Thursday, November 2, 2017

Be Survivors!

I have a question for you: if you have kids, do they yell at you? 

I used to believe that all kids yell (because mine do), but when I was talking to my friend recently, I discovered not all kids yell at their parents. I was giving this friend an illustration, and I started, “It’s kind of like when your kids yell at you . . .”

My friend looked at me with bewilderment, “Your kids yell at you?”

I looked back at him with more bewilderment, “Your kids don’t yell at you?” 

He just shook his head. I went on with my illustration, but I’m not sure it was impactful. Now, I’m not saying there are not consequences in our house for yelling. I’m just saying we have yet to find the secret one that stops it. Because, I got yelled at this morning. Two times in fact!

The first time it was because apparently last night, I mentioned that I might make eggs in the morning. Instead, this morning, I served oatmeal. 

“How can I trust you?! How can I trust you if you don’t do what you say you will do?!” was shouted at me.

Brian got a big kick out this, so he jumped in too (totally tongue-in-cheek), “I mean really, Mommy! How could you?! You say you’re making eggs, and then, you make oatmeal?! I just cannot believe you would do this!” (We’re trying a humor parenting strategy this week.)

Later, I was walking out the door to walk the twins, who were running late, to school. Alex suddenly decided he needed something, and he ran back in the house. Well, if Gabe and I didn’t get started walking, Gabe was going to be late, so off we went. Once Alex came back out of the house and didn’t see us waiting, he started yelling at me. Now, all our neighbors now know that some kids yell at their parents. 

I was reading in Matthew 10 this morning out the The Message version of the bible. Several of the things that Jesus says there really struck me. 

The first was from verses 29-31, “. . . don’t be intimated by all this bully talk.” 

That was a good reminder for me this morning after being yelled at. Now, of course, Jesus was not talking about the Stephens kids. However, it requires a lot of staying grounded in my identity in Christ to not yell back at my kids or to not take their anger personally. The calmer I am in those situations, the better it is for my kids. I realize more and more how much I need that posture in life, in ministry, and in being on mission. 

I need to be so rooted in Christ that what others think does not rattle me. That doesn’t mean that we are not supposed to have emotion. But Christ was basically telling his disciples that people were not going to like them! 

“When people realize it is the living God you are presenting and not some idol that makes them feel good, they are going to turn on you, even people in your own family. There is a great irony here: proclaiming so much love, experiencing so much hate! But don’t quit. Don’t cave in. It is all well worth it in the end. It is not success you are after in such times but survival. Be survivors!"

I hope that’s an encouragement to you today. In whatever you are facing, don’t focus so much on your’s or other's ideas of success. Be survivors!