Keeper of His Home

by Chelsea McCafferty

Infertility – My Story

When I got married, I had no idea I would struggle to conceive. I figured I would try for a few months and be able to have a baby without a long delay. I did not foresee the struggle and pain that the next four years would bring, nor anticipate the amazing work of the Lord through this trial in my life. I share this story now to bring hope, encouragement and comfort to my sisters who have experienced, or are even now experiencing the pain of infertility.

My husband and I had no plans of waiting to have a child when we were married. We wanted to get a family started right away. I had dreamed of a large family with five plus kids. We never prevented pregnancy in any way. Three months passed and nothing. I wasn’t too concerned, reading online that it took healthy when up to a year to conceive at times. We were living in Scotland at the time and I figured the stress of moving to a new country may be putting my body on hold.

As time went on, I struggled with watching friend after friend conceive and deliver precious babies, while for me it wasn’t happening. My husband and I prayed and tried to leave our concerns in the hands of the Lord. As a woman I found the struggle to be particular painful because there were so many shades of emotion. I struggled with impatience, sadness, longing, jealousy….I confess these are not attractive or righteous attitudes. I prayed. Released the pain to God. After a time it would return like a haunting spirit.

For years the pain and fear built upon itself until the point came when I realized the seriousness of what was going on. A dear friend of mine announced she was pregnant with her second child. I had been trying to conceive since before she was pregnant with the first. Suddenly I was no longer a healthy woman being impatient….I was a woman struggling with infertility. I cried more tears during that time than at any other time in my life. I asked God why He had excluded me from the blessing of being a mother when it was all that I wanted. I begged Him for my womb to be open. I cried out in anger when His answer wasn’t an immediate “yes”.

During this time I found it very difficult to be around my pregnant friends. I could hardly handle a baby shower. I grew bitter and was so emotionally tender. I was highly affected by every flippant comment made by people telling me I should have a baby or asking me why we were waiting. We moved back to the US and I found myself at a church that was highly “fertile” ground, as it were. Women were having babies nearly every month and yet I sat by, an incomplete and defective woman in my own estimation. I felt that people looked down on me, that they assumed I was infertile because of my own failure or sin, and that they treated me like a child because I couldn’t to conceive. Some of this was the wayward imaginations of my own mind, and some of it had some merit, I will say.

I hit rock bottom and came to the point when I had to really give it all over to the Lord to be able to function. He was faithful to take my burden. While I still struggled with the pain, God went through it with me and gave me comfort.

Then, four years into my infertility….

I was at a woman’s Wednesday night Bible study and we came across a verse Psalm 113:9. “He gives the barren woman a home, making her the joyous mother of children. Praise the LORD!” The verse, meant to encourage, broke my heart. I wept to my sisters and allowed them to minister to me. Then at church on Sunday, my pastor read the same Psalm again. I was surprised to hear it again and filled with emotion. Tuesday morning I found out I was pregnant.

The realization of what God had done hit me full force. I knew there was no coincidence. He had given me that verse and confirmed it to prove that it was Him and Him alone who opened my womb. He is the opener and closer of wombs and the only Creator of life! My first feelings weren’t as much of joy as they were of fear. Cramping had led me to the pregnancy test in the first place, so I feared I was miscarrying. Praise the Lord that it wasn’t so and I my daughter, Tabitha, was born a little over 7 months later.

If you struggle with infertility and are reading this, the victory at the end of my story may cause you the same pain that I experienced at hearing of the pregnancies of friends. I’m sorry for this and pray that you will be comforted as I was. My prayer in sharing it is that it will bring you hope and comfort. You are not defective or unworthy of being a mother. God has reasons above our understanding for why He gives children to some and withholds from others. I did nothing to earn my daughter. God had a plan and a time.

Since my daughter’s birth I have again been unable to conceive, and it has been over four years. Again, my husband and I have not tried to prevent pregnancy, so I would now be considered as having secondary infertility. Of course, these words are just terms to define your current state. God is as much in control now as He was when He gave me my daughter. He could give me another child, or He could say no. While I would love to have more children, I believe wholeheartedly that God’s purpose and plan is what’s best. Perhaps He will allow my husband and I to adopt? We are open to His leading.

