Sunday, April 13, 2008

Foolishnes, anger and hopefully wisdom

I remember, before my kids were born, feeling that I would never be able to relate to children. I could look at an 8 year old and feel like I just couldn't imagine what I could talk to them about. And now I find myself, perpectually surrounded by children. There are times when I forget how to relate to adults! But as a result, I find myself relating to my children, especially my eldest son, in a way that I forget that he is only a child. What a strange reversal!

This is a good and bad. I'm so delighted to have that relationship with him... delighted that he has a relationship with me. I love relating to him. I love seeing how his mind works and how intensely complicated he is. 6 seems like such a young age, but at the same time, it is incredible... and it's a growing and developing age, which is part of what makes it so enjoyably intriguing. Now the bad ... when I relate to him in such a way, it is hard not to place expectations on him. Adults, who I've been accustom to relating to would not behave in a foolish manner. And then, expectations often lead to disappointments. I do not respond well when he behaves like a child... even thought that is what he is. I should be correcting inappropriate behavior, and teaching and training. I am lacking wisdom in responding to him in a way that would bring learning and growth. More often I find I respond in anger. :-( I hate to admit that I get angry, speak in an unkind way and even yell, but I do it all... and a lot more than I feel I should. And as I am getting angry, I check myself, hear it happening, know its wrong, but how do I squeeze the toothpaste back into the tube?. It has a horrible fruit - I hear my children responding to each other in angry and unkind tones when someone doesn't do what they want them to do.

Proverbs 22: 15 Foolishness [is] bound in the heart of a child; [but] the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.
Anger is quite literally driving out joy. And what is it that I am angry with exactly? Frustration is a word used often around here (and kind of funny to hear the kids say they are "fustated"). I remember learning in our marriage to change and eliminate many of our expectations - and we both became much happier. I remember hearing Pastor Paul (Westport) talking once about lowering expectations, because often reality doesn't rise to our expectations. Whatever it is that I am expecting for or of my children, there is nothing more beneficial to them than a great deal of joy. So for our dose of wisdom today, I think I'll be taking an extra large glass of joy. I am praying that God will change this in me. I know I have been created to be a passionate person, God - teach me self control with my passion.

If you read this and think of it, pray for my temper and realistic expectations on my children, and for all of us, more joy.

**IMAGES: Top: Taken by Granny Franny of my Dad at a place called Gros Roche - he was about 14
Bottom: Easter Sunday 2008, the Vertner kids at Grandma and Grandpa's house in Dallas, OR


  1. I pray this for myself ALL THE TIME. This has been my main battle for the last 4 years, the fact that I'm still battling it (anger) means that I don't have any advice to give you! But I have seen how staying in the Word has been my only lifeline. Please, Jesus, give us patience, self-control and a delight for our children like we've never known. Amen.

  2. Count me in that club!

    Wow, I totally relate to so much of this post-

    I often relate to my oldest like he's at least 4-10 years older than he really is. Oftentimes he fits the bill well. But you are so right on that when he is 'acting his age' I can get frustrated.

    Thank you for bringing this to light. I think it was something I knew but didn't really see well.

    AND the anger vs joy thing - TOTALLY what has been on my heart and mind for the last few weeks. I guess I'll expound a tad on that on MY blog now... ;-)


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