Wednesday, October 1, 2014 - self.control.

     I'd like to start by saying how un-expert I am in the arena of 'parenting advice'.  None of my writing this month is meant to do more than challenge myself & be an encouragement to others to listen for the Lord's voice or His gentle leading in any of these topics.  I pray that my heart will be doing so much WORK while walking through how to raise up my sons & impart these key lessons early in their lives.


The first place to start...
"Like a city whose walls are broken through is a person who lacks self control."
Proverbs 25:28

   We need self.control.  It is a defense for us; without it, we are vulnerable to attack, invasion!  My sons need self.control. for their good, for their safety, for their protection.  

How can I teach this lesson?  How can I model self.control. when our tempers run high & patience runs low?  At our house, our boys lose their tempers, all the time, every day.  Especially when they are overtired (and the same is true for their momma!).  I know that self.control. can take many forms, but for me, I think teaching my boys how to stay in control of their emotions has been very difficult.  But why would I be surprised?  How many adults in this world are really in control of their own emotions, including myself??  I am guilty as well, but seeing this need in my boys as pushed me to see the need in myself.  

So, when I've asked 5 times for the legos to get picked up, and shouted from the other room my continued expectation for the clean-up, how can I teach my boy self.control?  I enter in to his space - I don't stay in the other room.  I don't lose my own temper, I breath deep & think specifically.  "ok, first no more building legos.  Building legos is playing, putting them away means not playing with them now."  and I stay.  It is not convenient.  It tempts me to anger & frustration.  But if I stay I can continue to encourage, to direct, to support his work, his efforts.  Self.control. to him would be choosing obedience as well, listening & choosing to do as I ask, each time he would rather be building something.  It is tough!!

When I lose my temper, I do not demonstrate love or any other of the fruits of the spirit.  When I let myself be ruled by my own emotion, instead of living self.control. then I am guilty.  When they forget to use inside voices & forget all our house rules & the chaos becomes a catalyst for my blood pressure to rise... I must be first to show how to gain control.  And sometimes that takes failure first - and sometimes that takes prayer first.  But graciously, the Lord meets me, failure or not.

Father God, please teach me how to have self.control.  Teach me more so I can teach my sons.  Give me wisdom to show them & patience to repeat it.  Lord make us more like you.  Amen.


  1. I am FINALLY starting to reap some of what I have sowed with making an effort in self-control. Sometimes I will even say out loud to me kids "I AM NOT going to yell." For me, personally I was able to connect the yelling to my internal fears that I was not a good enough mom, I took all of their misbehavior personally as exhibit 1,834 of my inability to be a good mom. Once I let go of that and started trusting in God to help me be the mom He wanted me to be, I started to see a little progress, and then I started to see bigger progress in our family atmosphere. Still have a loooooooong way to go but it's encouraging when I see change in a good direction.

  2. Faith, that's awesome, bravo! I know for myself, I know when a yell is in my self control, and when it isn't. I can feel when I start to lose my temper & that yell is not ok. I completely agree that trusting the Lord in those moments brings strength, and practicing leaning on him when things feel out of my own control is freedom. I am very much a planner & love to be in control. Which works so well with 3 boys 4 & under. (ha!) Those time that I can open my hands & let God give what he wills & keep actively choosing to not lose my temper - those times are my freedom. I am right there with ya, seeing progress & still a long way to go. ;-) Blessings! Thanks for sharing with me.