One of my children has a quick wit and smart mouth. I will not name any names but know that he is too smart for his own good. His quick mind meets his lips in record speed. It has been a concern for me. One thing I have started doing is to pray over certain character traits that I see in my kids. I am praying that these traits either increase or decrease, like a little more kindness and a less sarcasm.
As I have begun to pray about this and I began to ask myself why he is so sarcastic? I was praying that God would show me ways to help him overcome this and He sure did, only not in the way I thought. I assumed that God was going to reveal to me ways that I needed to show him how to respond better or what Scripture he needed to memorize. But the more I prayed, the more I realized that God wanted to change me.
Each sarcastic word or unkind tone that came out of my mouth was amplified as God was showing me that I was doing to my family just what I was trying to change about my child. I realized that I often answered my family in a way that they would be disciplined if it was the other way around. I had a big fat plank in my eye.
Jesus tells us in Matthew to do this with our brothers, “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” (7:3-5)
I am not in any way saying that we don’t disciple and discipline our kids. I am saying that we often need to disciple and discipline ourselves. When we disciple ourselves and remove our own sin, we will be able to see clearly what is in our brothers (children’s) eye.
Just a quick sidenote: It is a good idea to ask your good friends what character traits they see in your kids that need prayer and discipline. We often have blinders when it comes to our kids. Ask people who are around your kids in all kinds of circumstances and you can see what others see in your kids. But you have to be willing to hear what they have to say 🙂