Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Where's my bridle?

We had a lovely Sunday and Monday at my parents house.  We went to a church that we have visited with a few times before.  The assistant pastor spoke on Psalms 101.  It was a very good sermon and made me think of a story I wrote about a year ago.  The pastor preached on how we should make sure we are being good examples for our children.  He also challenged us to evaluate our lives, to be sure we are doing as God would have us to do, even in the comfort of our own home.  It is so easy to act one way out in public and at church, and then act completely different at home.  We have to strive to please God 24/7, because even when nobody else is watching, He is!

This story was written before I was blogging, so I really had nobody to share it with besides my husband. (Thanks for reading all my silly stuff honey)  So, I thought I would share it today.  It is a little long, but it contains a very fond memory for me!

Today's Verses
James 1:19-20 "Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:  For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God."

Where's my bridle?

Horses are such beautiful creatures.  I have always loved the animals, yet it has been fifteen or sixteen years since I last rode a horse.  My Grandfather, or just Pa as we called him, raised horses.  He used to take us grandkids to the horse sale on Friday nights.  I remember one night I got to go all by myself with Pa to the sale.  I wore my pink satin cowgirl shirt and felt so special just to be there.  There was the most beautiful paint horse for sale that night.  I begged my Pa to please buy the pretty horse.  He told me to go ask the man how much he wanted for him.  My little six year old self marched right up to the man and asked him what he would charge for the paint horse.  He told me twelve fifty.  I could not believe it!  I knew my Pa would buy it for me with no hesitation.  Of course he would have twelve dollars and fifty cents in his pocket.  When I ran back telling Pa the cost, Pa just laughed and said we’d have to think about it.

Well, fast forward a few years, and my Pa did get me a beautiful paint pony.  It was not the same horse, but she was pretty and perfect.  Her name was Patty.  She had been born on St. Patrick day.  I loved my pony.  My dad made a spot for her in our yard.  We lived on a small farm, so there was plenty of room.  She had a shelter and plenty of running space.  I would feed her and brush her.  I didn’t like the fact that someone had to help me ride her.  I could not put the saddle and bridle on myself.  A bridle consist of the bit, which goes in the horse’s mouth, and reins, which is held onto by the rider to “steer” the horse.  I would dream about the day I could ride Patty all on my own.  One day, I decided to try and ride her bare back before my dad came out.  I don’t remember all the details, but I know I ended up on the ground.  I brushed myself off and waited for my Daddy to help me.  I found out that day that the bridle is an important tool when it comes to riding horses safely.

Bridle has a different definition also.  It can also be a verb which means to control or holdback; restrain; or curb.  Knowing this really hit me hard one day recently as I was reading in Psalms.  It had already been a rough day of dealing with many issues and it was only 9:30 in the morning.  I knew I had raised my voice with my oldest daughter, and I was beating myself up about it.  I had lost my temper and was very short with her.   In other words, I had sinned and I needed to ask for forgiveness.  I was rocking my youngest daughter  and reading my “old” Bible, my pink one from high school, that I keep by the rocking chair.  Psalm 39:1 all of a sudden leapt off the page at me. “I said, I will take heed to my ways, that I sin not with my tongue: I will keep my mouth with a bridle, while the wicked is before me.” 

There are many ways to sin with the tongue, and yelling in anger is one of them.  I immediately thought about how we often make sure we have on our “bridle” of restraint when we are out in public.  We try our best to show the Lord’s light so others can see His love through us.  We make sure we have a great attitude, a nice smile, and perfect speech.  But does it stay that way in our homes.  Do we wear that bridle twenty four hours a day, or do we throw it down at the door when we take off our shoes at our own house.  I know I am guilty of sin with my tongue when I am confined to the walls of my home.  It seems that I can’t help but yell sometimes.  I am a mom, and that is what we do to get our points across.  “Surely my family has to forgive me” and “nobody is perfect”, are some of the thoughts I have after a long day.

God wants us to show His love through our speech all day long, no matter who is watching, and especially with our little ones.  Our little ones, and even our husbands for that matter, do not need to hear us raise our voices in anger or frustration.  They need to hear us voice our love for our Heavenly Father and our love for them.  We are to use edifying speech so as to minister grace to our family and any others that hear us (Eph 4:29).  I need to make sure I “sin not with my tongue” and make sure I “keep my mouth with a bridle” from sunup to sundown. 

So my prayer is to never have to ask myself again, “Where is my bridle?”  My prayer is that my bridle will be in my mouth where it belongs…unless I am asleep… that might simply be uncomfortable!

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