Sunday, July 28, 2013

A Refuge from Anger

I've been really struggling with something, and I'm going to be straight up honest.

I have a big problem with anger.

I'm a screamer.

In the heat of the moment I'm totally justified; they've been "cleaning their room" for two hours, the table still hasn't been wiped off, I've asked four times for the hair stuff to be picked up off the bathroom floor, and countless other issues that have come up. In the moment, me screaming and yelling is perfectly logical and completely justified.

Afterward, however, I feel like a total monster. I'm mad that I was "made" to yell, I'm mad that I believed the lie that I couldn't control it, and I'm sad that my children are now crying and defeated instead of encouraged and trained.

And then, even later, I get mad when they start yelling at each other for little mishaps that in my mind seem little and silly but to them are just as huge as dishes put away incorrectly AGAIN is to me. Because it's not the actual act that triggers me, it's the fact that I am not taken seriously.

Today in church a statement was made that really hit me between the eyes. A couple sang a song from Patch the Pirate called "Lord Bless Our Home" and in the song it mentions their house being a refuge from the world. When I'm screaming or yelling, is my house a refuge? I thought of this verse,

Proverbs 29:1 "[It is] better to dwell in a corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman in a wide house."

Then that made me think of my own childhood. My friends always wanted to come to my house. My house was fun. My mom was a good cook. My house was cool! I loved being at my house! My mom would make nachos to eat while watching sports, my dad would tell corny jokes, and we were allowed to be loud and play (within reason). Even as a teenager I loved being at home, and my friends always wanted to come to our house. My mom once said she wanted her home to be the "hang out spot" because she didn't want her teenagers to be hanging out somewhere else. It was comforting to her to know where we were and what we were doing. And honestly, if a friend didn't like my mom, I didn't like that friend.

That made me think of something else (I did a lot of thinking today). Every Sunday as soon as my children come out of Junior Church they barrage me with questions of "Can she come over?" "Can I go to her house?" and it's very overwhelming. I haven't quite figured out how I want to handle all of that, so I usually just say no.

This morning I was a raging, screaming beast. I was tired, overwhelmed from a looooooong and exhausting week, and I stepped on a piece of breakfast casserole that was smooshy and really, really disgusting. I lost it. And I barely regained it before we got to church. This time when I got my children from Junior Church, they all wanted to go to someone else's house. That made me really sad. One of my daughters even said, "I don't care if I go to her house or her house, I just don't want to go to our house!" How heartbreaking is that?

So I'm going to try to make a drastic change in my life. I am going to try to make our house a refuge. Somewhere that my children want to be. And the first step to that is controlling my anger. Stop listening to the lie that they deserve it, or that they're making me angry, or that it's justified. It's not okay, it's not their fault, and it's not justified. It's sin. And it could potentially destroy my family.

Proverbs 31:26 "She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue [is] the law of kindness.
Pro 31:27 She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.
Pro 31:28 Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband [also], and he praiseth her.