When are you most frustrated or angry?
Do you have children? If not, think back to when, as a child, your parents were angry or frustrated with something you were doing.
My wife and I have a great, polite and agreeable son. However, there are times when he doesn't seem to be all, or any of, those. The most frustrated I get is when our son - who carries our name - doesn't listen or pay attention to what I'm trying to teach him. These situations especially escalate if we are with a group of friends or in public, and he's being inappropriate for the situation.
If we are in a nice restaurant with friends and our son refuses to sit up properly, have good table manners and an overall polite disposition, my frustration with him grows with each corrective phrase or reminder I give him:
- "Son, please chew with your mouth closed."
- "Please look at the people who are asking you questions and answer politely."
- "Remember to say please, thank you and you're welcome."
Reflecting on these situations, I contemplate why it angers me more in public. Well, the answer I came up with is that it looks bad on me and my wife as parents (or at least we think it does). This concept triggered an even deeper thought.
When our son does things we think depict us as bad parents, I get angrier because I know I'm trying to instill positive attributes. When he doesn't act accordingly, it reflects poorly upon his mother and father. When I don't act accordingly, it reflects poorly upon my mother and father. When we as followers of Jesus Christ do not act accordingly, it reflects poorly upon our Father.
As Christians, we carry our Father's name and how we choose to act or choose not to act reflects upon Him. I've found that the reflection of my son can have upon me frustrates me most. My goal is to remember who I reflect as I make my own decisions and choices.