My flower beds are a disaster. Weeds have overtaken them and it’s quite embarrassing.
When we first moved into this house, I had a colicky baby and a two year old in the throes of autism. I also had an eight year old needing lots of attention. So you can imagine I had exactly zero time to do anything with the flower beds.
I would occasionally go out to weed them if the little kids were napping at the same time. But that was a big “if.” It didn’t happen very often.
And while Peter was deployed, the weeds became completely out of control. The back yard was full of them and Jonah kept stomping on them, pretending that he was a destructive monster. (This isn’t far from the truth, by the way…)
When I did attempt to pull up the weeds, the difficulty of weeding astonished me. The weeds that were huge and spiky and filled with thorns seemed to have the shortest root system and were actually quite easy to pull up.
But those tiny little weeds with the flower-like blooms? Those weeds often had the most complex root system to pull out. It was extremely difficult to get to the bottom of the root and completely remove the offending weed.
A few weeks ago, I had one of those difficult days. You know the kind. I struggled a lot with one of my children who refused to obey. I spanked this child twice after using time out a few times, and I took away toys. Nothing was working. By the end of the day I was d-o-n-e. And I let this child know that I was done.
I yelled and completely lost my cool. I later apologized to this child (do you know how difficult it is to apologize to one of your children when what you really want to do is list all the things they did wrong?) and I asked for forgiveness.
But the damage was done.
After putting the littles to bed, I sat down in the living room and cried. I was heartbroken over the way I reacted to this child’s irritating behavior. I started thinking about those weeds I had been pulling.
Our sins can be like those weeds. Some of our sins are visible to those around us. Perhaps we are unable to control our temper (like me a few weeks ago) or we are openly jealous of those around us. Other sins are almost invisible to others and can seem harmless. Maybe we are a bit prideful but others just see us as confident. Perhaps we gossip about others but disguise it as “prayer requests.”
Unless we get to the root of our sin, however, it will keep growing and multiplying. In this season of my life, I am having the most difficulty with self-control. My sin is refusing to yield to the Holy Spirit and instead, reacting in anger when one of my children doesn’t obey like I think they should.
But guess what? When I react this way, I’m not obeying my Heavenly Father in the way He thinks I should. And how can I expect my children to obey me, to behave appropriately, if I can’t? Right now, this is a heavy burden on my heart.
I need Love. Joy. Peace. Patience. Kindness. Goodness. Faithfulness. Gentleness. Self-control.
Maybe you need these too.
Here are some things we can pray this week if, like me, you are struggling in this area:
- Christ will block our terrible reactions from our children’s memories so they forget the crazy moments in this season of our lives
- He will give us a check in our spirit when we are about to react in an over-the-top, negative way
- Christ will fill us with His Spirit so that our children will be able to see Jesus instead of us
- He will give us wisdom as we encounter difficult situations with each of our children. Parenting is not for the faint of heart. I say this all the time, but it’s true. However, the Lord wants us to fill up with His Spirit so that our children can see Jesus instead of us.
Scripture tells us that God will redeem the broken parts of our lives. He can restore those moments where we missed the mark.
“And I will restore or replace for you the years that the locust have eaten…” (Joel 2:25)
This week I want Jesus to redeem and restore my broken places.
I want Him to pull up my weeds of sin so that I can begin to grow in His image. Isn’t that a beautiful picture?