Thursday, February 17, 2011

Book Club Thursday | Mama Made the Difference

Mamas Teach Us to Banish the Bitterness

There was one theme in this whole chapter that really jumped out at me.  It was rather convicting because sometimes I can become bitter when people hurt me or my family intentionally or unintentionally.  But because children pick up the behaviors they see in their parents, this can be a behavior that Addie picks up... and I don't want that to happen. 

A bitter woman typically raises bitter children.  Her bitterness is passed down to her children through the milk of her parenting, just as any other harmful substance can be transmitted from mother to child. To be sure, children learn what they see, and inevitably they act out what their parents acted out in themselves and around the children.  I do not want to raise bitter children.  But in order for that to happen, I need to make sure that I take all of my feelings to the Lord.  I cannot impose any bitter thoughts or feelings on my children. 

A bitter mother's children have no choice but to be around her, constantly  exposed to and influenced by the acrimony in her soul.  Because that is all they know, that is how they grow up.  As a teacher, I knew what a parent's personality was like by observing their children.  Children are little replicas of their parents and carry themselves in very similar ways.  If a mother is bitter, it can be assumed that her children will have bitter personalities.

Let me say once more that cynicism and bitterness are inherited.  Do not let it take root in your life.  Instead, keep your heart clean and tender before God and in your relationships with other people. The writer of Hebrews instructs us well in this regard: "Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord: looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled" (Hebrews 12: 14-15).  We do not want to defile our children by imposing our bitter feelings and thoughts on them.  We need to make sure that our children learn to pursue peace from us. But the only way they are going to learn that is if we pursue peace with all people.  Easy? No! But if we don't, the root of bitterness will spring up and cause trouble and not only defile us, but our children as well.

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