Sometimes mamahood can get very frustrating! And if there are any homeschooling moms out there (or even moms who help out with homework), then you know the struggles of getting your kids to do their schoolwork to the level that you know they are capable of doing it. A few weeks ago, I had assigned a report on “self control.” But, as usual, God was up to His tricks, and used that report to help ME instead.
Karis was griping about his work and continued to say that he didn’t know how to do it, or didn’t know what to write. He kept on dragging his feet and I kept on getting angrier and angrier. He was getting on my last nerve because I knew he was fully capable of doing it, but he was just being obstinate. I tried reasoning; I tried demanding; I tried reminding him he couldn’t play any video games on the weekend if he couldn’t get it done that day. Nothing worked. I was talking to him and heard my voice begin to quaver. I was getting upset and that emotional response was welling up inside of me. Then I became aware of this idea that was beginning to brew in my head…”maybe if I cry, he will realize how his behavior is hurting me.” I immediately began to pray, “Lord, this is not YOUR thinking. Help me to be stronger than this.” So, I sucked it up, walked over to Karis, sat down beside him, and said, “How about we research self control together?” It was obvious I needed a lesson, too.
The enemy just loves to put those thoughts into our head:
* Cry and make him feel guilty (often applied to husbands).
* Get angry and people will do what you tell them (often applied to children).
* Refuse to talk and that will get a response (another husband guilt tactic).
The list goes on and on. Satan knows that if he can get us to lose control over our spirits, that he has won the battle. And we buy it–hook, line, and sinker–almost every single time. It’s true that women are more emotional. The enemy uses that to weaken us. But God created us that way so that we can be strong in Him. Our emotions make us more sensitive to His direction, more capable to hear His voice, more compassionate and aware of our children’s and husbands’ emotional needs. Our emotions can be our strength.
IF we learn self control.
Proverbs 25:28 tells us that “he who has no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down and without walls.” Other versions of this verse read, “a man without self control…” Self control is the ability to rule over your own spirit. This doesn’t just come naturally to moms. This is a strength that comes from training. A professional body builder doesn’t get that way from sitting on his sofa drinking “muscle milk.” He gets that way from getting in the gym and lifting weights over, and over, and over. That’s trianing. And that’s what we are required to do with our own spirits. We need to constantly train to be in better control.
A city that is broken down and without walls is an open target. The enemy can just walk on in there any old time and take whatever he darn wells pleases. The city is totally unprotected. When we exercise control over our spirits we are building up our defenses and making ourselves stronger. A broken down city also looks horrible. The slums are not necesarily a place where you would want to take a Sunday afternoon stroll. They are ugly, neglected, and fearful. But that is exactly what you become when you lose self control. Just think about that next time you want to give your husband the silent treatment or want to scream at your kids. You are the one that is suffering and it makes you ugly. U-G-L-Y, ugly!
Take this week to start training your spirit and get in control. If this is a big struggle for you, then know that God’s strength is your strength. Stay in His Word and pray for His strength. Go to Him when you feel the struggle and don’t give in to that voice telling you to break down your walls. Your city can be strong and beautiful!
How strong is your city?