"Son, get over here right now!" I shouted in my most authoritative mommy voice. (Okay, I yelled!)
"Yes, mom what's wrong?" My son replied as he came into the room.
"What's wrong. How could you even ask what's wrong. Look at this stuff all over the place." I reacted.
"Sorry mom. I'll clean it up. " He said as he reached for a towel. "But why do you have to get mad a me for making a mistake? I didn't mean to do it."
Gulp. I stopped mid-tantrum. He was right. Why did I have to get mad just because he mistakenly left something out that his little sister decided to spill all over. He didn't deliberately try to make my life miserable. Yet, I reacted like he was the problem.
I began to think about this all day. Why do I get mad at my children? I came to one conlcusion, pride and shelfishness.
A family is much like a garden. Each member has different characteristics and qualities that make them unique and special. But like all gardens there are weeds. When I see a weed in my flower bed I just give it a quick tug and it's gone. No fuss. No anger. I accept that within my garden there will be weeds to deal with. Some are a little deeper rooted and I have to spend a little more time making sure I get the root. But I never get mad at the flowers for causing the weeds. I would look absolutely foolish and my neighbors would wonder - even more than they already do! - if I stood there and started yelling at my flowers for causing the weeds. And I certainly wouldn't destroy the whole flower garden just because it happens to attract a few weeds.
Yet, that is what I do when I chastise my children for their mistakes that they make my life more difficult.
Scripture says, "Only by pride cometh contention." It is my pride that causes me to get mad at my children. Their mistakes inconvenience me and I don't like it. So what do I do? Yell at my "flowers." How dumb is that!
So the next time I"m tempted to get mad over one of the silly mistakes my children make, I'm going to try and imagine what I would look like standing in my back yard yelling at my roses or my marigolds. Hopefully, that image will cause me to stop and think for a minute. I don't want to destroy my flowers because I have a few weeds mixed in. And if that doesn't work maybe I ought to just go outside and yell at the weeds a few times. Maybe a few embarrassing situaitons will help keep me in line.