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Setting the Tone in Our Homes

I think it is safe to say that we, collectively, as a human race are very very tired of hearing all about how we are living in “unprecedented times” and that we have to learn to adjust to “a new normal”. I have gotten to the point where as soon as a new reporter, commercial voice, or social media post includes those words I change the channel, turn on the tv/radio/podcast, and shut of my social media feed for a while. I just can’t handle it anymore.

It has been so easy, over the course of the last few months, to allow myself to slip further and further into the negative head space that makes me want to complain, fuss, fight, and refuse to continue on the path that we are on. Its no secret that the longer we see reports of business closures, church closures, school closures, virus case counts, death tolls rising, and mixed information being shared that finding the positives in the situation gets harder and harder. We jump on the internet to release our rage to anyone willing to listen becoming offended if someone dares to disagree and feeling justified when someone agrees and supports our point of view.

I’m not going to lie when I say that things here in the Marshall household have not been the best that they can be over the course of the last 6 months. We have experienced the roller coaster of emotions just like everyone else has. However, over the last week it has been really brought to the forefront of my mind the damage I am doing by allowing myself to continue to stay in that place. Not just to me and my own mental well-being, but to my family as well.

You see, as long as I allow myself to stay in the negative, angry, “rage against the machine” type mentality I am giving my family permission to live there as well. I am setting the tone for the household.

Recently, I have noticed a distinct shift in my 10 year old’s attitude. While he has always been the one who wears his heart on his sleeve lately things have just been different. He has been combative, easily frustrated, and very short tempered, especially when it comes to dealing with his two younger sisters and his cousin who happens to be in our house very often. At first I wanted to chalk it up to pre-teen boy angst paired with being the only boy in the house the majority of the time. However, the more I began to look at my actions and responses to life situations the more I have been seeing his reactions mirroring my own.

And that makes me sad.

Proverbs 14:1 says:

Every wise woman builds her house, but a foolish one tears it down with her own hands.”

Ouch.

As I have thought about the tone that I am setting when I live in my frustration, fears, anxiety, and anger I come to the hard realization that I am doing far more tearing down of my house with my own hands than I am of building it up. Rather than looking at this tough and challenging life situation and saying “No matter what happens, God You are in control.” I am living in the “Why me?” and the “God, just fix this.” areas of life and none of that is productive.

Is it hard to see past all the things going on in the world? Absolutely. But will it be worth it in the end. Beyond a shadow of a doubt.

So that is my challenge to you today. As we move into the weekend and begin to look toward another new week: Take some time to evaluate the tone you are setting in your home. Is it one that is uplifting and edifying? Or is it a done that is tearing things down?

How can you adjust your perspective to build up?

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