"Do all things without grumbling or questioning, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world" (Philippians 2:14-15 ESV)
I have friends who parent with a gentle and quiet spirit. I've met mothers of my friends who have that calmness about them. But I must confess, that has not been me.
I must allow the Holy Spirit to take over me because my old nature likes to rear its ugly self. That person in me before Christ shouted and barked at her husband and children. If shoes were left out, I sounded like, "Why can't you ever put away your shoes? Do I have to trip over them and break my neck before you'll do it?"
I grumbled and complained about every little thing. I was the kind of wife that Solomon described that it was better to live on the corner of the roof than inside with a nagging wife. He not only said it once, but twice in the Proverbs.
"Better to live on a corner of the roof than share a house with a quarrelsome wife" (Proverbs 21:9, 25:24 NIV).
With all the wives and concubines Solomon had, I wonder how many nights he slept on the roof top? But what does that have to do with me?
I MUST choose by the power of the Holy Spirit who lives in me not to nag my family about what they don't do. And it is effort for me, but I find is worth it.
There are ways to get my point across without grumbling or questioning (and may I add slamming doors to get attention). I stumbled onto this one night at the dinner table.
My youngest son, Chase, asked when we were getting close to being done with dinner, "Mom, do I have to do the dishes tonight?"
"No, son you don’t," spoken in a normal tone of voice.
Surprised by my calm remark, Chase raised his voice, "What? You're not going to tell me I have to?"
"No, you don’t have to."
The conversation went onto something else for a little while, then we started clearing the table. But he caught on rather quickly and asked, "But if I don't, then you won't let me play video games later will you?"
I replied, "That sounds like a good plan."
Chase commenced to rinsing off the dishes and putting them into the dishwasher.
Wow! Being calm is effective. It works! Now I know it works and by the grace of God I'm making it my habit to instruct my children and talk to my husband without grumbling.