Not long ago, someone asked me this question: “Where would you be right now if you had obeyed God sooner?”
It’s a convicting question, isn’t it? I can think back on instances in my life where I knew the right thing to do and instead, I chose a different path that led to a darkened pit. It took some doing to climb up out of the hole I dug for myself by loving my sin more than I loved God.
The pit we dig for ourselves because of our unchecked anger should only have room for one but when we become angry moms, we drag our children into the pit with us.
Recently, my friend and co-author, Wendy Speake, spoke about the idea of having a victim mentality:
"Do you tend to take everything personally? Maybe you don't mean too, but do you REACT as though you're the victim... all the time?
Your husband comes home from work late. And you're the victim. Your children don't like what you cooked for dinner. And you're the victim. The kids can't find their shoes, their socks, their backpacks. And you're the victim. Your gifts aren't well received this Christmas. And you're the victim. You plan a cookie making afternoon with cocoa and movies and it's just a mess and the kids would rather tear up the toy room. And you're the victim."
Wendy's words hit a little too close to home for many of us, don't they? I commented that having once lived with someone who played the perpetual victim card, I felt as equally imprisoned to a negative lifestyle and joyless existence as they did. I was shackled to their woe-is-me mentality and became a prisoner myself.
For a child, living with an angry mom who feels victimized by everyday life can be even more disheartening.
A mother’s anger makes a home a hell-hole.
Lucky for me, Jesus sets the captives free.
I never imagined that my own anger as a mother would be yet another instance of pit jumping in my life. Many times, my sinfulness felt justified or gave pleasure for a season. It seemed worth it at the time because Satan made it appear alluring.
Mommy anger is different.
The twisted feeling of release we feel when we become impatient, raise our voices, or scold our children, holds little pleasure. Most of us feel the train veering off the tracks and instead of putting on the brakes, we plow full speed ahead off the cliff and none of it feels promising.
I wonder where I would be right now if I had obeyed God sooner all those times in early motherhood when I was angry and took it out on my kids. Where would THEY be?
We can’t change the past but God has a way of redeeming it anyway. One way He does that is by transforming us and bringing healing. He redeems our past as angry moms by doing a new thing in us.
Except, we must determine to let Him set our feet on the Rock and dust us off from the mud and mire that holds us down in our sinful anger. And then we must radically commit to throwing off our old ways and our sinful nature, and we must replace the sin by putting on garments of godly character:
“ That, however, is not the way of life you learned when you heard about Christ and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body. “In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold. Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need.
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:20-32)
There is no time like the present. No time like right now to obey!
Moms, let’s not dwell on where we might be today had we obeyed sooner. Instead, let’s imagine where we will be tomorrow. And the next day. Or even a moment from now, one right response at a time.
It’s a pretty picture, isn’t it? Imagining the blessing of a life restrained by the Holy Spirit, blossoming into gentleness despite our circumstances or our kids’ behavior. I can just see us, being peace-makers. Life-breathers. Grace-models. Giving our kids what they don’t deserve and modeling the unconditional love of Christ. Fix that image clearly in your mind today moms. Remember that God has already given you everything you need for life and godliness. Tap into the Holy Spirit’s ability to empower you with grace and invite Him into your every encounter as a mother today.
So, where will you be a month from now?
Three months from now?
It’s really your choice but I hope you won’t remain in the pit one hour longer. If you need help and encouragement--practical ways to diffuse your anger and biblical truth to encourage your soul, join our support group for moms. There’s too much beauty to be had and joy to embrace. Fix your eyes on Christ, the Author and Finisher of your faith, and free both yourself and your children from the pit of angry living.
(Get your copy of Amazon #1 Best Seller, Triggers: Exchanging Parents' Angry Reactions for Gentle Biblical Responses and the Triggers Study Guide, to help you on this journey!)