As the new school year approaches, I've got a lesson I want to learn, too.
I feel like I've really been struggling in my mothering lately, well, for a while, really. I feel like I am so often frustrated by my children and their actions. For me it's the little things that grate at me, the things that happen over and over and over - the common potty accidents (when I know they can do better), the whining, the nagging, the not obeying, the child that pushes their brother down again and again. I don't like how they're acting, so I react with anger and frustration, which then only makes me more angry and frustrated, because I don't like how I'm acting, either. I've really been trying to think about how I can overcome these faults and hopefully, bring a little more peace to our home (because I know that starts with me!).
The other morning I thought of the Bible verse that talks about the law of kindness being on her tongue, so I was browsing through Proverbs looking for it. I looked for it in my Bible's small concordance. No luck. Then I had the thought of looking it up online (I'm still getting used to having that be an option!), and then I discovered that those words are from the King James Version - I had seen and passed over the verse in my NIV Bible, because it wasn't what I was looking for: "She speaks with wisdom and faithful instruction is on her tongue."
I believe I faithfully instruct my children. But I don't always do it with kindness, and that's what I want to change. That's why I especially like the KJV: "She openeth her mouth with wisdom and on her tongue is the law of kindness" (Proverbs 31:26). I think those last seven words really get to the heart of the verse: "her tongue is the law of kindness". That is what I want. I don't want to be one of those permissive parents who never wants their child to get in trouble - I believe discipline is crucial - but I do want to discipline out of love, grace, and kindness, and not out of anger and frustration.
So that's my personal lesson plan for the year - to learn to always speak with kindness. They say practice makes perfect, and I have a feeling I'll get lots of practice! =)