Ask any of your kids, what they should do if their clothes catch on fire. Chances are they will quote the Fire Department slogan, “Stop, Drop and Roll.” Most grade school age kids have this important safety tip pre-loaded in their young brains. It is important to know what you will do in a crisis, before the crisis. Problem solving, reflection, rational and measured responses are tough to pull up when your hair is on fire. If you catch fire without a plan, you’re likely to take off running and screaming, igniting everything around you. So for little people, and big people, it is important to have a plan before you catch fire.
It is not just clothes that can burn. Our emotions can catch fire and burn down everything around us. We often talk about anger and frustration with terms like “Hot tempered”, “ Burning mad”, “ Lost my cool”. We sometimes “Boil over”, get “Heated up” and “Red line” in the midst of a conflict or Hot topic. We all get mad at some things, sometimes. Anger is a God given emotion. It is no sin to be angry. There is however an energy in anger that can be highly productive or highly destructive. Scripture warns us to neither “Blow up” nor “Clam up” when it comes to this emotion (Ephesians 4:26). We are instead called to “Grow up” by speaking the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15).
Parenting is a high stakes venture. Good dad’s care deeply about what happens with and to their daughters. The opportunity and the responsibility of raising a daughter is both a privilege and a challenge. Along the way we will get mad and frustrated. The anger may be directed at ourselves, our daughters, their friends, some guy, a coach or any other list of characters that behave poorly around our child. So lets have a plan, before we Catch Fire.
Stop. Do not charge in when you are jacked up on Anger. You are likely to do more damage than good. Get yourself clear so you can do some good. Do you have a place to safely Vent? Do you have a person who can and will reel you in? Are you willing to get in front of God with your Anger? He is a good person to be with, when you’re really ticked.
Drop. Anger makes us big, bullet proof and aggressive. This is great if you fighting a Mountain Lion. It is less effective if you are trying to connect and resolve a curfew violation with a 15 year old. Drop to your knees before you run into battle. An angry confrontation will almost always produce defensiveness. Once your daughter becomes defensive nothing constructive or productive will happen.You are just spraying water on a grease fire.
Role. What is your role in this battle, and what message are you suppose to carry? Getting hot is easy, getting holy is critical. Joshua found the right posture before his battle, which set him up for a huge victory (Joshua 5:13-15). In a big battle there is only One side we should be fighting for, God’s Side. Let’s do whatever it takes to get on His Side and fight the Good fight for our daughters.
Grace and Peace,
Dr. Don Worcester