Sin. I wish it had never been invented. If I see Eve in heaven, I'm really going to give her a piece of my mind.
I'm suffering with sin the way Paul describes it in Romans 7, when he says that, even though he wants to do what is good, sin is right there with him. I sin against my children, even though, of course, I don't want to. I hate it, but somehow I do it anyway.
My oldest is the toughest one for me right now. She's 9 going on 13. I swear she's been in pre-puberty since about age 6. She is so very emotional and so very irritable. I pray for her and I try really hard to be peaceful with her, to encourage the good in her, to correct her calmly and lovingly.
But tonight I blew it again. She was snapping at everyone and everything in her way, so I lost it. I didn't yell exactly, but I went on and on about how she needs to stop complaining and snapping at everyone and she needs to change her attitude and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. It was like words were coming out of my mouth and meanwhile, my brain is saying to me, "Will you shut up already?"
It is frustrating because I want to be a better mom. I could be a better mom if I had better children. (Of course, I'm kidding. . . .sort of.)
Believe me, I know that a lot of my children's issues come from my past mistakes. I also know that some of their issues come from being sinful human beings who need Jesus as much as I do. Some of their issues come from heredity. And some of their issues come from just being children.
A good bit of my struggle with depression has come from the fact that I've given in to self-condemnation when I've made mistakes with my children. Satan is crafty, so he uses something that is true - that I do indeed make mistakes and sin against my children, and twists it into an ugly lie that I believe - that I'm a terrible mom and all other moms in the world are better than me.
I have since learned to resist those lies and just fess up when I sin against my children. I ask their forgiveness and God's and I know that God forgives me - again and again and again (I'm pretty sure I passed the 70 x 7 mark about 2 children ago). I've found that it helps tremendously to internalize Scripture and use it as a weapon against Satan, the way Jesus did when He was tempted in the wilderness. But sometimes I wish I could just whack him upside the head with a big, heavy Bible.
In the end, it is most helpful to remember Paul's victorious proclamation: "Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God - through Jesus Christ our Lord!"