Basic Yet Revealing Truth: Respond vs. React (Part 1)

Ok, so I challenge myself again with another bible study this time focusing on mothering. I actually bought the book last year (“Raising Responsive Children” by Judy Rossi, the same author which her book about marriage bible study has also changed my relationship with my husband to the much better) yet I did kinda stop for a while (lack of commitment and laziness, what else!?) before then I commit myself to pursue it again last month after another (kinda major) ‘breakdown’ in my parenting journey. But what a beautiful thing is, God always use this kind of breakdown experience to bring me back closer to Him! To seek Him more than anything else again (I wrote about how easily our heart become attached with other wordly things in my previous post and my low times surely serve me as best reminder to always put Him first).

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I must say that I always gain something for my benefit whenever I commit myself seriously to learn about His words (although often I had to drag myself hard to be in that position, sadly).

I could feel God is at work within me particularly when I did my two-weeks fasting to pray for Aimee’s behavior and personality (her strong-will, what do I have to do with it? How can I make her obey my instructions? Etc etc). Somehow I had that ability to be more patient! Do I have that kind of capability only if I did my fasting? I seriously don’t know and can’t explain it well in words, but what I do know, I surely become like a different mother during and after that fasting (a little bit “better” I suppose because God’s truth has been revealed and changed my heart).
I was more often react to Aimee’s behavior when what I must do is to respond. What’s the difference between them two, if you may ask. This is what I’ve learnt from the study:

Reaction, is preceded by unchecked, negative thought patterns resulting in sudden, sometimes uncontrolled emotions that determines our behavior.
It exercises self.

A response is preceded by deliberate, purposeful thought that determines behavior, regardless of the emotions. It’s fueled by the Holy Spirit and exercise self-control.

Remember, an emotion doesn’s just happen; it’s always preceded by a thought. Therefore, what we think generates the emotions that fuels the behavior.
When we control our thoughts, we control our behavior, turning what would have been a reaction into a response.

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Many values I can gain by responding (rather than reacting), some of them are implied by these following verses in Bible (just spend some more time to read these verses at your own comfort): Proverbs 15:28, James 1:19-20, 1 Peter 3:9-12, 1 Peter 5:8. The heart of the righteous ‘weighs its answers’, ‘quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry’, and God’s eyes and ears are on the righteous! By exercising self-control we also not let ourselves prowled by the devil! I was like ‘drooling’ over these verses seeing how to respond can bring so many benefits to my life and relationship!

I believe this not only will benefit those who have had kids, but basically to everyone regardless of their status! How often do you wish that you did not just speak those hurtful words to your friends or family members? How often do you wish that you could just ‘keep calm and carry on’?

Then somehow I could feel how God calmed my heart when facing the totally uncalming situations related with my daughter so that I could give a proper response rather than quickly reacting in anger. Oh yes, I know it was Him who made me able! (My self-will is so lame could only depend on it for the maximum of 3 days perhaps lol). I just love how He works things ‘magicly’ with my heart state!

Ok, so now do you wanna know what practical steps you can do to exercise your ways of responding (rather than reacting)? Surely you always begin with prayer (and maybe fasting too if you think you really really need God to take control of your situation before things becoming worst…), but I will share some more practical steps that the book listed.. Not now, but in the next part 2! Haha.. So, stay tuned until my next post! :p (doesn’t mean to make this as series but I know soon Aimee is going to wake up from her nap and I better share whatever I have now rather than none at all hihi).

Thanks for reading anyway! Xx

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