A hot-tempered person stirs up conflict, but the one who is patient calms a quarrel. Proverbs 15:18 NIV
As you could imagine, with eleven big and little kids, each with their own personalities, disagreements can happen. Though I’ve been known to blame the barometric pressure or a full moon, the fact remains that quarrels are a fact of this earth-bound life.
And that’s not exempting me and my hubby. In fact, if we aren’t seeing eye to eye, the possibility of our brood fussing more than usual is almost a guarantee. (But that’s another marriage-kind of devo.)
For the past nineteen years, I’ve always searched for answers in this area. After losing my cool, it’s automatic to feel regret and long for a way to “do better” the next time. Whether with the children or my spouse, I have to admit that I have fallen back on the more common response . . . “it happens,” “I’m just human,” “if only THEY did so and so, I would be perfectly calm,” etc.
Well, who am I kidding? Yes, I am always going through the process of “getting there” in the patience arena. But, if God asks us to be patient and calm, then, it MUST be possible!
Here’s a story that sealed this deal for me not many years ago. I heard a preacher talking about how we as believers tend to “go off” most often on those we love most. For instance, we can be yelling and screaming at the kids and suddenly the doorbell rings. (You know the rest.) We open the door, smile sweetly at the Kirby salesman or our pastor, and say, “Well, hello! It’s so nice to see you! We’re just here reading a book and having a wonderful day! Won’t you come on in and have a cup of tea?”
Ugh. What a crock! I’ve so been there. And this story does prove the point. It IS possible. When we CHOOSE to, it’s possible to be calm. Patient. Kind. All of it! And knowing we can do all things through Him who gives us strength can help produce the willpower we need to go the way of peace.
Let me end with one of my favorite quotes by Amy Carmichael: “A cup brimful of sweetness cannot spill even one drop of bitter water, no matter how suddenly jarred.”
Lord, fill my cup full of the sweet stuff. And help me keep the cup right side up!