I am an angry mom.
Of all the things I thought I would be, this is not one of them. When I imagined motherhood, this isn’t how I thought I would handle its difficult moments. I knew it would be hard and that I would be challenged, but I never imagined that I would be capable of being this screaming, fuming terror in my own home.
I never knew that running late, missing shoes, half-eaten sandwiches, and the inevitable afternoon toy explosion would be the things that would highlight the worst parts of myself.
I hate the boiling feeling in my chest, the way my voice sounds, and the tension that rides into the back of my neck. I am the hulk. I don’t turn green but I do forget who I am. And with that I forget whose I am, and I forget my primary role as a mother – to be a gospel-beacon pointing towards a righteous and merciful Savior.
This anger isn’t just an outward display of lost control; it is a deep residing flaw of character, an unsanctified part of my heart. In other words, it is a sin and God is helping me to see the selfishness and pride that exists as a closely connected spark to my anger. With prayer and practice (and I have lots of opportunity to practice) I have learned to control my outbursts, some of the time, but I'm not perfect.
And, as disgusting and ugly as it is, there is something to be grateful for in all of this: God never gives up on me. He hasn't once thrown His hands in the air and said there was nothing more He could do. I am not a lost cause. I am not even a less-loved child because of my despicable sin.
I am a child of God who is being pursued. In many ways I am like a garden being pruned. Pruning is the selective removal of parts of the plant in order to encourage abundant growth and flowering; it helps the good things grow stronger.
But I am also a garden being weeded. Unlike pruning, weedng is a method of utterly destroying the things among the plants that don’t belong. And because weeds are life threatening to an otherwise healthy plant you don’t just trim the weeds back; no, you reach down, dig your fingers into the soil, and rip that thing out, root and all.
In the same way, God isn’t content with just trimming my sin, pruning it, and making it more aesthetically pleasing just so that the weeds of my sin stay hidden. Instead, He digs His scarred hands into the soil, grips the sin by its root-y throat, and pulls it out completely.
A trim that only stifles my angry outbursts and dresses up my sin in a way that makes it seem more acceptable, will not do. I want to see my anger the way God does and go after it, not with a shear, but with a spade and the firm grip of determination bent on utter destruction. But this is not something I am even capable of; this is the work of God who is the author and perfecter of my faith and a master at gardening.
I love the imagery in the Song of Solomon.
“Catch the foxes for us, the little foxes that spoil the vineyards, for our vineyards are in blossom.” Song of Solomon 2:15 (ESV)
The little foxes, the ones that sneak under the radar and scurry around when no one is looking gobbling up the fine fruit, are the most dangerous. Because they hide easily they are capable of causing the most damage.
My sins of anger and pride are like these little foxes – barely noticeable but absolutely destructive. The harvest of my motherhood is far too important to let these little foxes linger. They must be destroyed. They must be caught. The weeds must be nothing less than decimated – pulled up by the root and cast into the fire.
If I am to help my girls see Christ, then I must be willing. I must be willing to let the Holy Spirit’s light shine into the darkness of my heart and then perform the painful task of weeding.
But, praise God, He doesn’t want to stop with just eradication; He also works to cultivate the fruit of the Spirit in its place – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Gal. 5:22-23). And His Word reminds me that love is patient and kind refusing to be provoked to anger and resentment (1 Cor. 13:4-5).
I will probably always need to be reminded of these truths and so, while my sin is despicable, I am thankful. I am thankful that I have this thorn that constantly sends me back to God. I am thankful for my weaknesses where God’s amazing grace can shine all the brighter (2 Cor. 12:9). And I am thankful that God doesn’t give up on me (Heb. 13:5).
While motherhood has shown me how bad I can be, it has also shown me how desperate I am and the true depth of God’s love for me that He would give Himself for me. This angry mom has a Savior who is Christ the Lord.
If you are like me, let’s reflect on these passages together.
“Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls…If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person's religion is worthless.” James 1:19-21; 26 (emphasis mine)
“The wise woman builds her house, but the foolish tears it down with her own hands.” Proverbs 14:1
“I will bless the Lord at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth… O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together.” Psalm 34:1,3
“Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and do not forget his benefits – who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the Pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, who satisfies you with good as long as you live so that your youth is renewed like the eagles.” Psalm 103:1-5
Free Download: Isaiah 43 "Redeemed You" Printable
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