Not the selfish kind, either. Not the kind where I sneak some chocolate while hiding in the pantry (come on, I know you do it sometimes, too).
The kind of timeout where I kneel at the cross of Christ, coming before His throne of grace. Mommy was bad. I lost my temper and screamed one of those horrifying angry screams that if you had seen on a tv show might cause you to hide under the covers. I. Was. Angry.
And I was angry at my child.
So timeout was in order. For me.
This summer started off hot and cold. One day it's happy and everyone gets along. The very next day at 4 kids are disrespectful and grate on every nerve of my being.
But today, after I heard the anger in my voice, I knew it was not the kids who needed timeout. It was Mommy.
So here I sit, Bible open. And I pray. I confess my sin and look for comfort, wanting Jesus to speak to my broken Mommy-heart.
1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.
2 "Honor your father and mother" (this is the first commandment with a promise),
3 "that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land."
4 Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. - Ephesians 6:1-4 (emphasis mine)
Parenting is hard. No one would dare dissagree. But when I put myself on the same level as God, or when I think of myself as "God" of my home... what a wretched shame that is. So here I was demanding that my child respect me (at the top of my lungs and behind my angry mask, mind you). My friends, this is not what God calls us to as parents.
So often I think of what I need to teach them... The first section of those verses. But I miss out on the good stuff, the last verse, because I know from experience it takes time. It's the day-in/day-out discipline and instruction that gets then set on a path that is good. I know it won't come easy, so I fool myself at times into thinking I can demand obedience or respect. Yikes. And it gets harder as they get older.
So I'm challenged today to look at my own heart. I'm challenged to spend time reading God's word with my children. Better for them to hear from Jesus first.