I wrap this testimony up by sharing three encouragements:

1. God is sovereign and He is the one who opens and closes wombs. Our hope is in the Lord. Just like Hannah petitioning the Lord for a child, we cry out to Him and receive from Him what He wills. We must trust Him and we need to allow His comfort to minister to us and bring us peace and contentment.

2. If you are struggling with infertility, please know that you are not defective or incomplete as a woman. You are complete in Christ. In Christ all fullness dwells and you are in Christ my sister. You lack nothing. God may be allowing you to go through this trial for a purpose that is far beyond what we can see or imagine. I pray fervently that the Lord will open your womb if it be His will. I pray even more so that, no matter what He chooses to do, that you would receive a flood of comfort from the Throne of Grace.

3. If you have a friend who is barren, I pray that you will seek to understand and be sensitive to what a painful struggle she is likely to be going through. Guard her heart by being cautious of your words. Don’t make light of it or joke. I guarantee that, while she may smile on the outside, she is weeping on the inside. Pray for her. Remember her.

For You formed my inward parts; You knitted me together in my mother’s womb.” Psalm 139:13

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Younger Women Honoring the Elder

“Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.” 1 Peter 5:5
Younger submit unto the elder. You know I’m going to age myself a bit to say that I think the younger generation has really lost the respect and honor that the older generation was taught to have for their elders. While this lack of respect seems to come from both genders, I’m going to address the young women who are called to submit to the teaching of their elders in the body of Christ.
I’ve met and discipled with some incredible young women in my time. It blesses my heart when young ladies come with open and teachable hearts. I consider myself at their age. Was I so receptive? Did I hunger for instruction as these girls do? I’m proud of these girls, knowing they have so many obstacles in their way as they press forward to Christ. These young ladies take Titus 2 and 1 Peter 5:5 seriously. They seek to learn from the spiritually older women.
Unfortunately for ever one young lady we see seeking discipleship and spiritual teaching, we seem to witness five of their peers turning their back to instruction, turning their nose up at the idea of discipleship and turning their attitudes away from submission and towards self-elevation. It’s not entirely their fault. Society is trying to raise generations of independent, confident and bold young women. In some ways their characteristics are good. We want young ladies to be independent enough to follow Christ alone if need be, confident in the gospel and bold to share the love of Christ. On the other hand, we see the world raising women who think they are too independent to need counsel from their elders, so confident in their own way of thinking that they are unwilling to submit to sound teaching, and bold to disrespect and dishonor elders instead of sitting at their feet of instruction.
For those of us who have daughters, we can see the challenge that lays ahead. The older generation will tell us that, in their time, elders were treated with respect. They would be honored for their years and wisdom. Young people would learn from them and be taught in the solid counsel of the Word. While the world tries to redirect our daughters into a “new” way of thinking that leads to self-focus and, quite frankly, arrogance, we need to train our daughters to walk in humility and to sit at the feet of the older women with open hearts and teachable spirits.
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Part 8 – Love is not Easily Provoked, The Loving Homekeeper Series

“Love is not easily provoked.” 1 Corinthians 13:5

I have found that there are times in my life when exhibiting the love of God—His way—means going against my very nature. See I’m a sinner. I’m selfish my nature. In my selfishness, I tend to be impatient and ungraceful. I tend to be easily provoked to anger when things do not go my way or when people (even the little ones) do not do as I ask, exactly how I asked and at the very moment I asked.

Excellent recent example. Last night I was holding my three year-old daughter and she was munching on some candy. It was “Nerds” candy, which are like tiny colorful pebbles. She kept shaking the box and I told her that she would likely spill them if she continued to shake the box. So she stopped. Wait…no….that’s not how it went! Of course my strong-willed little girl didn’t stop. She continued to shake the box and suddenly sent the candy flying all over me! If I was a cartoon character you would have seen my eyes turn red and smoke come out of my ears. I sharply rebuked her for not listening and making a mess.

After some kind words of encouragement from my own mother (who had seen the whole thing), I realized I had over-reacted. I had been easily provoked to anger. My daughter had not understood the consequences of what she was doing. I had not given her a direct order to stop shaking the box, but rather suggested it was a bad idea. She didn’t listen. Instead she continued to learn how her bad judgement had caused the candy to be sucked up the vacuum instead of her mouth! Love is not easily provoked.

