• Kyle Isabelli

Practice What You Preach

Our Snow Day got an exciting and eventful start to say the least...Our little man decided to plug the sink after washing his hands even though we tell him not to do it over and over again. He still did it, but this time he forgot to turn off the faucet. Almost an hour later, we found the sink overflowing and our bathroom floor covered in standing water, along with some carpet into our hallway completely soaked, right where the fan is positioned.

Head downstairs and there is standing water in the bathroom and in the area in the picture that is coming through the wood and beams above.

I was mad, so mad, especially because this is something we've told him over and over again! And as I was about to yell in anger, God brought a verse to my mind:


James 1:19-20 "Be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to get angry because humans anger does not produce the right living God desires."


The irony in all of this is that I spoke on this last Sunday and gave this specific example of how when I'm feeling like I should lay into my kids in order to see a change in what they are doing, God's Spirit brings to my mind this verse to remind me that yelling, raising my voice, etc. doesn't actually work! (Start at 28:00 in the video to hear this specific thought from my sermon).


I compared this process of God bringing His Word to our minds like seeing a stop sign. We are tempted to look around as we get towards the intersection with the stop sign and say "no cop, no stop!" God brings His Word to mind and I have a decision to make in which I either STOP what I am about to say or do or I blow right through the STOP sign and say or do whatever I feel like I want to do in that moment.


Regretfully, I blew through the first stop sign when this happened. And of course, nothing was resolved, it didn't make me feel better by yelling, and now their was tension and sadness in my relationship with my son. As Maria and I began to towel down the floor and get shop vac going, I was brewing, stewing in my heart and mind. And wouldn't you know it, God's Spirit brought that STOP sign to my mind again:


James 1:19-20 "Be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to get angry because humans anger does not produce the right living God desires."


Finally my hard-heart and hard-head listened. I turned off the shop vac, found Max in his room for his time-out and apologized. "Hey buddy, I shouldn't have yelled at you, that was mean, I'm sorry, will you forgive me?" In his sweet and timid voice he replied, "Yes Daddy, I forgive you."


I went back to shop-vacuuming for awhile and then Max approached me. "Daddy, I'm sorry for not listening and making a big mess." I replied, "Thank buddy, I forgive you. Now do you understand why we tell you to not plug the sink and to always double-check if you turned off the faucet?" "Yes Daddy, I understand now."


This isn't a post about a parenting win or a parenting fail, this post is about once again reminding myself of God's grace and God's truth in my life...how it is truly life-giving to my life and the lives of those around me. Choosing to believe that His Words and His wisdom is really what's best for my life help changed the trajectory of our day:


-I had a more grateful attitude that the water damage could've been way worse then what it ended up being (cleaning wet carpet and floors).


-I had a better perspective on what God was trying to do in my heart through this issue (help me grow as a loving and gracious father to my kids).


-I had a more focused work ethic as I was cleaning (instead of pouting and making the cleaning take longer as I would get more frustrated and unfocused).


-I had a sweet time of connection and prayer with God as I cleaned (instead of pouting and becoming more grumpy throughout the morning).


-I was able to have a clearer head and a more patient attitude when our other child had her "difficult moment" this afternoon of not getting to play in the snow at the exact time she wanted too (Dad doesn't get a snow day just cause the kids do!).


As followers of Jesus, we really do have a faith that works to help us overcome our sinful and selfish desires. I'm thankful for His Spirit and His Word, constantly reminding me of the life-giving choices I need to make in those moments when I tempted to give into the ways of my heart and the ways of the world. One life-giving decision, even after I fell short, helped change the trajectory of my day and our family's day for the better.


Thank you Jesus, thank you for giving life into our everyday lives. Help me to practice what I preach.


And yes, everything got cleaned up and the carpet is just about dry ;-)


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