Tuesday, October 21, 2008

C is for Control

Dear Moms,

The next key word is control, as in self control. Self control is a fruit of the Spirit. Never is this fruit more needed than when a person becomes a mother. You will use that fruit daily, I will promise you. I remember the day the Lord began to teach me the fruit of self control, like it was only yesterday. I was in the produce department of our Publix’s Grocery Store. Out of the blue, the Holy Spirit quickened to me, “I’m going to give you the fruit of Self Control.” I was ecstatic; it was a fruit that I needed desperately because I had so little of it. Then the Holy Spirit continued, in his still small voice.” You don’t understand, I’m going to give you the fruit of self control, like I gave you the fruit of Patience. You have to choose it. I will give you many opportunities to do this.” Then I remembered, the gifts of the Spirit are just that, free gifts. The fruits of the Spirit, on the other hand, God has to grow in you as you cooperate with Him and make right choices. Once this fruit is established in your heart, it will help you in all areas of your life.

Now back to self control in discipline. Discipline is lovingly guiding our child in the way of the Lord. We must never respond in anger and lash out at our children. Discipline is not name calling or shouting at your child. Discipline is not beating your child. Discipline is not slapping your child across the face. This is abuse. You must never hurt your child physically, with the exception of a spanking done in the way I explained under disobedience. Remember, never spank in anger. You must never verbally abuse your child. This will wound their spirit. Do you see why the fruit of Self Control is so important to a mother?

If your child does something that causes you to get angry, especially out of control anger, you may need to call a TIME-OUT for yourself. It will give you time to collect your thoughts, get yourself together, and then, handle the discipline situation controlled and calm. This is where self control comes in. You will be tempted to just react. My advice to you is, avoid the temptation and use your self control. Yes, control yourself, because that is self control in action. You’ll be glad you did.

Children are like wet sponges, it has been said. They will soak up everything that is said to them. This will form their self image. Words said in anger can affect them the rest of their lives. Words once said, cannot be taken back. In the same way discipline wrongly administered cannot be erased. So, what is a mother to do? We are human and we all make mistakes. If we lose our temper, we must be humble enough to ask our child’s forgiveness. Then we should pray to God to heal the hurt. This will teach your child that discipline is a loving part of parenting. It will also teach your child how to mend a relationship if they lose their temper.

Remembe,r Mom, your children are watching you. They will do what you. Yes, they are copy cats. They will copy your bad behavior, as well as your good behavior. Pray to God to learn the fruit of SELF CONTROL, so you can pass it on. Be patient with yourself; it will take time. Start today. Vow to be a mature parent who can discipline your child with full control over your flesh. As John the Baptist said about Christ, Jesus, Our Lord, “We must decrease and He must increase.” Then Jesus, himself said, “We must deny our very self and take up our cross and follow me.”

The Passion of Jesus is the ultimate lesson of Self Control. We must be imitators of Christ.

Mom, how do you cope with your anger? How do you practice Self Control?

As always,



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