How often do we do this very thing to God. We go against the Spirit’s conviction in our hearts to do something we know isn’t good for us. Sometimes God has said no. Sometimes He’s just said it isn’t a good idea. Sometimes we listen and sometimes we don’t. The good news is, when we don’t listen and we follow our own desires or way of thinking rather than God’s, and we stumble and fall, God is not quick to anger. He is not easily provoked. When we mess up and sin and come running to Him for forgiveness, He doesn’t shout out us or give us the cold shoulder. He is not easily provoked. His love is longsuffering and patient.

I long to be a mother and wife who is not easily provoked. I pray that God will chip away that quick temper that is part of my nature. I hope one day to be the kind of woman that people look at and wonder, “does she ever get angry?” hehe It won’t be soon but maybe someday with the help of the Holy Spirit!

God’s love is not easily provoked. Are you easily provoked to anger or wrath? Do you have patience and grace for people? Are you slow to anger and quick to forgive? We all need to pray for God to perfect His love in us so that we can pour that love out on our family, our friends, our church family and the lost. May His love be ever in our hearts and on our tongues!

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Part 2 Love is Kind, The Loving Homekeeper Series

“…love is kind.” 1 Corinthian 13:4

Love is kind. The Greek word for “kind” is one that is not at all used often in the NT of the Bible. In fact, this verse in 1 Corinthians is the only time this word is used. It can be translated to “to show one’s self mild, to be kind, to use kindness.” I found it interesting that in God’s Word, which is filled to the brim and overflowing with verses about loving one another, showing grace and mercy, and carrying one another burdens, that this word for being kind is only used once.

In Ephesians 4:32 we see a different word for “kind” used. “And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” This word for “kind” is the same English word but in Greek means “fit for use, useful, virtuous, good, mild, pleasant and manageable.” Interestingly this word seems to be more about how a person behaves or how he or she is useful rather than their demeanor. In the OT we see the English word “kind” used a lot, but almost always it refers to God’s kindness and mercy. We do have one great example in Proverbs 31:26 of course.

“She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.”

While they are not technically connected words, I think this example is the closest thing we see to the one in 1 Corinthians 13:4. This kindness that God speaks of isn’t necessarily about what we do for people, but rather our very heart towards them. As a keeper of the home, we do an awful lot for the ones we love. We cook, clean, sew, teach (the kids of course), encourage, plan, shop, budget…the list goes on and on. We do these things because we love God and we love our family. Sometimes I know I can get a bit worn out from the labor and the hard work. My spirit gets a bit deflated and I may start to lose that sweet demeanor that blesses my family.

I believe this is exactly where this “kindness” comes in. Love is kind. At the end of a long day, after cleaning the house and folding the laundry and giving baths and correcting homework and when I’m worn out and tired and exhausted and simply frazzled—am I kind? Is my love kind? When the running around stops and I’m just me with my family, am I kind? That’s where I feel the Lord encouraging me tonight. Homekeepers, we are busy ladies. There’s no doubt about it. We have a lot on our metaphorical plates and it seems we always have more items on our chore list than we have time for. When that quiet finally comes, even at our most exhausted moments, do we show our loved ones kindness?

After my daughter throws a temper tantrum and is punished, she will often come to me for a hug. While she is hurting, and hopefully regretting her actions, she still knows down deep that I love her so very much. Will I turn her away when she needs my affections, even when she’s been rude and sinful in her actions? No. I choose to show her kindness and mercy. She gets her punishment, but she will never reach the end of my kindness, nor my love. When my husband needs me to show him kindness, Lord may I be the one to do that with open arms and an encouraging smile. That’s God’s kind of love.

Love is kind. It’s a unique kindness that is part of our very nature when we have the love of God flowing through us. While we may not always feel like being kind, and we may even diminish that kindness in ourselves by being too bogged down by the cares of the world, may we submit our hearts to the Lord and show a sweet, warm kindness that heals and builds up our family and friends. God bless!

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Teach Thy Children His Ways

The most important memory we can keep for our family is the memory of our testimony of God’s power in our lives in the in the lives of our husbands and children. We read in Psalms that we are to remember His wonderful works. When our children are old enough to understand, we want to tell them all about what God has done in our lives. How did God capture our hearts? How did He change our lives? How has He continued to work in our lives ever since? How has God directed our marriages and our methods of raising our kids? We want to remind our children constantly how much He loves them and how He wants to know them.

