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2014_06_30 L2L_Irritable

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
{1 Corinthians 13:4-7 ESV, emphasis added}

Irritability, in my opinion, is more dangerous than we often give it credit for. It has the ability, when left unchecked, to rob life of its joy and peace. Those are two of the things, along with our Precious Salvation, that Yeshua gave us to carry up through these days on this earth as we carry our crosses { Romans 15:13; John 14:27; Luke 9:23}. That makes them two of the things that I am not willing to part with!

What does it mean to be irritable?

According to Thayer’s, the Greek word rendered as irritable here means “to make sharp, sharpen;  to stimulate, spur on, urge; to irritate, provoke, arouse to anger; to exasperate.”
Webster’s defines irritable as “becoming angry or annoyed easily; easily exasperated or excited; responsive to stimuli .”

See being irritable is not just about anger. It is about allowing something to stimulate us away from our Peace, our Joy. That separation is what then turns into anger as we strive to get back to that Peace and Joy as quickly as possible, taking out our anger on whatever we have allowed to get in between us and them.

What happen when we are irritable with our children?

Same as with everything else, when irritability rears its head with our children it is a warning sign that we have allowed our child, or at the very least their behavior, to find its way between us and the Peace that passes all understanding {Philippians 4:7}. This is carries with it more than just the consequences of what may be done or said in that irritable state that might stick with the child. It is also indicative of an upside down moment in our relationship, or even an upside down relationship.

As God covers Yeshua, as Yeshua covers man and those of us who have no man standing as a cover for us, and as a husband covers his wife, we also as mothers cover our children {1 Corinthians 11:3}. That means the flow of power moves from our Covering to us and from us to our children. When we allow them, or their behavior, to step between us and the Peace of our Covering, they in effect became the one in control leaving us to simply react to whatever they dish out.  If we can, however, maintain the gapless connection with that Peace, we are better equipped to consciously respond to the situation in a manner that furthers the plans and purposes of God in their lives and makes the most of that teachable moment.

How to break the habit of being irritable

More often than not, this boils down to learning to respond to a situation rather than reacting to it. When you begin to live in reflex mode, you can very easily loose the power that being intentional with each moment brings to your life. One starting place for developing that perspective shift is cultivating the habit of being present in the moment, taking stock of all that is going on around you.

1. Spend some time soaking in the moment. Look at it for what it is, without trying to change a single part of it. Ask yourself how you could thrive if nothing about that situation ever changed for the better and don’t stop pushing that thought until you come up with a way. It does not mean that you will never work in a productive manner to change some things, but it takes away that desperation to change it and takes away the power that the situation is using to hold your Peace and Joy hostage.

2. Take a series of deep breaths before speaking. Just those few moments can be enough to shift your perspective and keep you from reacting out of reflex. Plus the infusion of oxygen has nourishing and relaxing effects on the mind and body.

3. Ask the child, or person, questions. Gaining a new level of understanding into the person and the behavior can help you better manage your prayers over the situation and increase your ability to show empathy and mercy. It can also raise the child’s, or person’s, awareness about their behavior and open their mind to possibility of change.

4. Make a decision to maintain Joy and Peace. Concrete decisions take the option of failure off the table. It doesn’t mean that you will never stumble or slip, but when you are resolved to a thing you are far less likely to accept anything less as your final result and you keep pushing until you get there. As long as less is an option, less is what you’ll get.

I pray you resolve and compassion beloved! Shalom!~

Surrendered to Him~

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{Be sure to check out the entire #Learning2Love series!}

How do you deal with being irritable?

2 Responses

  1. Rebecca
    | Reply

    This post and the post on love not insisting on its own way really went right to my heart. The truth is I like my own way (and I have become good at getting it) and the habit of becoming easily irritable in response to my children’s childish behavior is what I default to long before letting down my guard and running to Yeshua for his strength to show love.

    • ~rose~
      | Reply

      You are NOT alone Rebecca! The beautiful part though comes in being able to admit that. I truly believe that as long as our hearts are open enough to view our shortcomings truthfully, then the Potter’s Hand is already working on us. Thank you for coming by and sharing your heart!~

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