DAY 7: THE NOSE
Do you have a long nose?
As I was studying the scriptures about what God says about our noses, it was very interesting to note that He has [the Word is active and living] not directly pointed us to our noses or what our noses should do. Well, that is God’s word. Most times, you will need to have a scripture to explain another scripture. You cannot just cherry pick on one verse that suits you or challenges your finite mind.
It’s no wonder that God encourages us to study the word, not just peruse through a couple of pages. His word gives absolute principles that guide our day to day walk. Its supreme. It cannot be challenged, nor questioned.
When God made man, He breathed into His nostrils and he came alive. His breathe is in us. He made us in His own image and likeness. We may wonder if God has a face, or body features. The truth is He has. He has a face, hands, and most definitely a nose.
Exodus 34:6-7 says, The Lord, the Lord God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in loving-kindness and truth; who keeps loving-kindness for thousands, who forgives iniquity, transgression and sin.
The words slow to anger come from the Hebrew words arech apaim, which means, “[He] has a long nose.” What I am not sure is, if His nose is literally long, and if it is, how long? That could be left to one’s own imagination, however, those words carry a deep message to us concerning His attribute.
The Bible contains scripture where the nostrils of the Lord flare up in anger when sin shortchanges us, or when His children are under attack. But the same God has a long nose. His long nose expresses His supreme attribute of patience, and its therefore not a mystery to us, that He says Love should first and foremost be expressed as patience and bear the fruit of patience thereof.
Anger isn’t really a sin. It is a ‘holy emotion’ since God created it in us. He too gets angry. However, what we do, how we chose to act, when angry is what qualifies as sin.
Cain got angry after his sacrifice was rejected, and sin was at the door, encroaching waiting to take hold of him. God was careful to caution him – Genesis 4:7, “but you must subdue and master it.”
He did not. His anger led him to kill his brother Abel. Murder was sin.
God’s slowness to anger means anger is not his first reaction. He allows time to pass, ample time as He patiently waits for all to repent and return to Him- 2nd Peter 3:9.
That said, if we are to model Christ to our children, then we need long noses too! We need to bear fruits of patience every day in how we walk, how we talk, how we react to situations and definitely, how we react to them too.
Parenting tests our patience.
I know that God has used not only my marriage, but parenting too, to stretch me beyond my normal levels of patience. You can be tempted to snap at your children when they keep repeating what is wrong. You can be tempted to overreact and hurl hurtful words at them. But that is not how God parents us.
He is a gentle, yet a firm Father. He corrects us, He doesn’t spare the rod of discipline towards us, but he doesn’t not do so in anger. He does so in love.
Do you have a long nose?
If we desire long noses, then you and I should continuously yield to the vine-dresser. He needs to prune us for the next generation of future parents who will have long noses too.
Ask yourself, how patient are you towards your children?
What would your children say about your patience?
Does the irritant of anger lead you sin towards your children and be abusive towards them, emotionally or physically?
Do you use words like – You are stupid, slow or shove them back in anger?
How do you discipline them? In anger or in love?
Do you snap at your children when they are wrong, or do you correct them parental love? – one that doesn’t encourage bad behavior, but is assertive enough to show them the right way.
How do you talk to your spouse in front of your children especially when you are both angry at each other?
You must know that if you shout at your children, most definitely you will struggle to control their temper too. They will come to learn that the language of love is anger, tantrums and overt at demanding, and yet its patience born out of restraint.
We need to model the virtue of patience to our children because it’s God’s attribute, not an attitude based on His disposition. He loves us, and puts on us the yoke of discipline, but He doesn’t explode off without restraint.
Do you have a long nose?
We need to pray that our children will have long noses – the Lord’s patience to be born in them, ad infinitum.
List down certain situations that would trigger anger in your children. Sit down as a family and ask them how they would react to those situations. Encourage them to be open. You might help them understand how to navigate through those situations if they ever come across them, with sobriety knowing that the Lord requires them to have long long, very long noses.
If they fail, encourage them to try again. Do not use your mouth to curse your children. Remember that you are an authority over their lives. If you call them stupid, they will be stupid.
Younger children can have episodes of tantrums. Do not encourage tantrums in your home by being passive about it – being hands off and letting them bang themselves off, or bang down everything, and, do not react in anger too by shouting as they shout. You are the parent, take charge.
If they have such episodes, hold them and tell them with assertiveness that they are doing wrong banging down everything, and then discipline them – by a pinch or a small tiny rod [ we use that]. The purpose is not to harm them, but show them that lack of discipline has consequence.
Reward what they have done good.
Reward them when they have tried.
Reward them when they hold down anger and communicate without tantrums. Tell them – “you have done great this time round!”
The point is, you are to model patience as a parent, but be courageous enough to know that discipline in parenting is language of love too.
I thank you for this day that your word has come to us straight and powerful like a double edge sword, dividing bone from marrow and searching our heart’s intent.
Lord, we desire to be more like you. We need your grace as we parent our children. Many times, we have fallen short of your glory. We are not perfect, but sinners in need of your helping hand our gentle Master.
Lord, we pray for patience as we parent our children. We pray that our noses will be so long that the irritant of anger will not cause us to sin against our children too.
Cause us to be great models to them of patience especially when pushed back to the wall. Help them to understand your love by following our example. When pressed down, remind them of the word HolySpirit, and help them to act not in their own understanding, but in your wisdom.
In Jesus name,