 “And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.” Deuteronomy 6:6-9

“These words…shall be in thine heart,” oh woman of God. “Thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children.” God goes on to say that they will be bound to our hands, placed between our eyes and written on the very walls and posts of our homes. Why? So we never forget! God is commanding us to remember His Word and all of His wonderful works so that we can teach them to our children. If we love our children, we will remember God’s Word and we will remember to remind them of His Word as often as we can so that they may grow to love Him and walk in His ways. We must never forget what God has done and who our Lord Jesus Christ is. Praise the Lord!

With God’s Words anointing your home, and your heart skillfully keeping the memories of the family safe inside, your husband and children will be blessed by you and will rise up to call you blessed. They will see you as a treasure, far more valuable that rubies or gold. You hold their lives in your heart—every scar, every victory, every fear and sweet dream. Treasure these memories. Your unique female heart was made to hold them safe and sound.

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My Calling Towards Home Education

“And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.” Deuteronomy 6:6-9

I always attended public school growing up, as did my husband in Scotland. The school I went to from 4th to 8th grade was a great school in a small town and I felt that I got a good education there. I went on to a public high school and then straight to a four-year university to be trained up in music education. My ultimate goal was to become a high school choir director and to teach in public school myself. You can imagine the surprise when I felt the Lord turning my heart towards homeschooling just after I married my husband.

I was living in Scotland with my hubby when I started to think about home education. We lived in a small town where I would encounter the kids walking to their schools each morning. They all wore uniforms, some of which included mini-skirts that I found to be appalling. The words I would often hear from their mouths were even more disheartening, and ones I wouldn’t want to mention here for fear of offending my readers. I wondered how I would worry if one day I were sending my own children off to these schools. Would these be the kids they befriended and learned from? Would they be mocked when their mother wouldn’t allow the mini-wear? What about the material being taught?

I recall talking to a young lady from our church. She attended a Catholic school, which is quite common over there. She said that one of her nun teachers had instructed the class during “religion” class that Jesus really didn’t do a miracle and physically multiple the loaves and fish to feed the five-thousand plus. She said, “The real miracle was that He got the people to share and that’s what the story was trying to tell.” Yikes! A nun telling kids in public Catholic school that Jesus’ miracles were not to be taken literally?

This all got me thinking and praying. I talked to my pastor’s wife, who had been home schooled herself growing up, and is one of the finest women I know. We talked about the things our children would be force-fed in public school. They would be taught the theory of evolution as if it were fact and dismiss any suggestion of creation or a Creator. They would be taught the old-age of the earth as fact without mention of other possibilities or holes in the theories. They would be given sex-education classes where current issues of birth control, homosexuality, masturbation, sexual identity and abortion would be explained by secular teachers instead of parents. These, and many more issues, kept running through my mind and heart. After much prayer, research and Holy Spirit tugging I found myself sold on the concept of home education and my husband confirmed that he too was on board.

I’m not sharing this because I think everyone needs to homeschool. Perhaps homeschooling isn’t for everyone. Not all women can stay at home to teach. Many have to work outside the home to make ends meet. Others feel that they aren’t equipped with the patience to homeschool and that’s okay. I’m not sharing my story as a means to judge or put down anyone who has chosen to use public education. I know many awesome Christian parents who have gone this route and who have great kids. I am simply sharing my calling towards home education, how God put it on my heart and why I believe it’s what He wants me personally to do.

Luke 6:40A student is not above his teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like his teacher.”

1 Corinthians 15:33 “Do not be misled: ‘Bad company corrupts good character.'”

Proverbs 13:20 “He who walks with the wise grows wise, but the companion of fools suffers harm.”

Romans 12:2 “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”

Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”

These are some of the verses that encourage me in my decision to homeschool. Jesus said in Luke that a student becomes like the teacher. While I know many wonderful teachers out there and respect them thoroughly, I also know that I cannot ensure every teacher my daughter would sit under would be a Christian, and that is important to me. I want my daughter to be influenced by people under the influence of the Holy Spirit. Along the same lines I want to know that the children my daughter forms close friendships with are also being trained up in the Lord. I want to know they are being taught purity, good character and morality. While we are called to be lights to this world, I believe it is wise to wait until my daughter is older and firmly founded in the Word herself before exposing her to the world to shine.

