Last week I started my first ever Bible Study. I’ve always wanted to participate in one, but trying to coordinate my schedule around everyone else’s was just quite impossible. My cousin turned me on to a ministry who does online Bible Studies, Proverbs 31, and I am officially hooked. So, why am I blogging about participating in a Bible Study? I’m glad you asked because it’s almost as if my cousin knew that right now, at this point in my life, I really needed something like this. She knew because God told her, and He waited until at this point to tell her knowing that I have a huge problem with keeping it shut, my mouth that is.
I’m two weeks into this Bible Study and I wish I had started it sooner. It’s put a whole new perspective on things in my life. It’s made me realize what I was doing, things I was either completely oblivious to or things I was telling myself to forget about. And it’s helped me with my most important role to date…being a mother.
The title of the Bible Study is “Keep it Shut”. It basically helps you to realize what to say, how to say it, and perhaps when it’s best to say nothing at all. All of which I have a severe problem with accomplishing. I just wish I’d had the book a week sooner because it is now opening my eyes to a lot of behavior of which I could use assistance.
You see, two weeks ago, my husband and I got into an argument. It wasn’t just simply a disagreement. No, this was a “yelling at the top of our lungs, stomping off, saying things we regret” kind of argument. What made it worse is that the argument occurred in front of Davey.
I grew up in a house with parents who had disagreements at times. There was the occasional raising of the voice, but there was no hitting below the belt or name calling. Having arguments is a part of human nature and I by no means am interested in candy coating things for either of our boys. I never want to put forth a façade of having the happiest marriage in the world. Am I happy? Absolutely. Do I love my husband? You better believe it, but like most marriages it isn’t all rainbows and butterflies with angels singing in the background. So, having an argument in front of my children isn’t what bothers me, it’s how low my husband and I got in said argument in front of Davey.
Henry was napping and Davey was eating his lunch. I don’t recall how the argument started, but looking back on things I should have “kept it shut”. Instead I chose to ignore that voice deep inside of me who kept saying, “it’s not worth it. think of what you’re doing to your son. think of what you’re doing to your husband. think of what you’re doing to yourself. think of what you’re doing to your God” Nope, I didn’t take a deep breath, reflect for a moment, or pray to God for guidance. I lashed back out at my husband.
Here’s what made things so horrible, though, and what I can’t get out of my head. I caught Davey out of the corner of my eye watching my husband and I volley back and forth. He listened to one insult after another (there were no swear words, my husband and I don’t do that). What could he possibly have been thinking as he saw this vicious attack? Our voices were so loud that I’m surprised Henry was able to nap at all! Then the scenario got worse. As my husband sat down in the recliner, getting in his few last words, I followed him and threw in a few of my own while our three year old stood between the two of us, arms out and said, “no, stop.” And only then did I stop.
A few days later, I brought this up with my husband. I asked if he had paid attention to Davey while we were arguing and he said, “No”. He recalls how Davey jumped between the two of us as if to put the fighters into their own separate corners. We both agreed something like that can’t happen again.
Over the past week and a half, as I’ve started working on my Bible Study, I’ve found myself quick at times to let my temper flare up. It’s hard to have patience with a three year old especially one who is just as hard-headed and strong-willed as myself, but I have to find a way.
Since I’ve begun this Bible Study, things that I once found important have now become trivial. What’s the point in being upset with Davey for spilling paint on the floor? I can clean it up and it’s not wasted any of my time. What’s the point in losing my patience with him when I’m trying to work or read and he just won’t be quiet? The day may come when I beg him to talk to him and he just won’t. Then what? And of course, I’ve learned to take a minute and truly reflect upon my word before it spills out of my mouth, forever a part of the world and the memory of the intended recipient.
I’m not a huge fan of self help books, but I am a huge fan of the Words of our Lord. Perhaps instead of saying that hideous thing to make someone else hurt as bad as me, I should remember this passage from Ecclesiastes 10:12
Words from the mouth of the wise are gracious, but fools are consumed by their own lips.