“Mommy, tomorrow can you not yell at me at all?”
What? Who, me? I’m NOT a yelling mom…
I am so patient, and I love being with my kids! Sure, sometimes I get frustrated and raise my voice, but who doesn’t, right? Yes, I may get a little loud when I want to get someone’s attention, but all moms do that, right? Ok, I may increase my volume if I need to put a stop to a wrong behavior- but that’s just sound parenting, isn’t it? All right, I do get a little tense and booming if everyone else is so loud that I can’t be heard over the din, but that’s not my fault- if the kids were just doing the right thing to begin with…
Ok, I get it. I AM a yelling mom. It’s a good thing you can’t see me right now- just typing that makes me blush. I never wanted to be a yelling mom. When you imagined the type of mother you’d be as you first rubbed that pregnant belly of yours, did you ever envision yourself red-faced with scrunched up eyebrows, finger pointing, flinging harsh words down into little sad faces? What have these children done to us, ladies?
We wouldn’t have to yell if everyone just did what they were supposed to do and stopped driving us crazy! Moms, back me up here. If our kids would just listen and obey the first time, we wouldn’t even need to raise our voices, right? If they wouldn’t bicker and yell at each other so much, we wouldn’t need to get so loud to break up their fights.
Oh. I see where this is headed.
Moms, I get it: this isn’t my kids’ problem or my husband’s problem. This is MY problem. I’m blaming the kids for being loud and ill-mannered to each other, but what behavior am I modeling? I’m frustrated when they holler and nag at each other, but it turns out that they are doing EXACTLY what I told them to do through my modeling: they are treating each other the way I treat them, and it looks ugly. They are using the same loud, harsh voices with one another that they hear me using with them, and it sounds rude and hurtful.
Well don’t I feel like the jerk? Are you hanging your head with me on this one? Solidarity, girls- there is hope for us yelling moms, and it’s the Father we need to turn to.
In my head and on paper, I try to be the type of parent God intends me to be: patient, loving, kind, and full of grace. But when I really sit back and replay the interactions I have with my children over the course of the day, I am dismayed. That is not the mother I want to be. I need help. All moms do. We need a little bit of grace and a lot of guidance, and I know where we can find it.
I’d like to share a few verses that can help guide us during those frustrated, boiling over, yelling times. This is one of the most convicting pieces of scripture for me as a mother, and one I apparently need to write on my hand so I see it every day.
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.” (James 1:2-8, NIV)
Have you felt like “a wave of the sea,” moms? Blown and tossed around in your daily frustrations, out of touch with your families and out of control? Unstable? I have.
So I can write this scripture on my hand and on my heart, but how do busy moms translate this guidance into the crazy moments of life? The next time our kids are bickering and frustrations are running high, will we really pause, tilt our heads heavenward, and give thanks for the joy of being tested?
Let’s be honest, ladies: that sounds great, but I don’t see it.
I think the key that unlocks this scripture is stuck right in the middle: “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God.” If we continue to try to rule over our children on our own, we’ll continue to come up short. We’ll keep bouncing around on that blowing, tossing wave, gasping for breath in the dips and yelling to keep ourselves afloat on the swells. It’s only when we get God involved on the front end that we’ll find that life raft we need to keep our head above water- to approach the challenges of our children with the calm breath of thanksgiving He wants for us.
We need wisdom, us yelling moms, and we need to believe that when we ask God to step in and guide our words and reactions to our children He will do what He says He will. Let’s tackle this issue head-on and be proactive about our needs: lift this up in the morning, before you even roll (crawl?) out of bed. Pray over this scripture, post it on your bathroom mirror, write it on your forearm! Ask God to get involved in your life, and claim the promise that He makes to give you the wisdom you are asking for.
So the next time you find your stress levels running high and your vocal chords gearing up for maximum potential, breathe. Remember that you asked God just that morning to give you the wisdom and patience you need in that moment- the guidance to tame your reaction, to tone down your voice, to stop yourself from being a yelling mom.
Because you asked Him for that wisdom, He told you He will provide it. Let’s bite our tongues, believe His promise, and let’s stop being yelling moms! Who’s with me?
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