We as parents as supposed to train up our children. We are also supposed to prioritize what are the most important things for them to learn. While my daughter will be fully educated in math, science, history, geography, literature, etc., a big part of her studies will also be in the Bible. I love that we can start each day with Bible and prayer time. She will learn about evolution and creation. She will learn about history…all the way back to the Garden of Eden. She will learn about how God made her female and what that means from her mother. She will also learn how to cook (hopefully better than me!) and clean and take care of a home. I get excited just thinking about it!

I have faced all of the stereotypes and stigmas attached to homeschoolers by those who have questioned our choice and all I can say is that I have found them to be in error. I have taught a homeschooling choir for over three years and have worked with over 45 homeschooling families. Getting to know these kids I have found them to be nothing at all as they are portrayed by those who don’t agree with homeschooling. They are delightful, bright, respectful, social and sweet kids who just shine. I adore them and their parents! In my time I have only met one family that was a little different, but the rest have been wonderful! Statistics also show that home educated children often graduate early from high school and do very well in college.

Again, I want to make it clear that I am not saying my way is the only way. I know there are great schools out there and wonderful teachers. I know that good, involved parents can and do keep up with what their kids are being taught and continue to train the kids after school hours in the things of the Lord. I am not judging others for going with public school. I am simply sharing my personal calling and why my husband and I have felt guided by the Lord into homeschooling our little ones. It is a challenge and a blessing, and I can’t wait to see what the future will hold as we continue down this path. God bless!

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Training Up Children

            “The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame.” Proverbs 29:15

 

            “For whom the LORD lovesHe chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives.” Hebrews 12:6

            Teaching and disciplining are both ways that we are called as mothers to serve our children. We can keep homes where discipline is consistent and steadfast or we can have un-orderly households. We set the tone in our homes. We set the rules, the boundaries and the consequences, of course with the go ahead from our husbands. It is an important part of our roles as home-keepers. I do want to share that God tells us here that disciplining and training up your child is an act of love. Throughout Proverbs we read that using the rod of correction is what is best for the child. We must take these words seriously and follow the Lord’s leading. He says He chastens us because He loves us. We are His children and He wants what is best for us. Sometimes His corrections hurt, but they are always for the best in the long run. The purifying of gold and precious silver through the hot fire is necessary, and God has entrusted our children to us to be brought up according to His Word. Therefore, mothers who love their children will discipline them. As to the method, well, I’ll let you read through the Proverbs and decide for yourself how God is instructing us.

We also see that parents are responsible for training and teaching the children. My personal conviction is that God has called me to homeschool my daughter so that is the direction we are going. Whether we homeschool or not, mothers are called to teach their children. It is part of keeping the home. We are to teach them to follow God’s ways, to read the Bible, to worship Him and to pray. We are to lead by example and correct with discipline when needed. Our children will see through hypocrisy and falseness so we need to make sure our own walks are solid so that they will be blessed with a good and honest example to follow.

So what is the reward of mothers keeping their homes and training up their children according to the Word? Aside from just the satisfaction of knowing you are obeying God, what are the benefits? Obedient children? Peaceful homes? The Lord’s blessings? Yes, all these things and much more!

            “The father of the righteous shall greatly rejoice: and he that begetteth a wise child shall have joy of him.” Proverbs 23:24

 

            “Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.” Proverbs 31:28

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The Bread of Idleness

“She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.”    Proverbs 31:27

Oh what a challenge this is! This is one area in which many homemakers struggle, including the one penning this very sentence!. Every wife and mother knows that there is always so much to do. I always say being a mother is the hardest job. Yet sometimes this isn’t the case the case at all. There are certainly some wives and mothers who take their roles at home lightly, and who spend much of their time “eating the bread of idleness.” There is a difference between simple “being” a wife and mother and “being a good” wife and mother.

