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