ephesians 6:10, 11 NASB)