I don’t consider myself a yell’er. I don’t yell at my kids, wife, dog. It’s not my de facto response to frustration. However, there are moments when I find myself losing my cool. I do tend to raise my voice to not quite a yell…just loud…really loud.
What about you? What does your discipline look like? Do you yell when losing your cool?
A Short Pithy Saying
This week, I read through a short devotional series (3 days) on the Proverbs. According to the dictionary, a proverb is:
a short pithy saying in general use, stating a general truth or piece of advice.
The Proverbs as a book in the Bible is a collection of these nuggets of advice. Proverbs refers to them as “wisdom”. Repeated throughout Proverbs, mostly written by Solomon (known as one of the most wise men to ever live), is these little bits of wisdom are the beginning of knowledge, and it all comes through the fear of the Lord (submitting to His will).
What I love about this little devotional is how it contrasted typical thinking with God’s point of view (and reality). Each day listed 10 of these little sayings, and a short comment on each. It’s what started me thinking about yelling.
Makes Them Madder
A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare. -Proverbs 15:1
Man says: What’s wrong with raising my voice to make a point!
God says: It makes them madder.
This is the devotion I read this week on Proverbs 15:1. It’s so true. When I raise my voice, it makes my children more angry with me. It rarely achieves what I’m really looking for – a change in the atmosphere. It may change behavior, but it doesn’t change the heart or attitude.
Let me give you an example.
I’m the assistant coach on my youngest son’s soccer and basketball teams. Due to the nature of coaching, I do yell a lot in games. My son has begun to take issue with this. It came to a head on Saturday.
At his basketball game, the coach subbed him out the game a little earlier than the rest of his group. He wasn’t happy, and I couldn’t convince him otherwise. He took it out on me, refusing to give me five at half-time (which I initiated).
I had a few words for him. I may have raised my voice. I possibly got in his face.
He definitely was madder.
After the game, we got into the car, and I had time to gather my emotions and thoughts. I calmly turned, and I told him what I expected out of him in those situations. Amazingly, his response was completely different. It was a sincere, “Yes, dad.”
Making a Point
I’ll close with this thought. What is the goal of your discipline?
Personally, I want not just a change in action, but a change in heart. This weekend I found a calm and thoughtful (yet stern) correction were much more effective than a loud and angry confrontation.
What does your discipline look like? If you want to break this cycle of yelling in your household, here is a great place to start.