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"I'm Not Giving Energy to this Problem"
By Linda Ranson Jacobs

1 Samuel 12:16, “Now then, stand still and see this great thing the Lord is about to do before your eyes.”

Ever have one of those days when your child decides to throw a temper tantrum? This can come in the form of crying, kicking, and screaming for younger children or stomping off and slamming doors for a teen. Many times the tantrum comes from deep within the child and has absolutely nothing to do with you. Did you read that right – nothing to do with you? Yes, that’s what I said.

As single parents we tend to take on guilt. We get bogged down with the “if only-s.” If only his dad hadn’t treated him that way. Or, if only I didn’t have to work so many hours, he wouldn’t act like this. So we take what little energy we have left at the end of the day and we spend it all on the tantrum in front of us.

There are times we need to step back and watch how the Lord is working in our children’s lives. We need NOT take ownership of the child’s dilemma. My friend’s son worked hard at memorizing scripture for a program at church. Her daughter, on the other hand, didn’t want to be bothered by all the work. This mom encouraged her daughter but didn’t do the work for her. She didn’t nag, coerce, beg, or plead.

On the night of the awards ceremony, her son received his awards. When they got home the daughter started acting out, stomping around, being silly, and demanding attention from Mom. This mom simply said, “Bree, I’m not giving energy to this problem. You need to go to bed.” She didn’t apologize and say, “I’m sorry you didn’t get any awards. Maybe next time.” Or, “I know, it’s not fair.” Or “Well, you are younger than your brother. They shouldn’t expect so much from you.”

The next morning the daughter came to breakfast and said to her brother, “I’m sorry how I acted last night. I was jealous you got honored and I didn’t.”

Remember what the mom had said, “I’m not giving any energy to this problem tonight.” She gave her daughter time alone. She didn’t take away from the work the Lord was going to do in this child.

1 Samuel 12:16, “Now then, stand still and see this great thing the Lord is about to do before your eyes.”


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