I was walking through a friend’s house when immediately, a frog leapt to my throat. A painting hung there in her hall—and somehow, I felt more understood. I comprehended a nugget of that transcendent truth art can mine in the soul.
The title? Jesus and the Angry Babies.
Anger issues—angry babies (and angry children and angry mom)—is a subject featuring prominently in my life since becoming a parent seven years ago.
For the first three months of my eldest’s life, it seemed that if she was awake, she was screaming. “Colicky” felt like an understatement of her infancy. “Strong-willed” felt like an understatement for both of my toddlers.
That painted depiction of a human Jesus encountering human, angry babies was a comforting reminder that my experience is both normal and hard. I found in His face traces of fluster and fondness, ache and acceptance. I wondered if, like mine, perhaps His heart rate became elevated and brain released oxytocin. A body’s stress response is not sinful—though I often shamed myself as if it was.
Jesus probably did encounter angry babies. But I took comfort at the thought that their anger had nothing to do with Him. I tended to take my children’s anger personally, like it said something about how I was doing as a parent (= unsatisfactory) or who I was as a person (= a failure).
Anger Issues? 4 Things to Consider
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