Raising Egalitarians, part 2 (Rage)

It wasn’t long after my husband and I began our first adventure in parenting that I was confronted with an ugliness in myself that I hadn’t seen in about a decade.  Rage.

Our parental journey began when we had decided to become foster parents, in hopes of providing a loving home for children in unideal situations (due to drugs or violence), but suddenly I had to wonder if they were better off in my care.  I would yell and scream and berate my child for a slight disobedience (which would be better described as noncompliance).  My anger seemed to spin out of my control, and I was completely stunned by it.

Where did this anger come from?  I thought I had effectually submitted my anger to Christ during the first few years of my walk with him.  Why was I so angry?

Honest reflection revealed that I lost control because I had lost control.  I wanted my child to keep in step with my desires, and when she wouldn’t, I felt her misbehavior like a defiant slap in the face.  I wanted to have control and maintain control, but I felt like I was losing my control over her.  However, this reaction was completely irrational.  Our foster child was only a baby!  It was obvious to me that I had some issues that needed to be nailed to the cross, and she was a victim of my unsanctified spirit.

I had missed the mark in meeting my goal.  I was not loving her the way the Father would want me to love her; I was cultivating fear in her rather than love.  As a result, I was not valuing her with the dignity she deserved as an image of the Creator.  How could I teach her equality when I didn’t treat her with respect?

Driven to my knees, I surrendered my desire for control.  And my anger.  And my unforgiveness toward the one who had tried to control me as a child.  The unforgiveness actually turned out to be the key issue that bound me to my rage.  Forgiveness prompted a transformation in me.  I felt myself become unraveled and become whole all at the same time.  By the time we had relinquished our foster baby and welcomed the arrival of our biological baby, rage became a distant memory once again.

And I am so thankful, because there is no greater desire I have than for my children to know unmistakably how highly valued they are by us and by the King of kings.  And rage, tyranny and oppression will never communicate that.

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