Monday, May 4, 2015

Brotherly Love

"Anger does not help you live the way God wants."
James 1:20 (ERV)

I am sitting here at my computer looking up verses for my son, my 10 year old son, on dealing with his anger issue. Now he's not in any anger management class or dealing with any problems at school...yet. But I felt a burden in my spirit to confront this issue in his life before it became a root that grew a little deeper in his life and began to cause BIG problems in his approaching teen years. 

In the last month his angst towards his little brother has grown and his temper flares up from a much shorter fuse than it used to. Now I know we all understand the dilemma of the annoying little brother/sister issue. I was actually quite the terror when I was little to my brother, I have heard many stories. 

Last night while my oldest was sleeping he was yelling out in his room, again he was fully asleep, fighting with his brother in his sleep for a while and having quite the restless night. This was not the first time this happened. But last night I felt compelled to walk into his room and pray for him. I asked God to bring him comfort and peace in his sleep and help him deal with his irritation towards his brother. He settled in and went to sleep. 

Tonight before he fell asleep he asked me why God hasn't answered his prayer. I said "What prayer?" He said "about my attitude and anger", I replied that it takes time and a process to retrain our brains the proper way to react to people. I reminded him that there will always be people that get under our skin but we make a decision to choose whether or not to let them. I explained to him that when we are actively operating out of the Spirit, we are able to make better choices when faced with a difficult person/situation. If we are used to constantly operating out of the flesh and spouting out the first thing that comes to mind or tempted to shove/push people then that flesh will win out every time and takes over. 

  I told him the more he regularly practices his faith, the stronger his faith will grow. I told him it was probably time to take this issue beyond prayer and begin to look for answers in God's word. So after tucking him into bed, I came to my computer to look for verses on anger, brotherly love and unity to share with him so he can read and meditate on them and read them and begin to APPLY them to his life. 

If we don't train our children, the world will teach our children. If we don't share God with them, they will perceive God the way the rest of the world perceives Him. If we don't model for our children a relationship with the Lord, the world will model how relationships work. I certainly do not want Hollywood or anything out of GQ magazine to teach my child about how to view this world or relationships. We as Christians already have a book for that. 

Tonight was a reminder for me as well that God hears us even when it doesn't feel like he does. I remember being his age and wondering "God are you really there...How do I know?" My son's intimate relationship with the Lord will grow over time and life experiences. If you are discouraged in your walk with God and feel your prayers are falling on deaf ears, rest assured they are not. I have seen many prayers answered in my lifetime and have yet to see some completed, (10+ years). But that is ok, God's timing for different situations, people and areas of the heart will be dealt with in due time at the right time. 

I encourage you to look in his word for scriptures dealing with a particular area in your life or even in your children's life that needs work. Don't just read God's word, APPLY God's word!
I have seen this quote cycle through social media and although the author is unknown it definitely applies here:

When you carry the Bible, The devil gets a headache. When you open it, he collapses. When he sees you reading it, he faints. When he sees you living it, he flees.

 Enjoy this amazing song by Nichole Nordeman called "Small Enough". The lyrics of this song are perfect for this week's blog.

all praise and all honor be
to the god of ancient mysteries
whose every sign and wonder turn the pages of our history
but tonight my heart is heavy
and i cannot keep from whispering this prayer
"are you there?"

oh, great god, be small enough to hear me now
there were times when i was crying
from the dark of daniel's den
and i have asked you once or twice
if you would part the sea again
but tonight i do not need a fiery pillar in the sky
just wanna know you're gonna hold me if i start to cry
oh, great god, be small enough to hear me now 

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