Listen Quick, Speak and Anger Slow

But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger; for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God. James 1:19-20
 
Often while fulfilling my duties as mom, I upset my children. They are usually the most upset when I disagree with their plans to overindulge in sugary sweets and electronics. And they, being young and lacking the wisdom afforded by years of life, often have a lot to say about my decisions and rather quickly. The intensity and quickness of their anger depends on how passionate they are about the matter at hand. Now as a parent, when my children respond to me in this way, if I am not careful my first response is to become angry and speak quickly to them. Before you know it, everyone is speaking and angry but no one is listening. Which is beneficial for no one! Have you ever walked away from an angry argument feeling good or that it was productive? Your likely answer is no.
 
This is why the word of God teaches us to be quick listeners and not to speak or get angry quickly. As a parent, even as frustrating as it is when your child talks back to you, it is always better to listen first to hear their side of the argument because you may hear or learn something that would help guide your response as well as give you time to think about the words you will choose when you do respond. Because like the word of God also teaches us, an angry tongue can do a lot of damage to a heart. But regardless of the circumstances, it is always better to listen so you have time to think before you speak. Also being a good listener does not add fuel to anger, instead it creates time and a space for the anger to subside because there is no one to argue with to keep it going. Who wants to argue with themselves?
 
The bottom line: As Christian parents, we are to represent Jesus to our children. The loving, kind, caring, and compassionate Jesus. The Jesus who listens to everyone and who only speaks words of truth and life. So the next time you find yourself in a confrontation with your child, remember to be quick to listen, slow to speak and anger.
 
Proverbs 15:18, Proverbs 14:29, Proverbs 16:24

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