I'm a little late to the series this week. The topic is when we come unglued.
How do we keep it from happening? Or what do we do when it happens?
This is something I started praying about several years back. And God still has a work to do in me in this area. I'm far from perfect in my relationships.
I'm the one that would come unglued in my marriage. Alex is the calm, reasonable one. I'm the hot-headed one. God used Alex to open my eyes and change my heart in this area. By watching him stay calm in the midst of an argument. By watching him stay respectful during a heated conversation. I thought to myself, "I want that...I want to respond like that." These were two areas that I needed some help. I had to set my pride aside and I realized it was easy for me to "lose it"on the person that I'm closest to and that made me sad. Treating my husband in a way that I would never treat a friend or co-worker or some complete stranger off the street? So wrong.
I started praying that God would help me respond in a way that honors Him. That I would respond in a way that shows respect and honors my spouse. Since having children, I pray that I will respond to my children in a way that won't tear them down or break their spirit. I always want my children to know how I will respond. I believe it brings insecurity into their lives if I respond in a different way every time they do something wrong. If they have no clue if Mama is going to stay calm or blow a gasket - that's not a good thing.
Whenever I've responded in a way that I know is wrong, I feel terrible. That moment when you knew better but just let your flesh have it's way. I've had lots of practice going to my husband and three year old to ask for forgiveness for the way I responded in a situation.
So here are a few things I've put into practice and that helps me not come unglued.
Scripture, scripture, scripture. If I'm filling my mind with His words - I'm much more likely to use His words instead of my own when responding to my spouse.
Give each other the benefit of the doubt. Don't assume that the other is out to hurt you. They chose you and they still choose you or they wouldn't be there working on it. Giving your spouse the benefit of the doubt gives way for open, honest, respectful conversation and in the end - resolution. I've been known to say to myself over and over, "he's not out to get me, he's not out to get me." HAHAHA! I'm serious. Because that's the first thing the devil puts in my head. He wants me to believe my spouse just doesn't care. And nothing could be further from the truth. My battle is not against Alex!
Use your words. I can't think of one instance where I regretted being silent and just listening. On the other hand, I can think of several times I wish I had just shut my mouth and opened my ears. And when you do speak - be kind and respectful. Treat them the way you want to be treated.
Scripture, scripture, scripture. If I'm filling my mind with His words - I'm much more likely to use His words instead of my own when responding to my children.
Get on their level. I find that if I get down at eye level with my children - I don't raise my voice. It forces me to speak softly. I respond in a way that encourages them to listen and obey. I also imagine what it feels like to be them. This little person looking up at this person towering over them - coming unglued all over them? That's scary.
Take a breather. Sometimes I just look at Alex and say "you take this one." I can recognize when I might not be in the best mood and might not respond in the best way. If Daddy is available to handle the discipline, I let him.
Choose your battles. Not every single thing my child does wrong is worth losing my mind and testimony over. Seriously.
Sometimes I just need more rest and it has nothing to do with Amelia pouring an entire box of cereal on the floor. Those are the moments we need to stop and laugh. Because it's funny.
Is Amelia supposed to help herself to the cereal? No, but it's not the end of the world. And it's a $4 box of cereal. Accidents happen and she needs me to laugh about the stuff that doesn't matter. She needs me to laugh about the stuff that doesn't matter otherwise she'll grow up walking on egg shells around her mother. I do not want that.
I've come a long way in this area but I'm still a work in progress.
I'm really enjoying this series and have read posts from some amazing, Godly women. I look forward to reading how you keep from coming unglued! :)
Love to all,