Yesterday I woke up grumpy. I was short with darling husband for no reason–I could see the hurt and confusion in his eyes as he gave me a quick kiss on the cheek as he left for work. Then, before she even woke up, I was annoyed with sweet girl. Kindness was not present in my attitude and actions. Does this scenario sound familiar?
We all have those days, but the truth is: difficult circumstances are not an excuse for unkind words.
“When we allow (our feelings) to be tied to our circumstances–which are constantly changing- rather than to the unchangeable realities of God and His Truth, our emotions are prone to fluctuate wildly.”Nancy Demoss Wolgemuth, Lies Women Believe and the Truth That Sets Them Free
And unfortunately, often times it’s our loved ones who suffer for it. I put it this way in another post: when we allow ourselves to be tossed around by the extreme highs and lows of emotions, it can leave the ones we love most damaged in the wake of the storm. (Read more on “3 ways to anchor your heart in the torrent of emotions”)
Sometimes we spend so much of our emotional energy on being polite, gracious, and kind to others throughout the day that it feels like we “nothing left” for those we love most at home. But these are the people that God has directly and specifically called you to love, serve, teach, support, and encourage.
“Kind words are like honey–sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.” Proverbs 16:24
I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: You set the tone for your home, mama. Your kids and your husband will pick up on your mood and react accordingly.
And I’m not saying you should put on a forced sunny disposition every day. That’s not reality and that’s not being honest. Include your family in on what you are feeling and what your day holds in a way that shows vulnerability and the need for God’s strength.
“Show your children your schedule and ask for grace… Our point is not to burden them or cause them to feel our stress or exhaustion, but to show a gentle patience or added grace with us when we tell them where we are in our lives. As mothers, our open communication with our children is not to be in the form of negativity or complaining, but a word of honesty and a request for an added measure of long-suffering, understanding, or the ability to take a step away and breathe…The beauty in our weakness is His glory and His strength… Allow your children to see that you need God more than anyone or anything else. Nothing is more cementing for faith than seeing dependence in action. Let them see God show up when you are worn down.”September McCarthy, Why Motherhood Matters
“Reset button” = gospel infused grace for yourself and for the day
And some days you just mess up, even with the best of intentions. Nothing went to plan and you carelessly spoke unkind words out frustration. This is a good time to claim a “reset” on the day, no matter if it’s 8am or 8pm. Confess and repent to God and to those you hurt. Then (especially if it’s with your kids), verbally explain that you are going to “hit the reset button on the day”.
It’s a chance to start the day fresh and new.
This is a great opportunity to instill gospel truth into their hearts. Remind them that because of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross and His resurrection, our sins can be washed away. When we experience forgiveness in Christ, he has wiped the slate clean and we experience new life in Him. We have a fresh start with Jesus. When we model a “reset” on the day, we can use our weakness and failings to point to God’s grace and redemption.
“Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other, as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.”Colossians 3:12-13
“Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear… Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”Ephesians 4:29,32
I love the mention of forgiveness right alongside kindness, in both of these verses. After all, it’s God’s lovingkindness that leads us to repentance (Romans 2:4), and points us to the cross. The gospel is what compels us to lean in to His strength and rely on the Holy Spirit’s work in transforming us to be more like Christ. His kindness, His forgiveness, and grace.