The Writing on the Wall

My daughter’s feet pounded on every step as she went up to her room. I should have known it was going to be “one of those days” when I saw the mood she was in the very moment she woke up. Everything had been a test—eating breakfast, getting dressed, doing schoolwork. “Why can’t kids just do as they are told?” I thought to myself.

Ephesians 6:4 says, “And, ye fathers [and mothers], provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” Even though I knew this verse to be true, I went into a private pity party instead. Wouldn’t my life be easier if I sent my daughter to public school and avoided all these confrontations? I could be a mom who stayed at home and did her nails instead of a mom who checked schoolwork in the bathroom, gave spelling tests while cooking supper, and folded piles of laundry at midnight. Why was I the bad guy here?

Suddenly, the quietness in my daughter’s bedroom shattered my thoughts. I decided to go upstairs to see what was happening and talk to my daughter about her behavior. Expecting her to be on the bed crying in repentance, what I found was quite the opposite. As I opened the door, there was a mural in black crayon drawn across the yellow-flowered wallpaper in her room. The anger and frustration I had used in disciplining my daughter moments ago was now communicated in her scribbles and marks before me. I knew I had pushed her too far. I saw the writing on the wall.  

I wasn’t quite sure who was being disciplined that day. Certainly, my actions had been far from righteous when I had sent my daughter to her room in anger. Truly, the greater lesson had been learned by me. My anger was not the tool to be used in disciplining my children.

What about you? Do you intimidate your children with your size and authority? Stop and think: “For the wrath of [Mom] worketh not the righteousness of God” (James 1:20).

Holy Father, forgive me when I discipline my children in the flesh instead of according to Your Word. Thank You for Your mercy in my mistakes and help me to show that same mercy to my children as we homeschool each day. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Comments(12 comments)

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ANGIE D 08/04/2009 09:54:33

thank you , I needed to hear tha,t that was confirmation for us

JACQUELINE L 08/04/2009 18:11:55

This is definitely one to meditate on.... wrath-'intense anger'-'belligerence'> builds walls like a castle or fortress to defend oneself from an oncoming onslot... ...I have been 'searching' Ephesians 6:4, and found alot of good wisdom... from others that have gone down this path...Roger D. Campbell has a 'what it does not to mean' online typed teaching...Also I found a site by Doreen Claggett about 'What not to do to provoke wrath'.... Thank You for that 'word in due season' Jackie L.

ALYSSA H 08/05/2009 17:54:40

I needed that lesson as well. Just out of curiosity, what happened to the daughter after scribbling all over the wall? Just wondering....

REBEKAH P 08/04/2010 07:30:34

Thank you for your honesty with your own life. Your words truly teach!

KELLY C 08/04/2011 03:45:14

I know there are no coincidences, just "God--incidences" and your reflection today is so clearly what I needed to knock me off my place and force me to reset. Thank you. Thank you.

VALORIE H 08/04/2011 05:22:59

Thank you for sharing this. Something I have been struggling with also. Thank God for his word.

JENNIFER H 08/04/2011 11:42:30

Thank you. I also needed to read that today.

ALMA W 08/04/2011 13:24:16

I have struggled with these same issues and have to ask myself at times if I truly am a Christian? It's a legitimate question. Why do I respond with a heart of anger? Am I teaching my children to do the same?...yes! The Lord convicted me of my sin of anger when I picked up a book by Lou Priolo called, "The Heart of Anger." It's a great book! A must read for those dealing with anger. Pick it up before it's too late! Anger has a way of destroying relationships and can even put children in danger, and you in jail!

SANDRA S 08/06/2011 06:50:49

Anger. Ouch!!! Someone preached about how it is a form of frustration. I've expressed it many times. I've been taught that the best time to handle conflict is in times of NON conflict. That definitely helps, but I still try to 'modify behavior' of my girls to make the school day go more smoothly. This anger thing is a big deal, because we do indeed show our children how to handle their own 'frustration' when they are in conflict. Not good. Thank you for reminding us to get to the heart of my issues so I can teach my girls a better way to handle difficulty, and to help them to enjoy learning, and being taught by their mother. Someday they will grow up and do the same. Double Ouch!

KATHY S 08/04/2012 08:22:52

I have learned since my son was very young, not to react in anger. My son with a form of autism, when he was very young would slap me in the face, pinch me, dig his nails into my arm, etc. Now at the time I didn't know he was autistic. I couldn't figure out why he was behaving like this. He had tons and tons of other delays and things that made me think this is possibly why he behaved this way. Through years of patience (that only God could have given me) I have a almost perfectly behaved child. He is so very good. People compliment him on his behavior and caring towards his Mother all the time. My last hospital trip, a nurse came into my room, who saw us on my 1st ER trip, she remembered us and commented," I have never seen a teenager be so kind and caring for his Mother". "He watched over you every minute". And that was 3 months prior and this nurse remebered my son. So patience, and restrain of anger does and will pay off. I think alot of my attitude towards him, makes him show the same attitude towards me. When he became school age and the bullying started. My heart of course just dropped. And at that time, alot of times if he misbehaved a little, I would talk, use examples of how he felt when others were mean to him and how Mom must feel now. And How I was doing everything I could to Protect him and resolve the school issues. I cannot remember when it "kicked in" in his spirit. But it surley did. He is so well behaved. There are times he still gets angry, (not at me) and I have learned to wait until he is ready to talk and try and help resolve whatever problem he is dealing with then. Pastor John Hagee once said how the Jewish people pray "Blessings" over their children, and how sometimes we are guilty of telling our children they are dummies , or lazy, etc. That makes all the difference. When you tell a child that they are sometyhing negative, expect to get that out of your child. I prefer to pray blessings, and trust that God will bring those Blessings to my son each and every day. I am far from perfect, I still get frustated and upset, I just have learned to keep it to myself.

CARRIE S 08/06/2012 09:58:47

I needed that.

Kristie Etzel 08/05/2013 13:19:59

Thank you. I have heard before from a pastor that anger is the display of fear and hurt.

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