Each weekday on our FaceBook page you’ll find a prayer, reflection, or Bible verse centered around a weekly word. Each Friday we will share the recap of our FB posts here on our blog. Our hope is that we band together to devote our pregnancies, birth experiences and parenting to God our creator.
We want this to be a place for all of us to share our hearts, thoughts, blessings and challenges. Please comment and share so that we can together benefit from becoming #devotingmothers.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Galatians 5:22-23a
Self control is the human ability to control our impulses in order to gain a longer-term benefit. It’s easier said, than done, for most of us. For those of us with children outside of the womb, we know that mastering self control takes time and maturity. There’s not many two year olds that exhibit a lot of self control – hence why we lovingly call this period, “the terrible twos.” And think for a minute about your adorable infant…cooing and gazing into your eyes one minute, followed by uncontrollable crying the next, presumably brought on by wanting their next meal (nevermind that they just finished nursing forty minutes ago!)
And it’s not just the little folks that exhibit a lack of self control. We do too. Anger ever flare when your husband doesn’t fold the socks just like you? How about when the driver ahead of you is going under the speed limit? Ever eat the ice-cream pint (or maybe the half gallon) all by your lonesome to make the discomforts of pregnancy disappear, or drink a few too many glasses of wine to make the long day and night with the kids a bit more tolerable?
Our Lord and Savior knows us and where we lack. He gives us His Holy Spirit to enable and equip us. For there are times that I need help exerting self control and I am grateful that I can call on Him.
A person without self-control
is like a city with broken-down walls. Proverbs 25:28
The wisdom verses in Proverbs always just get straight to the point; if you don’t control yourself, you are unprotected and set up to be attacked.
The people of ancient times reading Proverbs would understand this well. Cities in those times were protected by large walls; the first defense against harm from external forces. Without a well built wall, you were vulnerable and in danger. The book of Nehemiah centers around the rebuilding of Jerusalem’s wall after God’s people returned to the city once escaping captivity. When Nehemiah heard about Jerusalem’s crumbing wall, it grieved him and he devised a plan to help rebuild. It was a critical mission, approved by God.
In the writing of Proverbs, I sense a similar sense of urgency. Build your self-control to serve as a wall of safety and protection around your life and the life of your family. You don’t have to do it by sheer will-power; but by the grace of God and as a daughter of the One True King, call on Him to help you. He will!
“Feelings are indicators, not dictators. They can indicate where your heart is in the moment, but that doesn’t mean they have the right to dictate your behavior and boss you around. You are more than the sum total of your feelings and perfectly capable of that little gift . . . called self-control.”
Wow does this hit home! We can’t deny what we are feeling, or cover it up, and wish the ugly would just go away, but we can control our behavior. We can chose to act in a way different than how our raw emotions are leading us. We can stop ourselves to breathe, to pray, to ask counsel from another person. It’s certainly not the easy thing to do. It’s brave. Counter cultural. And often painful in the moment.
The years we are in right now – the childbearing years – they are some of the years that demand and stretch us the most. As wives and mothers we are called to be sacrificial with our energy, time and resources. Even our physical bodies are put to the test. Do you realize that when you are pregnant, your body must make between 30 to 50 percent more blood volume? Your heart and intestines move and shift locations to make room for your growing body? The energy you will likely exert during childbirth will be similar to the energy exerted in running a marathon? And then you will be sleep deprived, taking care of this demanding, little soul you are just getting acquainted with.
Of course we are going to,at times, feel exhausted, incapable, lonely, ugly, sad, or any other dozen feelings that we don’t want to feel. It’s normal, it’s expected…and it’s temporary when we acknowledge and seek help. Self control is necessary to get through these crazy, wonderful, mixed up years. But it doesn’t mean isolation and hiding. Let’s do it together in community with each other and with our Loving Savior.
I can do all things through him who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13
I ask that my control comes from You and not of my own lacking abilities. For Your Word promises that I can do what You call me to do. In Your mighty strength I ask that you equip me to be a good and loving wife, mother, friend, and daughter.
Please remind me that I am Yours and do not need to strive to do it all myself. Let me call on you each morning, asking for the precious fruit of Your Spirit to be seen in me throughout my day. Let me thank You each evening for the opportunities You have set before me to serve others in my own family and in my little corner of the world.
“I am a spiritual being… After this body is dead, my spirit will soar. I refuse to let what will rot rule the eternal. I choose self-control. I will be drunk only by joy. I will be impassioned only by my faith. I will be influenced only by God. I will be taught only by Christ.” – Max Lucado
Remember that you are a spiritual being. As a child of God you have the One True God living in you! He will equip and restore you for all He calls you to be and do.