Let me give you an example. You walk into a home at three o’clock in the afternoon. The television is on with one of those court reality shows no doubt. A toddler is playing on the floor. She’s obviously not been bathed, still wearing her pajamas, with her lovely hair in a mess of tangles on her head. Her lunch is still sitting on a plate on the floor, providing evidence of her typical nutritious diet of a hotdog and chips. The house is a mess. That’s not to say it is simply messy but dirty also. The carpets have not been vacuumed for weeks. The kitchen counter is piled high with dirty dishes. The laundry is forming one of the walls of the master bedroom as if it were part of the actual structure, which is probably why the kid is still in her pajamas! Meanwhile, the mother is stretched out on the couch, waiting in anticipation to find out if the plaintiff is going to get the judgment. The bread of idleness.

I want to be clear here that I am not criticizing anyone for taking a break once in a while. Having children and taking care of a home is hard work. Everyone needs a break from time to time. I am also not saying that a house has to be spotless or tidy around the clock. There are certainly times when my house gets cluttered and messy. What I am pointing out here is that being a good wife and mother is hard work because it involves putting some effort into it.

Bathing and dressing the children, keeping up with housework and providing healthy nutrition for the family is all important. It is easy to be idle and lazy with the many distractions we have today. Since I started working from home, I have had to make a rule for myself that I will not watch television during the day while my husband is at work. I have a TV stand that closes so you cannot even see the unit, and I keep it closed throughout the day as a reminder. I do this because I could easily get caught up in idleness and I don’t want to be that kind of wife and mother.

         “As vinegar to the teeth and smoke to the eyes, so is the lazy man to those who send him.” Proverbs 10:26

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Provoke Not Your Children to Wrath

“And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” Ephesians 6:4

 While this verse specifically mentions “fathers”, it is clearly the will of God for all parents; both fathers and mothers. We can assume that because the husband, or father, is meant to be the head of the household under God’s commandment, and therefore the wife and mother would follow his lead in this matter. Therefore this verse does apply to mothers as well. So, what is it saying?

The word “provoke” is the Greek word “parorgizō” which means, “to provoke, to exasperate, or to rouse to wrath.” Parents are not to rouse their children to wrath. Sounds simple enough, but how can we accomplish this? After all, kids get angry if you say they aren’t to eat a bag full of candy, or if you turn off the television and ask them to help with the chores. The Lord is not telling parents to give children whatever they want to keep them happy. He is instructing parents to keep our side of things clean, and to search out areas in our parenting where our bad decisions, actions and language is causing unnecessary wrath in our children. For example, nothing angers a child more than favoring one sibling over the others. While parents will often deny doing this, I’ve seen many examples of families where one child is treated more favorably than the others. Perhaps he or she is the star athlete of the family, or the one with the greatest desire to learn. Meanwhile, little brother just doesn’t seem to take to sports and struggles with mathematics and science. Parents must always love these children equally and give them the same amount of nurturing, encouragement and quality time.

Children will sometimes accuse parents of favoring one sibling even if it’s not the case. My own brothers still tease my mother to this very day that I was always her favorite. While I hope and am sure they know this is not really the case, and that my mother loves us all equally, it is often the joke brought up at family gatherings. Parents will not be able to eliminate all instances of anger, but we can limit them by being cautious and examining our actions often.

Another mistake that parents fall into is one of inconsistency. Now this can be the match that lights up a fire in your child’s heart. This is an area I have struggled with and continue to fail quite a bit in my short time with my sweet daughter. Inconsistency with the rules, the discipline and the rewards can cause anger within your child. Kids need boundaries they can depend on. If you set a boundary and then bend or break it from time to time, children will be confused about what they can and cannot get away with. When they repeat the action that previously resulted in no punishment, but this time there is a consequence, they will become angry and rebellious. Be consistent. If something is against the rules, it must be handled the same way every time that rule is broken. Children need stability and consistency in their lives, and it is a loving parent who provides these.

Thirdly, children will be stirred up to wrath because of the sin of their parents. Children are always watching and listening. They hear when parents fight and speak cruel words to one another. They watch when mom is disrespectful to their father or dad is being unloving to their mother. They will spot hypocrisy when parents put on happy Sunday church faces and then become other people behind closed doors. Nothing used to make me more upset as a child then when people would talk about how wonderful my dad was and they never knew how things were at home. He was wonderful in public and kind and generous to everyone. Then, once we were home and it was just the family, his attitude, language and behavior would completely change. Your children are watching. Make sure what they see in you is a godly example of Christ and not a life of hypocrisy.

            “The just man walketh in his integrity: his children are blessed after him.” Proverbs 20:7

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