Sunday, January 24, 2016

On Anger and Bow Ties

Anger is a natural response when one feels offended or hurt. Most people might even agree that your anger over an offense is justified. But something that is natural, or even justified by others isn't necessarily righteous.

I'm going to say something drastic. There is NOTHING in this world that justifies our human response of anger.

Human anger is a result of the Fall - when Adam chose to sin against God in the Garden of Eden, the feeling of anger crept into our hearts. Adam blamed Eve. Eve blamed the serpent.The serpent wanted to blame God, "Did God really say, 'You must not eat fruit from the tree... or you will die?'" It was as though God's rule wasn't good to begin with.

Anger is a very real emotion. Even Jesus expressed anger when he saw the moneychangers and merchants selling in the temple. But the difference between Jesus' anger and our anger is that Jesus was pure. A holy God can be justified in his holy anger. We may feel anger but really... have we also not committed like sin against others? Do we really have the right to be angry with someone else when we ourselves have been equally heinous? If we are totally pure and righteous ourselves then we can be angry about sins committed against us.  But who among us is without sin?

And so, anger is an emotion that we should strive to keep under control and especially when we're dealing with our children. Children will do things that will test your limits. Will you be angry when milk is spilled, when they don't listen to your repeated commands, when they talk back? And what will you do when anger wells up? Will you strike? Will you kick a toy? Will you yell? I'm certain your knee-jerk response is connected to how anger was expressed in your family of origin.

So how do you respond righteously when the feeling inside is far from righteous? The first thing to do is to turn to the Lord and ask for help in self-control. Then give yourself some space - perhaps walk out and take a deep breath before you respond. Remind yourself that you were once a child who probably did the exact thing to your own parents. Ask God for wisdom for a creative response. The more you practice self-control the easier it is the next time. You will be breaking the generational cycle of anger. Your children will learn respect, self-control, and forgiveness.

And now for a refashion...
For about $1 my daughter found this huge oddly colored tie probably from the eighties. She thought her brother would like it. But it was threadbare, and like I said, huge and oddly colored. Usually she is so in tune to current fashion so I wondered what she saw in this tie that she thought her brother would like.

Then I realized what it was. When I looked closely I saw the heiroglyphics. Her brother is an archaeologist. Yes he would love the heiroglyphics. But the tie???

So then I took the tie apart and saw the inside. The design was the same but the color was less obnoxious.  I could make a bow tie with the inside! My daughter loved that idea.

So I used a bow tie pattern and eked out four pieces from the tie, plus four from interfacing. I ironed the interfacing onto each piece. There are 2 pieces of a bow tie, so they each needed a front and a back. You sew them right sides together, leaving an opening to turn them right side out, iron flat, and then sew up the opening.

And here is the finished product. I sewed velcro on the ends so when my son puts it around his neck to tie, he'll connect the pieces with the velcro. That way he only has to tie it once and he can disconnect it by pulling apart the velcro, instead of totally untying it. Happy Birthday Ben! When he sends me a picture of it on himself, I'll be sure to post it.