" For it is out of the abundance of the heart that the mouth speaks." Luke 6:45
The Preacher placed two identical jars on the table. Then he quoted a verse from Scripture: " The Lord does not see as mortals see; they look on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart " (1:Samuel 16:7). With that, he continued his demonstration. He explained that the jars were made at the same factory, were of the same material and held the same volume. Though identical, they were different because of what each held. To prove his point, he inverted the jars. Out of one flowed honey; out of the second flowed vinegar. Then he gave his audience the lesson. When the jars were upright, he said, they looked identical. Only when they were turned over (upset), did we know what was in each. He went on to draw an inference. It is the same with us, he deduced. When everything goes to our liking, we are on our best behaviour. We stand upright. But when things go wrong, when we are 'upset', what is in us comes out. Then our sophisticated or apparently calm exterior is convulsed. We become angry and violent. That is when our true selves are exposed. The masks fall off.
How do our children behave when they are 'upset'? It would largely depend on how we behave in similar situations. Surely, they learn from us. Does the honey of patience and forgiveness flow out, or the vinegar of anger and sour words? Is the Lord happy with what He sees?
To change our children for the better, we have to change ourselves first.