Angry Dad or Loving Father

Angry Dad or Loving Father

Your view of God will determine what type of parent you are.

For those who view God as an angry tyrant & judge visiting wrathful vengeance on all who cross him, you will mirror that image. Your parenting will be demanding & unmerciful. You will be self-righteous because you believe yourself to measure up to God’s laws...

On the days that you’re a “good parent” (i.e. you make a delicious breakfast with fruit, organic cage-free eggs, whole grain sprouted wheat toast, send them joyfully to school, do their laundry with a song in your heart, help them with homework without once raising your voice, & send them to bed after a full 30 minutes of family worship), you’ll find confidence & wonder why your kids are not doing what they should. Your impatience for their sin will smother them. You’ll think about how you do what you are supposed to do, so why can’t they? You’ll expect God to save your kids. You’ll operate under a covenant of works…

...On the days that you don’t measure up & you’re a “bad parent” (i.e. you yell at them to eat cereal, you make them walk home because you don’t want to drive the 5 minutes to get them, & when you try to do homework, you end up yelling at them & sending them to bed early), you’ll be depressed & think God made a mistake in even giving you kids. You’ll feel guilty for your sin & you’ll make your kids feel guilty for theirs. Depression & pessimism will characterize your relationship with your kids.

...If you believe God to be merciful, patient & steadfast you’ll enjoy a peace.

You’ll be aware that you & your children are sinners, but that Jesus is a friend of sinners. You’ll be able to freely confess your sin to your children, you won’t feel like you’re letting them win because you had to admit to wrong. You’ll see, with hope, how God is strong enough to even use your sin to make his grace look glorious. You’ll know that his unconditional love is for you on the days that you’re a bad parent & the days that you’re a good parent. You’ll not be surprised at your children’s sin because you’ll believe the truth that Paul proclaimed, ‘Christ came for sinners, which I am the worst.

Mommas, We Speak From the Overflow of Our Hearts

Mommas, We Speak From the Overflow of Our Hearts

I yelled at my daughter the other day. Not a gentle ‘Don’t do that, honey,’ kind of correction, but an angry, ‘What on earth were you thinking?’ reaction.

She, in turn, yelled at her two year old brother for making her do it, and pretty quickly there was a lot of frustration going around for a little bit of spilled sparkling water. A simple misstep halted my child’s creative idea on a nice day, and there we were, yelling at each other as if the offense merited some sort of punishment.

After we cleaned up, I thought about how quickly that moment went from fun to frenzied. Rather than parenting my children with the patience and instruction they need, I responded to a common sibling squabble like I was one of the siblings. 

If a mama speaks out of the overflow of her heart, my overflow had been speaking loud and clear, pointing to the fact that I wasn’t guarding the sources filling my heart-well.

The problem is really simple: it’s me. My heart is. My misplaced worship is. The idolatry of my time and performance is. And the way I feed these things by comparing myself to other mothers, that’s the problem.

And the way I’ve sought to fill my life with the things God tells us will not satisfy—these are the barrier between me and the mom that I want to be. As I’ve escaped to worldly influences, I’ve robbed my soul of the fellowship with my Savior that it needs, and I’ve seen firsthand the difference between the overflow of a heart filled with treasure and a heart filled with idols.

Motherhood is one way God makes his goodness tangible, and I am learning each day that to be the mom I want to be, to experience that goodness, I have to begin with a posture of humility; which is sometimes as simple as the choice between one of the many temporary comforts fighting for my affection, and repentance. Simple, pure, childlike repentance of my sin. Because we’re all in need of saving from the thing that keeps us from God and from one another.

But the best news for all of us is that grace is already there.

Anger In Motherhood: Allowing the Gospel to Shine Bright

Anger In Motherhood: Allowing the Gospel to Shine Bright

When I find myself losing my temper with my children more often than normal, it can be easy for me to spiral downward, feeling guilt, condemnation and listening to the lies from Satan that I cannot change.

But when I believe this lie, what's really happening is I'm believing that I am beyond the reach of God's grace – I'm believing that the cross wasn't enough.

When Expectations Hurt Your Motherhood

When Expectations Hurt Your Motherhood

When I consider a common source of my irritability, it's summed up in one word: expectations.

I expect my children to be neat and tidy, quiet, simple to discipline, and free of health issues or sleep problems. I expect them to be the model of godliness at the ripe age of 3. I expect them to make me look like I'm doing a wonderful job so everyone can see how "under control" we are. I expect them not to overreact or ignore my direction.