How to Change a Bad Habit

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I “momfessed” today that I yell at my kids.

This morning as I was reading in Ephesians 4, I saw a few things that made me think about my yelling, and what I need to do to be different.

1. In verse 21, we read that Paul is assuming the readers know Christ. So the information that follows is an exhortation and an instruction to believers (those who “have heard about him and were taught in him”.)

2. In verse 22, we are exhorted to “put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires”

So my yelling-self is part off my “old self”. When I am sinful and disconnected from the Lord (through lack of the Word and prayer), and when I am hungry and tired, and oh so fleshly, I yell at my children.

It sounds easy- just put off my old self. But when you stop and think How do I put off my old self?, it starts to look a wee bit more complicated. I think the key to “putting off” is found in the next part:

3. In verses 23 and 24, we see that the old self doesn’t just need to be “put off”, it needs to be replaced— “be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.

4. A little further down, verse 29 really struck me in regards to my yelling:

Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.

When I yell, I am not edifying my children. I am not edifying myself. It benefits no one. Those words (and the tone with which they are spoken) are not wholesome. They do not need to proceed from my mouth.

So, I prayed. Asking the Lord to help me put off the old self and put on the new self daily.

And  then I printed out Ephesians 4:29 and hung it up to be a reminder to me to only speak grace-giving words to my children. (I might post it up in every room of the house!)

Putting of the old and putting on the new is not an easy task. It takes daily prayer, daily truth from the Word, and constant work. But through God’s grace, bad habits (sin) can be put off and we can clothe ourselves with the new!

 

 

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Author: Sheila Stover

I'm a grace-loving, coffee-guzzling, overseas-living wife, mom, home school teacher and I process it all through writing when I can!

2 thoughts on “How to Change a Bad Habit

  1. Good advice for all of us.

  2. Thank you thank you thank you!! Love this! My mother yelled at me growing up and I promised myself I wouldnt yell at my children but here I am finding myself doing what I don’t want to do. I am going to print off eph 4:29 myself. Again thank you for the encouragement that we can remove old selves. 😉

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