by Aleta Kay
I don’t mean to meddle. The purpose for this column is to offer help and advice. This week I’m getting off the marriage track to talk about child abuse. Please understand, this column is not about criticizing. We are who and what we are as adults because of those things we learned from primary people in our lives as we were growing up. My mother was abusive. She didn’t mean to be, and it wasn’t all the time. We had some fun times together but when she lost her temper everyone ran for cover.
From the time I was nine until I was eighteen I was convinced she hated me. Convincing myself of that was my armor against emotional pain. I did not want to be like my mother in that respect. Unfortunately, we are what we learn. When my son was little, up to when he was about five years old, I was an abusive parent. I didn’t mean to be. I didn’t want to be abusive, and I didn’t like that about myself.
One day I did something so horrible, I was afraid I had really hurt my son. I hugged him, cried, and apologized. At that moment I hated myself more than I ever had before. I had just asked God to save me from my sins and make me a new person a few months before (maybe even a year) but I had held onto my temper as my defense against being mistreated. Now I had to really face myself. I asked God to take my temper and replace it with his peace. I never wanted to hurt my child again. I never did hurt my children but, even after all these years, I still struggle with my temper. I don’t hurt people any more; I just yell at things that don’t work like they’re supposed to: like computers. So if you have problems with your temper, and you tend to take things out on your children, please ask God to save your soul, make you a new person, take away your anger and replace it with his peace. He will. And you will become someone you can like and you will be a better parent. The cost is free. Let me know how it works out for you. I care.
By the way, it is important to ask God to replace your temper with His peace. The Bible says if we sweep the house clean of evil and don't replace it with good, the evil will return with multiplied severity.