The last fruit in the passage may be the most important in our stepfamily relationships. Without self-control, our lives become a breeding ground for uncontrolled attitudes and actions.
Proverbs 25:28 tells us, “Like a city whose walls are broken down is a man who lacks self-control.” In other words, if we don’t discipline our ways, we are like an undefended city, vulnerable to every kind of attack and temptation.
Self-control can cover a wide range of behavior but if we want to control our actions, it must start with our thoughts. If we strive for positive attitudes and pure thoughts toward our stepchildren, we are more likely to maintain self-control.
Self-control allows us control over our actions but doesn’t seek control of others.
This is particularly important during times of conflict or confusion. Allowing our stepchildren to express their frustrations without getting defensive or confrontational makes room for resolution.
Self-control means we choose our battles carefully with our stepchildren. If an issue is not that important, don’t bring it up. If a stepchild’s behavior is annoying, but not disrespectful, let it go. Self-control means we bridle our tongue when our words are critical or harsh.
Ephesians 4:32 says it best, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”
Self-control gives us the freedom to react with love and kindness instead of impatience and anger. It requires an intentional effort on our part but offers a satisfied feeling of knowing we did the right thing.
Where can you show self-control today?