The Need For Retreat!
Every day for the last month or two, I get out of bed determined to be the hands and feet of Christ and almost immediately, I turn into an enemy. I am grumpy, mad, angry and right!
In over 30 years of marriage, homeschooling eight children, being the pastor’s wife, and many other things, I have done so with an attitude of gratitude for each day and for each child.
But something about the fighting, bickering and stinky approach my last two children have towards one another, has led to them seeing a side of their mother that no other child has seen.
I am working to regain my former attitude. I have fallen on my face before the Lord, gotten into the word, listened to worship/heart music and still I find myself, each new day, with this horrible display and attitude.
But, this morning, I did something different.
After I packed lunches and put out breakfast, I went back to my room where I spent time in the word. I allowed my husband, the privilege of getting breakfast put away and getting the kids off to school. I needed a fuss-free morning.
My fifteen-year-old daughter ended up wandering back to my room and laid across my bed to talk. When her eleven-year-old brother came back to “encourage” her it was time to leave (insert aforementioned stinky approach here) I didn’t feel the need to tell him that he interrupted our conversation, nor did I remind him that he could be kinder in his ‘encouragement’ to his sister.
Because… I was in retreat mode. Retreat according to dictionary.com means ‘to withdraw from enemy forces as a result of their superior power or after a defeat.’
In my attempt to keep my children from being unkind to one another, I had become the very thing I didn’t want them to be. Unkind. I had the enemy jumping on my back each morning, allowing me to display a part of his defeated army, and in anger, resentment and contempt, I ‘corrected’ them.
I can’t blame this behavior on being tired, menopause or sibling rivalry, this was all me. Believing many lies. I need to be strengthened and reminded whose team I’m on. (Maybe you do too!)
I’m on the winning team! Jesus’ team! The team I want to display and walk out for my children to see. My retreat became my Oasis! I needed to talk to myself and listen to ALL GOD says to me about who I am.
I am refreshed, alive and ready for battle. This battle is not against flesh and blood. My children are not my enemies! And no matter how they act towards one another, I will not be sucked into fighting against them.
I will fight FOR them!
You fight FOR your children by displaying a Christ-like character in the midst of conflict. You fight FOR your children by teaching them whose they are even when they feel like their sibling is their enemy.
You fight FOR your children by taking them with you ‘boldly before the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.’ (Hebrews 4:16)
As the contemporary Christian song says, “I’m no longer a slave to fear, I am a child of God.” I refuse to get up and choose not to “walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God;” (Colossians 1:10).
So, I must retreat!
I retreat because when I feel the oppressor trying to get me to oppress, I know who I belong to. I will not be overcome by evil. I will overcome evil with good. (Romans 12:21) When the accuser does what he does and accuses, I refuse to listen to his lies.
I know all threats against my mind, my actions and my words are tamed because I am MORE THAN a conqueror. (Romans 8:37)
As I age, grow older in years, I want to grow in my maturity in Christ as my Lord. I want HIM to be represented in my daily life. And just like Jesus did in His day, I want to continue to grow in wisdom, statue and favor with God and man.
And I want my family to see this growth first and foremost, daily.
So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.