Confession: I Have a Short Temper

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My biggest struggle lately, apart from finding the time to start this blog, has been learning how to show grace to my children while adjusting to life with an infant and a two year old that sometimes acts like she's twenty. My biggest revelation in the last six months: I have a short temper. I used to pride myself on having patience and my ability to keep my cool.  It has become glaringly obvious that is not the case.  Pride goes before a fall, and I have found that to be so true. Isn't that just like our sinful nature to deceive us and make us think that we have it all together? I certainly like to think I'm not that bad.

I have started to ask myself questions to get to the root of this short temper I didn't realize I had. My pastor and his wife have been helpful in this process by teaching my husband and myself the Five Why's.  The idea is that you keep asking yourself why until you find the root sin that is driving your negative attitude or behavior.  It has proven quite effective, and the result has shown a heart that is full of sin and very much in need of the gospel and God's grace.

Going back to the Five Why's, I began asking myself, "Why do I yell at my husband and my children?". The easy answer was, "They make me angry".  Then I asked why they were making me angry, and again the answer came easily: "They aren't doing what I want."  I realized pretty quickly that I desired control, but again "Why?".  When I thought about this longer, the answers that came were: I want order, I want quiet, I want respect, I want admiration.  Initially, when I thought of these things I felt defensive because these wants are not bad wants to have.  However, I wanted these things more than I wanted to glorify God, and I was willing to strive for them at the expense of my relationships with my family. I was becoming so consumed with self and my own wants that I validated my anger.  After analyzing my motives, I realized I needed to repent, and that I needed forgiveness from God and from those I had hurt.

Coming full circle, showing grace to my children starts with my repentance.  I must strive daily to put to death the deeds of the flesh - my own selfish wants - and strive to bring glory to God in both the way that I respond to my husband and my children, and the words that I say when I am frustrated.  Only then, when I show grace and mercy to my husband and my children will God's image be reflected in me.