{Parenting} Aggravation or Grace?

By: Mandy Hill

Colossians 4:6, “Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.”

Wednesday night. Those two words in our house are starting to become bad words when joined together. Wednesday night is our family night at church, and don’t get me wrong the family night part is fabulous!!! It’s the AFTER that becomes the bad words.

Last night after we returned home from family night our precious and very tired daughter had had it. Ka-put. She and her older brother had some pictures from Daddy’s office that they drew and wanted to add some colors to, so they went downstairs for five minutes to do so before bed. Well….at some point when they were downstairs she crossed over into the land of the very overtired. She was crying hard as Daddy brought her upstairs and tucked her in to her bed and as soon as her door shut she’d bounce out of bed and re-open her door. After several times of this, Mommy came in.

Being fresh to the situation I enter that room full of grace. “What’s wrong honey?” I said. Nothing……… “Are you thirsty?!” Nothing……. “What are you so upset about?” Nothing…….. “Please, tell Mommy what’s wrong?” Nothing……..then smack. My sweet daughter reached out and swatted me. Oh boy….there went all of Mommy’s grace. I then held her hands firmly while leaning on her legs to avoid anymore casualties from her flailing/thrashing arms and legs and her incessant crying turned into a half cry/half chant…”Let. Go. Of. Me…….Let. Go. Of. Me…..Let. Go. Of. Meeeeee.”

I honestly thought to myself, she is so so tired right now she will probably fall asleep in just two minutes. Just have to endure this for a small time. But, I guess I underestimated my very strong-willed child. I was there for a while…..and I began to get aggravated…..

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It was then that I realized what was happening. A formula was at work. As I was getting aggravated, my grace was being depleted. As my tiredness grew, so did my impatience.

[Mommy + aggravation] = [Mommy – grace]

While these thoughts came flooding in, I decided to extend an extra dose of grace. I said to my daughter, “If I let you go, you need to promise you will stop crying, and start using your words.” She shook her head in agreement and I let go in trust. We chatted for a brief moment about why she was upset, how she could do better next time, and at that time she indicated that she was very thirsty. After a little drink of water, she was fast asleep.

Can you relate, sisters? When you get aggravated, do your grace stores empty quickly? The bible says that we must ‘Let our conversation always be FULL of grace….’ That means there is really no room to allow aggravation or other such things to take away from our extension of grace to others. Even in our most aggravated, tired, and frustrated states, I believe we must act in grace.

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After all, Jesus says: “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9

Let the truth settle into your heart that Jesus’ grace is enough for you; then live a life that is hard after His example of grace. There are days that will be tougher than others, but with Jesus, you will make it through.

Heavenly Father, thank you for giving me the incredible privilege of parenting three beautiful little souls. I pray for wisdom in raising them to follow hard after you; for that is the first priority. I pray that you will help us to instil habits of respect as well as the extension of grace as an authentic and natural reaction. I pray for my reaction as a Mommy. Jesus, please help me to always come to every situation with a full dose of grace. I pray also, that as aggravation or impatience creep in (as I’m sure they will), that I will continue to act with a heart full of grace. For my sisters who struggle with this also, Jesus, I pray for them as well. Please fill their minds with your truth and remind them often that your grace is sufficient, even when they are feeling the weakest. Thank you for your continued provision on my family! We love you, Jesus. In your name, Amen!!

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