Parenting children is a reward and blessing… and sometimes I must remind myself of this. Especially when entering a new challenging phase in child rearing.
This summer we have had a nasty influx of abuses of the tongue. The tongue being used to tear down another member of the household or to utter mean/hateful words. We have even had the dreaded phrase “I hate you” uttered. Shamefully, I don’t always guard my tongue like a well trained sentry. I get frustrated with the children or with a circumstance… but I have NEVER said “I hate you”, that nearly broke my heart.
We are a family, we are a team, I remind my children that this home needs to be the place of refuge for each one of us. Our home is the safe haven when we get tossed about by the world and therefore we should use our words to build each other up, encourage each other, and when necessary to teach/train/rebuke (this by the parents only).
So our children are working on their handwriting this summer in copying the passages God gave us concerning these things in His Word. It’s a good reminder for all of us raising children that we are indeed teaching our children by example… what is the example we WANT our kids to learn from??
The book of James talks about taming the tongue and the challenges that come with that discipline. Our summer attitude issues are bringing this all to my mind.
For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. James 3:7-9
The Bible tells us that we can’t utter hateful things about others, who are made in the image of God and still offer Him praises.
With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. 10 From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers,1 these things ought not to be so. 11 Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water? 12 Can a fig tree, my brothers, bear olives, or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a salt pond yield fresh water. James 3:10-12
I believe that we all struggle with this from time to time. And when our children see us or hear us using our words as weapons to tear others down, we are giving poor examples to our children. We could all use the reminder from 1 John 2:
9 Whoever says he is in the light and hates his brother is still in darkness. 10 Whoever loves his brother abides in the light, and in him1 there is no cause for stumbling. 11 But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes. 12 I am writing to you, little children, because your sins are forgiven for his name’s sake. 1 John 2:9-12