Ever wake up in a bad mood that you just can’t seem to shake off? Or does that just happen to moodier types of people like myself? Over the weekend, I woke up in a funk that I couldn’t seem to get out of, and by the end of the day, as my firstborn was walking to bed, I heard these words come from his mouth, “She (meaning me, his mom) sure isn’t acting like Jesus today!”
As if parenting isn’t hard enough.
So I went to bed already feeling bad for my bad attitude and my big mouth, and then I felt guilty for all the ways that I’d blown it, plus convicted that my child had nailed it directly on the head. I had not behaved like Jesus would at all. He was perfectly right in what he said. And I couldn’t blame it on a bad day with kids, a teething/cranky baby, arguing with the husband, being tired, being too busy, etc. I just woke up in a bad mood and let it control my day. Shame on me. And that’s how I went to sleep feeling.
The next day I woke up with a prayerful heart and I asked God to please show me how to correct my behaviour. And as He always does, He answered. I have been following these devotional teachings on marriage and parenting, and today’s was on marriage. So this is in reference to a woman and her relationship with her husband. It most definitely spoke to me regarding my relationship with Mark, but it also easily applies to every relationship as the key issue relates back to my heart and what I’m thinking about. So I’m going to provide the full link below, but I want to just insert a blip of it here:
Sometimes toxic thoughts and words fill my heart and spew forth from my lips. Thoughts that linger and take root. Words that cut deep.
I’m too quick to take offense.
I asked him to do this. If he cared about me, he would. He knows it’s important to me. I shouldn’t even have to ask.
I get annoyed.
He’s late for dinner … again. Couldn’t he call? He knows we eat at the same time every night.
I replay the hurt in my mind, and at times it consumes me.
Please know that I share these thoughts as a wife who loves her husband deeply. But I’m also a wife who struggles to live out that love in a God-honoring way.
Maybe you can relate. I wrestle with thinking unkind thoughts about the man I love more than anyone else. And then I remember the truth of God’s Word, and He makes it personal:
“whatever is in your heart determines what you say,” Matthew 12:34b (NLT).
“give attention to my words; Incline your ear to my sayings. Do not let them depart from your sight; Keep them in the midst of your heart. For they are life to those who find them, And health to all their body. Watch over your heart with all diligence, For from it flow the springs of life,” Proverbs 4:20-23 (NASB).
As it always happens in life, our thoughts are either healthy or toxic. Once our thoughts pass through our lips and become words, they have delivered either life or death to a situation. Hence the reason that the mouth and the heart are talked about so much in the Word of God. As our supreme example in all things, we can look to the Word and see that Jesus used His mouth to bring life to every situation. Even if He stated hard things to the Pharisees, it was still done to point to truth, to bring life, to eliminate toxic thoughts and behaviours. We never read that Jesus had a rough day, got into His feelings, and then spewed His irritation and frustration at His closest friends, the disciples. He never lost His temper with Peter for his mouth and never went into a frustration filled tirade at the disciples for their lack of faith. He chose His words wisely and He was not governed by His emotions. He spoke the truth and delivered it in love.
As a follower and lover of Jesus, my job in this life is to bring my thought life under control – under His control. As it says in 2 Corinthians 10:5, we are to bring every thought into captivity to the obedience of Jesus Christ. EVERY THOUGHT. That’s a lot for thinkers like me; it’s a big job. I could easily moan about how hard it is or I could go on and on about how I feel this and I want this and I’m so frustrated by this. But I’ll just reap the fruit of all of that. And truthfully, I don’t want that kind of fruit. I want healthy relationships, I want joy and peace, I want a happy family. And I would most definitely choose a happy day with my family and hear my son say that I’m acting like Jesus, than have a repeat of a yucky day followed with yucky comments about how I’m not anything like Jesus. I’d rather bring life to my marriage and my children, and if it takes a concentrated effort on what I’m thinking about, then that is worth all the effort in the world. There’s no contest there.
So today, I have set my mind on pursuing a disciplined life that involves taking every thought captive, getting my mind centered on the Word, and putting the Word above my feelings. I plan to gain some practice and stock my armour before I have another day where I wake up in a funky mood. If/when that day happens, I want to be ready. And if I mess it up, I repent, go back to the mess up, look to see where my thoughts got off track, and start from there. God’s grace is always sufficient for our mess ups. He always lets us begin again. And thankfully, my four year old will also extend grace and let me begin again as well . . .