Yesterday, we had our homeschool co-op. After our class was done, the kids left for lunch and the moms remained to finish cleaning up the room. As we were cleaning, we were sharing about our lives, and this week I shared about my Monday failure.
Monday, at home during the day with my children, I was grumpy. Now, there was no particular reason for my grumpiness. I started my day in a great way: focusing on God and praising Him. That has become a practice of mine since last fall. I select a Psalm of Praise, and pray all those words to God actually writing them down in a praise journal. My desire is to set my day aright by putting my focus on Him, so when irritating things happen during the day they don’t bother me as much. Despite doing this on Monday, I allowed small things to become bigger issues, because I focused on them too much. This irritation flowed over into my tone with my kids and the way I conducted myself. At the end of the day, I confessed my sin to them and apologized for my actions, but I still felt the guilt.
While I was telling my friends about my grumpy day, one of the other moms, who I admire very much because she is always so together, confessed a similar type of Monday experience. She talked about feeling as if she spent the day nagging her older son to do his work only to regret it at the end of the day and wonder if he would end up marrying a woman who harassed him because his mother taught him that behavior was acceptable. I have experienced the exact same stress in regards to my son. I have even gone so far as to encourage him to specifically look for a woman who was gentle and did not have a badgering personality. Hearing my friend express similar fears led me to ponder the whole situation with my focus on her and not myself.
While focusing on her, I thought about all her great qualities: she is ALWAYS quick to serve, she is an encouragement to those around her, her children are well behaved and kind. But she didn’t see those aspects of her character, which were so obvious to me. While explaining her day, she talked about encouraging her son to be diligent by talking through his learning style with him. The problem was, in her own words, the way she went about explaining it. The lesson she was teaching was still valuable and a good one. She also shared how she confessed her sin to her child that night and apologized for her behavior.
Listening to my friend talk about her struggle, made me wonder about God watching us struggle. He loves us. Psalm 86:13 “For great is your love toward me; you have delivered me from the depths of the grave.” As long as we are His children and are striving to follow Him obediently, then our failures can be used as teaching opportunities for us and our children. We confess our sins, ask forgiveness, place our trust in Him and walk forward in His promise that our sins are forgiven. “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Jesus Christ the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.” Romans 8:1
I have to admit that I was challenged again on this same topic today as I was writing, but by God’s grace, He showed me how to turn it into a valuable lesson for my son and I. Relationships are hard because we are sinners, but God is so much bigger than our sin. Being a Christian is not about never failing, it’s all about humbling ourselves before God and asking for His help in overcoming our struggles and in moving forward. Looking back on my interaction with my children, it all seems so insignificant and silly. I lost my patience and used a sarcastic tone. My son responded with a look of defiance on his face. But I was able to take the opportunity and model confessing my sin to my son and seeking his forgiveness and he also confessed his sin toward me and asked for forgiveness. Then, we were reconciled and our peace was restored. “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.” (James 5:16 NIV) Day in and day out we are walking this road of sanctification together, growing closer to God through our struggles and our triumphs.
Can you relate? I hope this post helped you. Share your thoughts in the comments section. Thank you!