Monday, November 1, 2010
Grace, Grace, God's Grace!
(As per reader request, this article is back for a repeat visit).
“Be a Proverbs 31 Woman”…really?
The web site heading flashed on the screen and I felt my forehead crease. I suppose it’s something to strive for, but to be quite honest, I must have hit a pot hole on the road to becoming “The Wife of Noble Character;” nor do my children arise and call me blessed! In reality, I’ve been stuck for years at Proverbs 14:1 instead, which reads, “The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.”
No problem. That just means some days I’m better at demo than construction!
Seriously, I’ll admit I probably contribute to the tearing down of my home when I nag, become frustrated, lose patience, nag, raise my voice, insist things be done a certain way “because I SAID so,” etc….did I mention “nag”?
Call it a weakness, but I naturally default to heightened emotions rather than take the slow, prayerful approach when my words sort of flutter through the air and land on deaf ears.
To make matters worse, I’m convinced that my kids, like so many other teenagers today, suffer from “got-it-all-figured-out syndrome,” which also translates to “oh, my gosh, Mom - are you for real?” It’s a well-known condition that takes years to develop until it reaches a feverish pitch in adolescence. Their teenage hormones collide with my pre-menopausal state, whereby instantly transforming my home into a pressure cooker with no release valve!
They bug. They perfect the art of annoyance. They argue back because now that they’ve achieved the abilities to drive, successfully combat an acne breakout and text while riding a skateboard, they feel confident that they now possess more knowledge than Mom!
This, of course, creates friction in the home; hence, a mother-sized melt down of staggering proportions!
So how do we, as moms, stand any chance of becoming the Godly women Proverbs 31:10 speaks of when the frustrations of life show no sign of letting up (or getting a job and moving out on their own)? How do we overcome reactions of hostility and frustration and learn to first reach within rather than lashing out at those we love?
Two words: God’s Grace!
When my own grace has been wrung out like a dirty dish rag, it’s God’s amazing grace I pray will somehow kick in. God’s limitless, boundless, abundant grace is available to us all if we simply ask for it. Sounds easy enough, right? But how in the world can God expect us to think beyond our own tempers to quiet ourselves before Him?
It helps me to remember that, even in the heat of the moment when I’m staring in the face of defiance that God loves and cares for that person even more than I do. While He’s offering His grace to me, He’s also loving my son, daughter, husband, or whomever so much more than I ever could.
As we grow and mature in our faith, so will our human reactions diminish allowing God to take the wheel. He can do a much better job of handling the rough seas than we ever could.
1 Peter 4:10-11 says, “ Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms. 11If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.”
It’s God alone who can and will prevent us from blowing the lid off that pressure cooker…..if we only ask.
Pray this: Lord Jesus, help me to be the woman you’ve called me to be. Help me to glorify You in all that I do and say. When frustration and anger overtake me and I’m tempted to speak hurtful things, I pray for Your intervention. Help me to first seek Your grace when I have none to give. Fill me and cleanse me. Make me completely Yours. In Jesus’ name. Amen.