A Mother’s Battle
By Lara Velez
The tongue is such a tiny, little organ. Yet it can be one of the most powerful weapons. James 3 has a lot to say about the tongue. I suggest that you read the entire chapter (it’s very short).
Verse 6 says: "And the tongue is a fire. The tongue is a world of wickedness set among our members, contaminating and depraving the whole body."
Whew, those are some strong words … but wait, that’s not all. Proverbs 18:21 tells us: "Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and they who indulge in it shall eat the fruit of it for death or life." It is scary to think that my mouth has that much power.
As Christian mothers (and fathers) we have a great call on our lives to train our children up. Are we speaking life to them? If not, it is never too late with God. He makes all things new.
I know that in my own life, I do not always choose my words wisely. I get angry and say stupid things. Do you?
Proverbs 29:11 says: "A self-confident fool utters all of his anger, but a wise man holds it back and stills it."
The original Hebrew word for "utters" is ruwach (roo’vakh). It means a violent exhalation, anger, unsubstantiability, blast, and whirlwind. That means when we lose our temper and spew out our anger, it’s like a hurricane when it hits land, destroying everything in its path. I don’t know about you, but there are times when I have some pretty nasty storms come out of my mouth.
Ephesians 4:26 says: "When angry do not sin; do not ever let your wrath (your exasperation, your fury or indignation) last until the sun goes down." This tells me that it’s OK to get angry—it’s normal. We don’t have to walk around holding everything in. We do, however, have to express our anger without yelling, cursing, violence, name calling, etc. That is where the anger becomes sin—but how do we accomplish getting angry without sinning?
Well, before we can learn that, we must explore the subject of anger more deeply.
There are two types of anger mentioned in the Bible—justifiable and unjustifiable. Here are some examples of both:
Cain – in Genesis 4:5-6, Cain’s anger came from not getting the praise and approval that he felt was deserved. He thought too highly of himself and was filled with jealousy.
Jonah – in Jonah 4:1-9, his anger came from rebellion. First, he ran from doing what God had told him to do. Then, when he finally obeyed, he had disdain and apathy towards the people that he was called to minister to. He thought too highly of himself and lacked pity.
The Sadducees – in Acts 5:17, they were filled with jealousy, indignation and rage. Why? Because the Apostles were held in high regard for the signs and wonders God had given them the power to perform.
Moses – in Exodus 32:19, Moses was on the mountain, pleading with God not to destroy the Israelites, who were down below building a golden calf to worship. When Moses came down from the mountain and saw their disobedience, he got very angry and burned the idol.
Samuel – in I Samuel 15:16-31, the prophet was angry with Saul because he had disobeyed the Lord. Saul had become rebellious and stubborn. Samuel told Saul that God had rejected him as king—high price for disobedience.
Jesus – in Mark 3:5, Jesus became angry with the Pharisees because of the hardening of their hearts. He was going to heal a man on the Sabbath, but they had a religious spirit.
When I looked at these examples, it became clear to me what sinful anger is…
Cain wanted praise for himself, Jonah was a snob who looked down on others who didn’t perform the way he thought they should, and the Sadducees were jealous because they wanted the admiration and respect of the people.
What do they all have in common? They all had a selfish, self-centered anger.
On the other hand, Moses got angry at the lack of faith and disobedience to God’s ways. Samuel was angry for the exact same thing. And, guess what? Jesus was too! They all had a righteous anger—anger at sin and disobedience.
Now, we will look at a couple of examples of unjustifiable anger—how it begins … and how to counteract it.
For the twentieth time, your child spills a drink on the carpet that you just cleaned after the last spill. Grrrr.
You explode and begin a full verbal attack, firing questions the child is unable to answer, and saying things that will leave them in tears. This is selfish anger. It is about you. Who cares about a rug, tablecloth, or broken dish? Are they going with you when you go to Heaven?
In this example, you need to stop, bite your tongue, and leave the room. Take a deep breath and think, "OK, this is my beloved child. God gave me this child to love and care for. I must show grace … after all, God has shown me more Grace than I could ever deserve. I love this child. I love my child. Thank you, Lord, for this wonderful and precious child."
I know what you’re thinking—"Yeah, right!" But what you need to understand is that you must train yourself to do this. Write it down and keep it near by. Pull it out whenever you feel the anger building up inside. If you continue to do this over and over again, it will become your natural response … instead of an outburst of anger.
Your husband comes home from work and plops down in front of the television. He turns on some program that he enjoys (or in my case plays Nintendo). Grrrr.
You begin to think, "Doesn’t he know how hard I work to keep this house clean and take care of his kids? I wish I could just plop down on the couch … but, noooo! I can’t even go to the bathroom without an audience!"
You blow up. Look out … here comes Hurricane Mom!
As you can see in this example, you have thought your way right into a meltdown.
Does any of this sound familiar? I’m sure you can think of some of your own examples. In a situation like this, it would be a good time to start thinking about how thankful you are to have a husband who goes out and works, so that you can stay home (if you’re a stay-at-home mom) … or how you love his smile, laugh, whatever. ACCENTUATE THE POSITIVE!
Any time we feel rage, for any reason, we need to stop and think. The Word says in Colossians 3:2: "And set your mind and keep them set on what is above (the higher things), not on the things that are on the earth." In verse 13 of the same chapter it says: "Be gentle and forbearing with one another and, if one has a difference (a grievance or complaint) against another, readily pardoning each other; even as the Lord has [freely] forgiven you, so you must also [forgive]."
"But, I can’t do all this!" you say. Yes, you can! You have the Mind of Christ (I Corinthians 2:16).
"How?" you ask. The Word tells us to renew our minds (Romans 12:2). You must get into, and study, the Word. That is the only way that you can renew your mind.
Can you see how the mind affects the tongue? First, it becomes a thought. Then, we allow that thought to pour out of us, and … BOOM! The mind is the root of most of our fears, low self-esteem, some forms of depression, doubt … it all starts in the mind—then we speak it into existence. Renew your mind!
Please understand that if you truly want to gain victory in your life, and you begin to pursue it, the enemy WILL attack! When he does, you must go straight to the Word. Fill your mind with Truth. And, when you fail, don’t beat yourself up. Pick yourself up, and press on!
Here are some Weapons to get you started:
II Chronicles 7:14
These Scriptures will help you in the battle of your mind and mouth. As you study the Word for yourself, you will find even more. Write them down. Keep them with you. Memorize them. I know that we can overcome this battle!
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Note: All Scripture references were from the Amplified Translation. Other sources were the Strong’s Concordance and Webster’s Dictionary.
Lara Velez is a Christian homeschooling mother of two. She is the owner of a website ministry for Christian moms—Moms of Faith. Moms of Faith is a community of Christian mothers who love the Lord, support each other, and pray for one another. Lara’s calling is to help wives and mothers be all that God called them to be. If you would like Lara to support you in prayer, please visit her website and complete the prayer request form on this page: http://www.momsoffaith.com/prayerrequests.html