Philippians 2:14 says:
“Do everything without complaining or arguing.”
Six little words. A lot of work.
I wrote this scripture on our dusty chalkboard in the kitchen today because, as you might have guessed, complaining and arguing are happening way too often during our day.
“Please empty the dishwasher.” and a child cries out, “Why me? I don’t want to do that.”
“No electronics until your school is done.” and another stomps their feet back to the books.
And guess what, it’s not just the kids. Oh, we adults in the house might not blatantly whine with words and tears over chores like our kids do, but we have other ways we grumble about the tasks given to us.
Snide comments about everything that has to be done. Thoughts that consume our attitudes and threaten to ruin our day. Thoughts like “No one ever helps. Why is it always my responsibility?” are probably more damaging than the open words our kids spew at us in the middle of their tantrums.
So today in the midst of another meltdown and power struggle between a child and I, I just began to pray. “God, show me how to handle this. How do I respond in loving discipline and not in anger?”
“Do EVERYTHING without complaining or arguing.” the Spirit prompted my heart. That is it. Taking it all back to the Word of God and wanting to honor Him in all that we do.
It was a great opportunity to talk to my children about our hearts and honoring God. It allowed me to share with them what God has to say about complaining. We talked about things we could in the midst of the anger and frustration, like stopping to pray or take a time out (mom included!) to just regroup.
And there’s more that I hope to share with them as verse 15 goes on to say why we shouldn’t complain or argue…
“…so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe…”
Shine like stars. See that is the key. It’s not just that we should stop grumbling about things because mom said so. It’s because God says so, and He wants us to shine like stars for Him in this struggling world.
Tomorrow is a new day! I wish I could guarantee you will there will be no complaining or arguing at my house tomorrow, but I’m pretty sure there will be plenty of opportunities for us to continue to discuss this verse and to remember that we want to shine like stars.