. . . is the highest form of flattery, right? I was reminded of this phrase when I came across this old post when I was doing my categories.
But last week, I was reminded by my children that imitation is the highest form of conviction. My seven year old daughter was sitting beside me at the table eating lunch, when I heard, "Ooooh, I am so mad," uttered with furrowed brow and through clenched teeth. Unfortunately, that sounded too familiar. Even more unfortunately, I am usually saying it to her, when I've reached my level of frustration with disobedience or careless acts, which lead to messes or crying little brothers, or saddest of all, out of my own frustration with being bothered. What was making her so mad, you might ask? Her fish sticks kept coming out of the coating when she was trying to eat them.
I have been reading Building the Christian Family You Never Had (and I plan to post a full review when I am finished), but from it, I have learned that although I really had a perfectly fine upbringing for which I am thankful, there are things that I have to acknowledge that were problems, such as yelling as a normal mode of communication. I have to deal with them through daily prayer and lean only on Jesus' loving arms and ability to make my reactions like his, before I not only damage this generation of children I am parenting, but the next as they imitate me as they raise their own children.
I am not afraid to apologize for speaking out in anger. An apology assures Amanda that I know that she does not deserve to be spoken to in that way, but it doesn't take away the damage done by harsh words. Fortunately, the Holy Spirit brought me under conviction about this, and so now when I do it, I immediately repent, and feel saddened by my sin. I don't know if I felt that sorrow five or six years ago. So, I've made progress. With God's help, I even have to apologize less than I did last year.
I'd love for the cycle to stop with me. I'm so thankful for forgiving children, understanding friends who don't judge me harshly, because they've either been there or are struggling with their own parenting imperfections as well, and for God's grace that helps me not to feel so mired in sin that I just give up instead of pressing forward.