The ugly threat gushed from my mouth in a moment of complete frustration. The words, my words, had cut deep. The wound was unbearable as I saw the salty water brimming in my son’s eyes. He turned to hide the spillage. I had said the ugly words before but vowed never to mention them again. The threat had rolled off my tongue and pierced the air between us.
Have you ever misspoke and hurt the ones you love? Have you felt like a failure as a parent? I have. This event happened years ago, but I remember the day clearly. It was a stepping stone for me to move towards correcting my “momma attitude.” Here are four truths that have helped me through the years.
Sometimes, I need to pause and breathe deep. This allows me to choose my words with caution. Often, it is best for me to leave the situation for a few moments to regroup. When my children were young, I gave myself the freedom to place a small child in a safe space (crib, room, or time watching a show) and I walked into another room for a few moments. Even if he/she cried, it is better than mom becoming unglued and impatient with a child. As my children grew and become more independent, it is easy to find a few moments alone. My suggestion is to use your alone time wisely. Pray for patience. Pray Romans 15:5 “May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you (instead of you, say me) the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had.”
When I mess up, I rest in the truth of 1 Peter 4:8. “Above all, love each other deeply, because Love covers a multiple of sins.” (NIV) If my children know I love them unconditionally, this love will cover my occasional failures. As Mom, I don’t always get it all right, but I believe when a child knows Momma loves deeply, he/she will forgive and overlook parenting failures. What about you? Do your kids feel loved unconditionally? Do they think you not only love them, but you like them? Do you enjoy being with them? Even if you don’t, pretend as if you do, and eventually, you will. HA!
Ask forgiveness. I had to ask my son’s forgiveness because of the harsh words I had spoken. I also wanted to ask my heavenly Father to forgive me. Respect and repair come with repentance. Colossians 3:13 reads, “Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”
Take steps to change negative behavior. For me, I studied the power of words. I saw the effect words have on my life and the ones around me. Words used in a positive voice brings healing, motivation, power, and peace. Words used in a negative tone creates fear, disappointment, and despair. I had to change my attitude. I meditated on verses dealing with the power of one’s words. I memorized the verses. I wrote verses on sticky notes and placed them around the house. I studied the trigger points in what caused me to have a harsh tone, such as lack of sleep or rushed schedules. I adjusted and grew in controlling my words. I walked away from being a momma with an attitude and became a momma with an influence.
My Friend, whatever you are facing today that sends you spiraling into a momma with a lousy tude; know that respect and relationship repair is yours for the seizing. Pause and Breathe deep. Seek restoration. Ask forgiveness from your God and your loved ones. Take practical steps to move forward. You too can walk away from being a momma with an attitude to a momma with an influence. I promise. It is the heavenly Father within who makes us able, and we serve a powerful God.
1 Corinthians 13: 4-13 (NIV) “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues,they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”