Isaiah hates doing homework. Seriously, what 9 year-old boy enjoys homework? No matter how often he has to do it – several times a week – he still has to go through the motions of temper tantrums. He’d rather play video games. So, I’ve taken to this ritual: the minute he throws a tantrum, I make him immediately burst into exercise. Once his heart starts pumping, he tends to lose the chip on his shoulder. When his heart rate drops back down to normal, he’s ready to concentrate. I explained, to my son, why I make him exercise before homework.
“Satan wants you to believe that your homework is an impossible task. He wants you to believe it will take you forever to complete. Once your mind is set on his lies, you become enraged. In your angry state, you can’t concentrate on your work.”
“That makes sense,” Isaiah replied.
“Son, the Apostle James wrote this, in James 1:20: ‘because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires’. You have to be careful with anger. When you focus on anger, you can’t do what God wants you to do. But, giving your anger to God allows you to focus on the task He has put in front of you, without the distraction of anger.”
Isaiah nodded before diving into his homework. It’s funny. I think I actually needed to be reminded of that fact, just as much as my son did. That’s one of the true beauties of family. Your family can help you see situations for the opportunities or distractions they really are.
I don’t always see the end result in a task the Lord lays before me. But, my wife can point out the goal long before I see the end result. My daughter doesn’t always understand why reading the bible is so important, until her older brother explains how scriptures freed him from bad-choice bondage. My eldest son doesn’t understand why the adult life is so hard sometimes. But, once we discuss the role of a man in today’s society versus the role of a Christian man, he suddenly sees why he’s attacked by the enemy all the time.
A lot of times, our reaction to what we don’t understand is fear and anger. But thank God for family. No one has your back like family. Family can help you steer clear of the influences of anger and fear. If there is real strength in numbers, then blessed is the person with a large, caring family.