Unfortunately, this last week in particular, I and my children have seen incontrovertible evidence that (at least for me), stress and yelling seem to have a direct relationship. When stress increases, the volume and frequency of my yelling increases as well.

So this weekend, I asked a group of godly women to exhort me in regard to yelling. I’ve tried self-shaming; I’ve tried behavior modification; I’ve tried visual reminders…

I knew something needed to change.

That “something” was my heart and mind. You see… I was not seeing it as sin; instead I was justifying it in my mind. My justifications went like this:

• “I don’t yell all the time; it’s happening because I’m stressed out.”

• “They know I’m stressed, they know this isn’t normal, and they know that I love them.”

• “It’s not THAT bad. I’m not… (cursing at them, hitting them, fill in the blank).”

• “I’m yelling TO them, not yelling AT them (not calling them names, etc.).”

• “Yelling was commonplace in my home when I was growing up.”

• “Yelling is partly cultural and personality-based” (yes, I actually told myself this). “Italians & Greeks are louder families than others… so maybe this is just a loud thing and not a SIN thing.”

I thought back about 8-9 years, to the moment when I first yelled at our children, (in a very stressful time, incidentally), and I remember thinking, “I won’t always feel so frustrated. He won’t grow up with a yelling mom. I just yell in rare circumstances, when I’m pushed to my limits.”

But guess what? I’m still yelling. Surprise, surprise.

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