Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Quick to Listen, Slow to Speak and Slow to Anger

"My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to anger." James 1:19 

I almost had one of those parenting moments this morning that I most certainly would have regretted had this verse not been on my heart.  

While I was washing dishes this morning, I asked my 3 year old to put the new shampoo and conditioner bottles on the counter in our master bathroom.  

I need to give my daughter kudos for being such a willing and helpful little girl.  She is always so sweet and cheerful when I ask her to do things for me.  Thanks Daisy!

I digress, moments later she runs out to me with a rather wild eyed look on her face and exclaims, "Mom, duh towet paper fewl in duh potty!"

I remembered that I had left a brand new roll (and the last roll) of toilet paper sitting on the bathroom counter and I wondered if that had been too much of an opportunity for her to pass up.  After all toilet paper does go in the potty, so why not drop in an entire roll right?  

I followed her into the bathroom as she waved her hands in the direction of the toilet and had a concerned look on her face.  I felt a twinge of anger welling up in my heart because let's be honest a part of me was jumping to the conclusion that this was intentional and that she would need discipline.  Trying to keep my frustration under control I asked her, "Daisy, how did this happen?  Was this an accident or did you just drop it in?" I recognize that her communication skills are still rather limited when it comes to logic so I had to be extra patient as initially she didn't seem to be able to give me an answer. So, I asked her again more gently and with a kinder expression on my face, 

"Daisy boo, how did the toilet paper get into the potty?" 

Her response gave me a good and unexpected barrel laugh.

With her typical animated gestures and expressions she replied with a big swoop of her hand, "I put duh shampoo on duh cowntur and den duh toiwet paper went WOOOOOOSH off duh counter and into duh potty!"  Let me emphasize that her Woosh was incredibly loud and passionate. :) It was hilarious and perfectly expressed.  Again, well done Daisy!

I pulled the sopping wet roll out of the toilet and after I knelt down next to my toddler and looked into her ever joyful brown eyes.  "Daisy, thank you for telling me the truth and for coming to get me when you needed help."  

As I walked away from that amusing little situation, I praised God that His word gave me the strength to keep from doing something that I would have sorely regretted.  If I had responded immediately in anger as is so often the temptation in moments of parent-child conflict, I would have falsely accused and reprimanded my innocent child (not always innocent of course but, in this instance she was. lol).  Then she would have been hurt (if only emotionally) by my behavior and I would be grieving over my error.

 "My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to anger." James 1:19 

It is amazing how much peace can be kept in a home simply by adhering to the wisdom in the verse above.  Be quick to listen.  Use your ears first. Give your kids and your spouse a chance to speak before jumping to quick conclusions or false judgements.  Be slow to speak.  Our immediate responses can often be selfish and unkind in the midst of conflict.  Give yourselves time to chew on what you need to say before you say it.  This will help you to filter out the heated words that you might have spoken and instead speak words with more patience and love.  

 Don't get me wrong, I have made plenty of parenting mistakes  (already in 3 short years?...I know right) but, this was one instance that I was keenly aware of the fact that God's word was guarding my heart and as a result, the outcome was a blessing and not a regret.  Instead we enjoyed peace and marvelous laughter.  My favorite.

Is this a verse that you are familiar with and if so does it challenge you in a positive way in your relationships?   

1 comment:

  1. I love this post! You are such a good mom!! And I feel so lucky to have you as my friend. This is a great reminder and I love stories like this that will help me remember next time I'm about to lose my cool. She is so adorable! I wish I could have seen her explain what happened. Thanks for always being such a great example to me.


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