"If you can't discipline and be pleasant, then just be pleasant"
I checked a book out from our local library the other day. I was needing encouragement for homeschooling and this particular book caught my eye...Just Around the Corner by Steven and Teri Maxwell. It is a collection of newsletter articles they have written over the years designed to encourage and challenge homeschooling families. It always amazes me how God leads me to exactly what I need.
I began reading the book last night, each article is a very quick read. Some made me ponder, some were irrelevant, but the quote above got my attention. I am going to admit something here...the last few months I have not enjoyed homeschooling. I lack patience with my children. I lose my temper on a regular basis and I have developed, oh the shame of it, a habit of yelling at my boys. The tension in the house has been unbearable. I have found myself with a permanent scowl and more than once a day Cowodie saying "what's wrong Mom?" The boys have begun yelling and picking on one another as well (I wonder why...great example from me??)
The Lord wanted to make sure I was paying attention for the next article was on cherishing your children...the story recounted a mother ministering to her son as he died of a brain tumor. Would you treat your child the same way if you knew his time on earth was limited? So the first article tapped me on the shoulder and this one hit me over the head. I was so ashamed. I sat in my chair near tears following the scripture references and repenting of my hard heart, bad attitude and neglect of the precious lives He has placed in my care.
Today has been a new day. I have prayed and asked continually for God to help me be pleasant to my children. I have not raised my voice, silently pleading to have a guarded tongue. I know I cannot change my attitude alone, nor will it change without daily (hourly, minute by minute) prayer for a new outlook and disposition. We have had a wonderful day. When tempers have flared between the boys I have gone to them and spoken with them calmly about how they could have handled it differently.
Verses that have helped me today are Proverbs 16:21b "pleasant words promote instruction" and Proverbs 16: 24 "Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones." I don't want to be known as a foolish woman who tears down her own house, (Proverbs 14:1). That is exactly what I was allowing my harsh words to do.