It was already 12:40pm and we were still home. I, putting all my essentials — make-up, phone, perfume, ATM cards, driver’s license — in my drawstring bag while walking to and fro every corner of our tiny house looking for my jewelry pouch in the middle of our jungle-like home filled with all the mess of toys and unpacked things from our Christmas vacation. We were running late for a wedding last Saturday.
And while I was crazy busy prepping myself up to the last minute and my husband waiting for me in the car, the Big Boy was following me around asking if we could already open the Lego toy his Ninang gave him. His daddy already told him he couldn’t at that day so I answered the little boy, “Not today. Daddy said not today. You will open it with Daddy.” Then I continued searching for my misplaced pouch, slowly getting frustrated and losing my calm. But the Big Boy, being a usual insistent child, kept on “pestering” me.
“Mommy, open the Lego.” Repeat 100 times. Then I snapped and angrily shouted at my baby boy. 😦
“I ALREADY SAID NOT TODAY!!!” My voice screaming at the top of my lungs, my brows furrowed.
I had lost my temper. The Big Boy was stunned. I was shocked with my reaction. I immediately held him in my arms, said “I’m sorry” and kissed his head. Then he began to cry, hard and loud, while uttering, “Mommy, I want Lego” and clutching on my thigh.
He was hurt by my sudden burst of anger directed at him. So I was, even more. My heart was crushed seeing my baby boy crying because I, his mommy, hurt him. 😦 I wanted to cry, too.
I left the house with a heavy heart and went to the car to my husband. I told him what happened and that I felt bad. Really bad. I promised I will talk to the Big Boy when we get back home from the wedding.
The Big Boy was still awake when we arrived home that night. I asked him why he cried earlier that day. He said he wanted to open and play with the Lego. Then I told him I was sorry for shouting at him and his response: “Mommy, don’t shout at me. Jesus will get mad.”
A little funny it may sound but those words that came out of the Big Boy’s mouth totally struck me. He’s right. Jesus will get “mad” because of what I did. It amazed me how God used my son to rebuke me.
Truthfully, I was so ashamed of myself for what I did to the Big Boy that day. I was more ashamed to the Big Boy for what he saw from me. But I was most ashamed to the Lord for the sin that I have done. Where’s the fruit of the Holy Spirit in me?
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
— Galatians 5:22-23 (NIV)
I admit that low temperance is one of my spiritual struggles. I easily lose my temper. I tend to raise my voice when I get stressed, pressured, annoyed or frustrated, mostly to the people close to my heart. This is one weakness I know I need to always lift up to the Lord because it not only affects me but more importantly the people around especially my children.
In fact, I also see this negative behavior manifest in the Big Boy when he doesn’t get what he wants or when he gets frustrated over his malfunctioning toys or when he attempts to “discipline” his baby sister. He has the tendency to shout or raise his voice which I believe is strongly influenced by the people around him. I’m the first one guilty here. My husband also raises his voice when disciplining the Big Boy. He actually calls his dad “scary like a dragon.” 😀 The yayas also lose their temper and yell at the Big Boy when he is misbehaving. Wrong behavior modeled by all of us at home. Tsk, tsk. Hope I can just transform this unpleasant behavior of us people at home with a snap of a finger but I absolutely can’t. This unfortunate part of our human-as-sinners nature can only be changed by God.
Because of this small but stirring shouting incident with my Big Boy, the Lord prompted me to guard my heart and my behavior particularly in front of the kids. I know how challenging it could be because I’ve tried to control my temper several times in the past. Some instances I was successful, some not. But I trust the grace of God and the power of the Holy Spirit to enable me to overcome this weakness and mirror a life of self-control for me to be a good testimony to my children and our household. I also lift up to God our household to demonstrate an atmosphere of gentleness and meekness especially when it comes to disciplining the kids.
I also asked the Big Boy to be a gentle reminder to everyone to practice self-control and be watchful of our behavior. I told him to always tell me, his daddy and ates those words that he said, “Don’t shout, Jesus will get mad”, whenever we raise our voices at him or at anyone else so that we will become conscious of how we react. I don’t want to become a yelling momma and I don’t want to have a yelling household. 😦
I’ll remind myself as well: “Don’t shout, Jesus will get mad”.