Several weeks back, I posted about a tantrum experience, and I’m still thinking about it.
- I started out wondering, Can I stay, “Stop being angry”? Is that the same as saying “Stop being happy”? Historically, I’ve focused on the outward manifestation, basically allowing anger, but not allowing kicking, throwing, screaming, and so on. I have said “Do not kick because you are angry.” Part of the reason I’ve avoided saying “don’t be angry” is that it feels a bit like saying “stop being sad” and emotions aren’t easy to turn on and off. As I’ve thought on this, I realize that it’s in the Bible worded this way. Since God says it, I figure I can, too. 🙂 Emotions are sustained by thought, so if I teach her how to change her thinking, it mght be a good thing to say “Stop being angry.”
- I tried it. Laurel had a moment when she started to become unhappy because she wasn’t getting her way. I picked her up and told her that she was choosing anger because she did not get her own way. Then I told her to stop being angry. I told her to be thankful instead. And we thought of a few things to be thankful for.
- Later in the car, I asked, “What’s wrong with complaining?” Bethel didn’t know. Laurel says “Because God says not to.” David thought that complaining was selfish because people don’t like to hear it. (hmmm….. I’m sure I’ve been teaching that by what I do say as well as what I don’t say.) Actually, complaining is sinful because it impugns the character of God– his ability to take care of me, and his great love for me. I had this conversation a few weeks ago, and just now I asked David, and he didn’t know again. Guess I need to reteach this concept.
- Here is one passage where the character of God and his ability to provide are connected:
I am the LORD thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt: open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it.
But my people would not hearken to my voice; and Israel would none of me.
So I gave them up unto their own hearts’ lust: and they walked in their own counsels.
Oh that my people had hearkened unto me, and Israel had walked in my ways! Psalm 81:10-13
Here is another one.
Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.
For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations. Psalm 100:3-5
- Tantrums involve failing to be self-controlled and content, and a failure to submit to authority. There are probably more sins in a tantrum that I haven’t thought of. I’ve been thinking about this idea since I’ve been comparing it to anger held inside. Now I’m wondering, Can I have an internal tantrum? Yep. I can manifest these same sins on the inside as I can on the outside. Is it just as bad? As a mom, I don’t respond my children the same way in these situations, and I want to know why. Is shouting I hate you worse than thinking it? Still thinking on this.
Still I’m thinking.