As a mother of four kids, it was not uncommon to have frequent conversations about attitudes in our house when the kids were younger. The Lord blessed us with our first three kids close together. We had twins, followed by another child just 16 months later. The oldest three have always been the best of friends, but when they were younger, we had some challenges.
It felt like we were raising triplets, so if one child was frustrated, the others followed. It was easy to find one person’s attitude impacting the whole family. My husband and I noticed that happened even if there was disharmony in our relationship. Our attitudes can be contagious.
The Bible has a lot to say about our attitudes. I often shared these scriptures with a child, reminding them how the Lord wants us to treat our spouse, parents, siblings, and even our enemies.
Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother” – which is the first commandment with a promise – “so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.” Ephesians 6:1-3
A fool spurns a parent’s discipline, but whoever heeds correction shows prudence. Proverbs 15:5
Even small children are known by their actions, so is their conduct really pure and upright? Proverbs 20:11
Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else. 1 Thessalonians 5:15
Do not make friends with a hot-tempered person, do not associate with one easily angered, or you may learn their ways and get yourself ensnared. Proverbs 22:24-25
Attitude adjustments are not just needed for our kids. We often need to do a self-examination and determine if our attitude needs to change. It is so easy to allow the pressures of daily life to justify a bad attitude. You may have had a bad day at work or feel stressed because of things happening behind the scenes with your marriage. Before you know it, you are lashing out at those around you, and they have no idea why. Just as we take time to remind our children about their attitudes, we must also remind ourselves.
When you are in a battle, it seems Satan will throw everything your way at once. You may justify your attitude because of hardships you may be facing, and it may be time to step back and give yourself an attitude check. Even during a difficult season of life, you can be a testimony to those around you that you can still have joy.
It is amazing how the family is impacted when mom and dad are not in unison. Even if you do your best to keep disagreements behind closed doors, those around you can usually sense the tension. When dealing with angry people, the advice given by experts is to stay calm and lower your voice. The person you are speaking with will usually do the same involuntarily. How would your home change if you started leading the way with a peaceful and joyful attitude? Do you think your family members would mimic your good attitude?
Today, will you do an attitude check on yourself? If you feel the pressure of your circumstances, lay that at the foot of the cross and let Jesus carry that burden.
If you need to apologize to your spouse or other family members, do that immediately. Don’t let the anger or frustration you are feeling grow.
A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. Proverbs 15:1
Just as your family notices a bad attitude, they will be just as aware of a new perspective. Today is a new day!