When it comes to stress in modern America, one would think it to be non-existent. After all, we have so many technological advances to make our lives easier and everything is more convenient. Problem is easier doesn't make better. There seems to be opposing forces at work in our society - as our technology advances, our character weakens. Because we have chosen in so many instances to take the "easy" way out, we have become weak and flabby in our character, the very thing that made us the great nation we were. So who's to blame in this stressed out world? Funny thing about stress - our forefathers worked harder longer and for less benefit, yet they didn't seem to have the stress problem we do. What is stress? Another word for stress is tension, which is best defined by that awkward feeling one has when in a room with two or more people who everyone knows are at odds with each other and all are awaiting the confrontation. Contention is another good synonym. Proverbs 13:10 explains where contention originates:
Only by pride cometh contention: but with the well-advised is wisdom.
Stress; tension; contention - these terms are pretty much synonymous by modern day usage. What is at the root of them all? - pride. Argue it anyway you may, it all boils down to me not liking the situation, whether that involves people, circumstances, or things. Our homes are no different. It is time we stop blaming the kids for the stress level in our homes and remind ourselves of where our children learn their behavior. The older I get and the more I learn of people, it's almost humorous how we blame things on the kids, yet we are merely reaping what we have sown. If our children are rude, they learned it from us. If our children are rebellious, they're just a chip off the old block. May I offer an observation, followed by a solution.
We struggle to control our children, because we struggle to control ourselves. In I Timothy 3 is the list of qualifications for a pastor; verses 4-5 mention the idea that he must rule his own house. Well, if one cannot rule himself, he will not rule his house. And as it says, if he can't rule his house how can he rule the church of God? Many ministries have been ruined due to men who could not or would not rule themselves. Well, you may say, I don't plan on pastoring a church. No, but are you planning on pastoring(leading, shepherding) your home. that was my observation; here very simply is my solution - let us rule ourselves. Think about this statement - The more one governs himself, the less need he has of outside governing forces; the less one governs himself, the more he requires an outside force to govern him. This is based on two verses from the book of Proverbs. I leave them for you in closing:
Proverbs 16:32 -
He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city.
Proverbs 25:28 -
He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls.