The verse about not letting the sun go down upon your wrath is a very commonly quoted saying, yet I got to thinking about the fact that it gets dark early in the wintertime. How are we supposed to handle dealing with tough issues that come up after 4:30 in the afternoon, especially when everyone is tired and hungry? In the cold, dark months from November to March, the sun goes to bed long before we do, and the five hours of darkness can be a challenge.
I must admit I have my moments when I raise my voice to the children, but the frustration usually hits when they are getting ready for bed. I have never enjoyed the bedtime process. It was always a long, drawn out ordeal that I thought would never end.
"Mommy, I need some water!"
"Mommy, you didn't kiss me!"
"Mommy, I had a bad dream!"
"Mommy, I need my blanket!"
"Mommy, I can't find my Little Gup Gup!"
"Mommy, I have to go to the bathroom!"
On and on it went, every night a new excuse to keep me trotting back to their room as if they wanted to put off going to sleep as long as they could. I did not want to yell at them, but I needed a few moments of quiet for myself and I was already quite exhausted from the long day.
Things have become much better as my children have grown older and matured in this process, but I still find myself getting aggravated when I go into their room and find a complete disaster of clothing and other items scattered everywhere. I need to be careful not to let my spirit go into the red, especially when I know I can handle it better in the morning. One thing I have learned in this parenting journey, is that children do not react to yelling and screaming very well. Oh, it gets them moving to do what you want, but it builds a wall between their relationship with you, which later causes more stress, which causes more yelling, and on goes the cycle.
We need to speak softly to our children and teach them to listen to the whispers in life. If they learn to listen for the soft tones, they will benefit greatly, even into their adulthood, especially the boys. It will keep relationships stronger, and walls of frustration and bitterness will not be built up. If a young man is taught to listen to the soft voice of his mother, he will also learn to listen to the soft voice of his wife when she is upset about something. If he is taught to catch the problem early, he will not have an avalanche of problems crash over his head that will crush him to death.
We as women have a tendency to let things build up. We think, "I can't bother him with that now," or "It really isn't that important to bring up," and we let things slide until one day we cannot handle anymore and the strain breaks us. We lash out in anger at all the things that we have let build up and let our men have it with harsh, loud words. They do not know where to even begin to fix the issues. We just slam them over the head and expect miracles. We as women need to speak softly to them as each issue arises and deal with the problems one by one. The men need to learn to listen for the soft voice and work on one thing at a time.
Speaking softly to our children not only helps them listen to their spouses, but it also enables them to listen to the soft whisper of the Lord in their spirit. How are they going to know what His voice sounds like if all they are use to is the angry yelling that gets their attention? God speaks in a still, small voice. If we are to become like Jesus, we need to start doing the same with our children. May He give me a meek, quiet spirit that will always speak softly and gently to my children. May He give me the courage to bring up issues with my husband long before they become too big to handle. May He continue to work on me, molding me to become more like Him. Amen.