Thursday, March 1, 2012
For anyone who doesn't recognize these ugly mounds, they're molehills. Because the weather has been so mild, the ground hasn't frozen solid as it normally does during the winter in the upper mid west. This has allowed the moles to dig and damage and dig and damage. Our yard's a mess.
I wish it was just our yard that was a mess. But I'm afraid I've been too much like a mole myself. I, too, have mastered the practice of "dig and damage and dig and damage." The problem with my skill is that its the souls of my children that are being hurt. I've spent way too much time digging for misbehaviour, calling out their faults, and, in the process, damaging their souls. Instead, I should be on the look out for their efforts to do right, no matter how small, and put my energy into encouraging them. I KNOW Proverbs 16:24: "Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the soul."
Multiple times in the past, the Lord has used His still, small voice to redirect me in the use of my tongue. Kind words are so powerful! God declares they have the power to heal. They can be bandaids for bleeding hearts. I've SEEN my kids thrive on praise for a job well done. I've SEEN them positively beam when I build them up.
Why? Why would I return to destructive words that belittle and discourage my beloved children? I can think of two reasons, and both have their roots in my own sin. The first is that I'm allowing the dangerous thought, "I deserve better! How could you...?" to rule my thinking. And when my thinking goes that direction, hurtful words are almost certain to follow.
The second reason is that I've taken my eyes off my own sin. If I'll focus on my "log", their "splinters" (Luke 6:41) will fade into minor issues that usually require no more than a gentle "course correction". Christ hung on a cross for my sins. There is no room for me to be proud; my sins were enough to require His crucifixion. As a popular song says, "I was the thorns in His crown." If God's love was so lavish that He gave His only begotten son that I might be saved, my love for my children needs to be lavish as well! When they do do wrong, I am to imitate the Lord in the forgiveness He demonstrated to those who caused the suffering and death of His son. If I'm busy lavishing love on and freely forgiving my kiddos, I'll find very little time to criticize and tear them down.
I'm ready to stomp out molehills, both outside my home and within our four walls. I would be so grateful for your prayers. (And when you pray for an adoptive parent, you're truly participating in orphan care.Those who've adopted are so helped, encouraged and blessed by a safety net built of the prayers of friends and family.) Please pray that the Lord will give me a broken and contrite heart as He breaks me of the the sin habit I've slid into of being overly critical. I long to use my words to glorify God by encouraging and building up our amazing 10 children who are still living at home. Down with molehills!