gladen_jennifer"Bless me Father for I have sinned. It’s been one week since my last confession and I already lost my temper with my children."  Maybe my confessions aren’t that dramatic, but sometimes it feels that way. I often wonder why the little things get to me so much from the people I love.  My children are gifts from God, but it’s often hard to remember that when you’re trying to get dinner on the stove, keep the younger kids out of the street and get homework done all at once.

After making my last confession, I asked myself how would I be able to avoid this sin in the future. What is the perfect balance between being Christ-like and being permissive?  I know as a parent I am not serving God or my children if I don’t bring them up correctly.

I have found several things to be effective. The first and foremost is asking the help of the Holy Spirit. The fruits of the Holy Spirit will guide us: wisdom, understanding, counsel, piety, fortitude,  knowledge and fear of the Lord.  We need all these things to not only raise our children, but to get through life.

Another thing I do is remind myself of and pray the Rosary. I notice my patience is shorter if I haven’t prayed the Rosary in a while. Why is that? When we pray and meditate on the mysteries of the Rosary, we are filled with peace. A purifying, holy peace. And when we’re filled with peace, there is no room in our hearts for anger. As Jesus once said, " No one can serve two masters. He will either hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other. " (MT 6:24 .  While He was speaking of money, I think this could be applied in this situation.

One last thing I try is to ask myself, "If Jesus was standing in the room, would He approve of the way you are handling the situation? Would it make Him happy or would it hurt Him?" That is the ultimate goal in our lives – is to serve God and to please Him. He loves all of us more than we know.  It is our duty to treat each other with charity and guidance.

Will all these things in mind, I pray the Holy Spirit will guide me daily in raising my children.  And as I grow in God’s grace, I hope to avoid these words in my next confession: "Bless me Father for I have sinned. It has been one week since my last confession and I’ve already lost my temper with the children." God Bless.

Copyright 2009 Jennifer Gladen