If you’ve been a mama for a while, you’re probably no stranger to responding to your kids in anger. Whether it’s dealing with disobedience and disrespect, fighting between siblings, or the general inconveniences that accompany child raising, there are many things that can trigger anger pretty quickly.
But if you’re anything like me or any of the mamas I know, you want to get these angry responses under control. You can tell that they do nothing to actually solve the issues at hand, and they make you feel crummy on top of it all.
I decided to write this post because I’m on an anger-free journey myself. You may think I’m a bit crazy, and you may wonder if it’s even possible. If so, I want to start by proposing something to you. I truly believe that it’s not only possible to never respond in anger; I believe God doesn’t want us walking in anger at all.
What’s my basis? Well, Colossians 3:8 says the following:
“But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips.”
From this verse, I gather that God doesn’t want us just tolerating anger in our lives; He actually wants us to be completely rid of it. Similarly, Psalm 37:8 says to “cease from anger and abandon wrath.”
The Bible does mention that God has anger; however, His anger is different from ours. God’s anger is slow to punishment and man’s anger is quick to wound. His anger brings judgment and brings justice, while our fleshly, unrighteous anger brings hurt and only has our own self in mind.
So how can we mamas be anger-free and walk in patience with our kids? I want to share six things with you that I’m making a part of my life. It takes intentionality, but I’m heading to victory, and I invite you to join me!
Forgive your kids daily
As you mature in patience, you’ll probably need to practice forgiving and releasing your kids daily, especially if you know you’ve taken their behavior to heart.
For example, let’s say your child deliberately disobeys you, and this disobedience causes a major inconvenience to your day. You don’t want to step into anger and put your health and relationships at risk. You need to forgive and release your child, from your heart, right then and there, before you even try to deal with the situation at hand.
If you find that you’re always angry, chances are you’ve built up resentment toward your children (or others) and need to forgive them for any and all offenses, including complaining, fighting, disobedience, rebellion, etc. I recommend purchasing and applying Dr. Caroline Leaf’s book, Switch on Your Brain, to get toxic thinking patterns under control and change your ways.
Fill your mind with truth
God made it clear that a lack of knowledge and understanding will prevent us from walking in His fulness. In Hosea 4:6, He says “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.”
As mamas who want to walk in good and upright paths, let’s make sure we’re eating from the Word and not from worldly philosophies (or from poor advice from others). His Word is lamp and a light for us!
Our goal, as we journey away from anger, is to walk in love. Love is what we’re wired for, and it’s our optimal mode of function. 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 says the following:
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
We need to meditate on this truth daily and think it through.
Also, remind yourself of the following things:
- My kids need help responding correctly
- My kids don’t always understand how to process their feelings
- I need to be patient with their learning process
- I can’t control my kids or their responses
- The only thing I can control is my own responses
- I welcome the inconveniences of parenting!
Access the help of the Holy Spirit
Jesus said that He was going to give us the Spirit of truth who would lead us into all truth. John 14:26 calls Him our Helper. He helps us to live out the godliness that we desire to live out and to be the patient, kind, tender, and gentle moms we truly desire to be for our kids.
But exactly how do you access this help? Simple; we just need to ask!
Over and above all things, I encourage you to develop an ongoing relationship with the Holy Spirit. This is your biggest key to success in this, and every, area of your life.
Often, my prayer about this subject literally sounds like this: “Holy Spirit I completely yield my heart and my mind to you today. I thank you that I can be free from anger, so I ask that you lead me into all truth and help me to renew my mind. I want to walk in love.”
Take your eyes off yourself
I’ve heard anger defined as “a self-centered failure to love”, and I agree with that definition.
Being a mom, and especially as stay at home mom, is a wonderful opportunity to practice killing selfishness. It’s a wonderful opportunity to practice Philippians 2:3, which tells us to value others above ourselves. It’s an incredible time to walk in 1 Corinthians 10:24, which says that we should seek not our own good, but the good of others.
When we take our eyes off our own selves and focus on caring for our children, we’re walking in the very definition of love. It helps us to make stronger connections with them and, in my personal experience, causes us to be extra-aware of our responses.
Devote yourself to connecting with your kids (not controlling them)
Many times we get frustrated simply because we’re reaping the fruit of our poor child training.
Many mamas, including myself, have tried to parent by using control. Many of us were raised that way, but if you’ve ever tried it, you know it’s a completely fruitless way of parenting.
Connecting with your kids, however, goes far beyond what controlling parenting could ever accomplish. For more on this, check out my post on connecting with your kids. Also, check out this resource from a beautiful, very connected family that I know personally.
1 Chronicles 16:34 says “give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever.”
Thankfulness needs to become a habit for us. Truthfully, the more our eyes are opened to see the goodness of God, the more thankfulness will flow from our hearts.
If you catch your mind going a wrong direction and focusing on all the wrong things your child is doing, reroute yourself by opening your mouth and starting to thank Him. Thank Him for the blessing and privilege of being able to be a mother and raise children. Thank Him for His provision in your life, and for His Son Jesus. And most of all, thank Him that you’re a new creation and you don’t have to walk in anger anymore!
Do you have any testimonies to share related to this topic? Comment below, I’d love to hear!