She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. Proverbs 31:26
Let your gentleness be evident to all… Philippians 4:5
My husband is one of the most determined, disciplined people I know. Once he sets his mind on something, it is done. I have always admired that about him, as my mind always seems to resemble more of a battlefield. I am an early adapter. I love getting started but as soon as the excitement of starting wears off, it becomes WORK. But that is exactly where my husband loves to live. As soon as it gets hard, he is loving it.
We have two kids and one is an early riser and the other cannot get their butt out of bed in the morning. When she does get up, she is grumpy that anything should ever start in the morning. We have tried many different strategies with her but most end up with everyone yelling and heading out to work and school in worse condition then when she first got up. So, my husband tried something new.
Every morning he got up a little earlier then he normally would. He went to the kitchen and began prepping for the day but not quietly like he used to. He did all he needed to do in the morning at a normal volume so that our daughter would hear that it is time to get up. One thing I should mention is that our daughter is very musical. She plays guitar and sings and is almost always found singing, playing or listening to music. It only made sense then that her daddy would choose to play music in the morning to serenade her into the day. When I asked him what he was up to his reply was “I am changing the climate of the morning in our home”. Whatever it was, it was working. She was waking up happy, entering the kitchen positively, getting her breakfast and lunch packed and out the door with only minimal drama.
But it is so easy to go back to the way it once was. Fighting frustration with frustration and anger with anger. How do we get out of the cycle?
I really appreciate the way Karen addresses anger in chapter 9. All our emotions are from God, even anger. It is what we do with our anger and the sin that results from our anger that matters. Anger in and of itself is not a bad thing.
I also loved the phrase “don’t be a gasoline queen”. If I was the one left to help my daughter get up in the morning, that is exactly how you could have described me. Just throw some more fuel on the fire and watch it burn! However, I saw how successful my husband’s approach was and I never want to be a gasoline queen again. It is not effective.
My husband approached the morning with my sweet girl with kindness and gentleness and he won the morning battle. My husband planned for a peaceful morning.
Truth be told, God has the wisdom we need in every situation we face. If we would be willing to go to the Lord and ask Him what we should do He will tell us. If then we plan ahead and approach each situation with gentleness and kindness the outcome would be drastically different then it has been in the past.
The other thing I learned from this chapter is that we really need to remember to die to self. So often what I want and need gets in the way of what really needs to happen. One thing we quote to our kids almost daily is that “being in relationship is more important that being right”. So, I want my daughter to control herself in the morning. I want her to change her attitude and approach the day better. But, as Karen so eloquently states, “mind your own sin sweetheart”. Gulp.
If we will learn to put our needs aside, die to our flesh, die to our rights, I think we will find that we don’t have as much to be angry about as we thought.