A Soft Answer

Reading: Christlike Parenting by Glenn I. Latham, Chapter 4: Revile Not; Proverbs 15:1, Matthew 5:9, Romans 12:17

Yesterday I talked about how being grateful makes it harder to be angry.  Today I wanted to expand on that by sharing with you some of the things I read today in Christlike Parenting by Glenn Latham.

In this chapter Glenn Latham entreats us not to lose our temper with our children, and that when they act out in anger we should continue to remain calm and unruffled.  He cites the scriptural definition of charity:

And charity suffereth long, and is kind, and envieth not, and is not puffed up, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, and rejoiceth not in iniquity but rejoiceth in the truth, beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. (Moroni 7:45, emphasis added)

A similar injunction can be found in Proverbs 15:1:

A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.

This year I have been working very hard to be more patient with my husband and toddler.  Many times I have been presented with the choice of using grievous words or a soft answer.  When I am feeling angry it takes self control and determination to choose the soft answer, but when I do everybody is happier, most especially myself.

I don’t know how I could overcome the temptation to use grievous words without gratitude.  I must think about how much I value my relationship with my family in order to be willing to put off the satisfaction that a biting retort would give me.  In order to endure through a tantrum without throwing a tantrum of my own I need to somewhere think about the great blessing that God has given me to have a healthy, mostly happy child, and how my actions will affect her in the long term.

Today I am going to make a special effort to step back when I am tempted to use grievous words, even mild ones, and think of what I have to be grateful for in that situation.  Then I will write about it in my journal. (I know this is just another version of what I did yesterday, but when I did it yesterday I learned some things so it seems worth repeating.)

When you are angry, how do you resist the temptation to “revile” or return hurt for hurt?  Do you notice times where it is easier to deal with anger?  What is different about those times?

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