Not So Empty Nest Days

Cherishing the days past while moving towards the days ahead, BHG

Watch Your Mouth

Death and life are in the power of the tongue,
and those who love it will eat its fruits. Proverbs 18:21

Train up a child in the way he should go;
even when he is old he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6

Watch your mouth!” This is not something I ever had to hear as a child, nor have my own children heard it. What I have heard from time to time when crazy takes over and even my kids who succumb to that crazy mind is, “watch your tone.” That was usually in a warning tone that I guess is handed down to parents for each generation! But who is telling us parents to watch ours? Who told my mom and dad to watch theirs, not because they cussed or talked inappropriately, but because of the negativity that flowed so easily from them. No one told me to watch my mouth when my negative words slapped my kids in the face, things I thought they should know as truths. Who is telling you to watch your mouth?

I can remember my kids being younger and seeing a mom with her preschooler in the doctor’s office. Her son was not listening at all and she warned him a few times and asked to sit down a couple of times. He was on a mission to each try his mommy until she snapped or wreaks havoc in that office, he succeeded with the second. But as the mother, once again, called his name and told him he needed to sit down, she followed it with counting to warn him that she was no longer playing around. To everyone in the office’s surprise, he began to join her in counting as if to say, “Whatever lady, you say that all the time!”

There are so many points that I wanted to follow up with this post but I decided to ball it into one big point. We as parent have to watch our mouth, and we do that with God’s Word. We can go all our children’s lives without cussing and using a certain tone and even intentionally being positive. But those become just words if we do not mimic our Father’s encouragement, words of wisdom, warnings, love, and even discipline with our kids. We train up our children in the way they should go. This is on earth and eternally as well. We pour into our children poisoned water or life water but when we try both, the poison water is what stays. Think about it, it I have half of a glass of clean water and then pour dirty, muddy water into it; what happens to the clean water? Would you fill up a jar of poisoned ice cold water for your child when they come in saying they are thirsty? I hope everyone said no! You would not because you love your child. And although we try and teach them that old irritating saying of, “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me,” if we think about it, words are the worst weapon a loved one or close friend can use. Even a stranger if the wound is already open can hurt with words.

Proverbs 18:21 says that the tongue holds the power to give life or kill. The tongue is such a small… muscle! It’s not even a vital organ! Without it you don’t die! Without it you won’t need to be kept alive on life support. It’s made up of tiny strands of tissue, making up your taste buds and other sensory factors I paid no attention to in science class or health. But this small muscle can give life or kill? Let’s do a kill check. How many times have you bluntly said to a friend or family member, “Your gonna wear that?” or “What’s wrong with your hair?” How many times have you had someone confide in you a new venture they were going to step out in and you answered with, “Don’t do that” or “That’s crazy, you aren’t strong enough for that,” or my favorite, “God hasn’t gifted you in that area.” Let’s go into the daily life with the cashiers, store managers, people who cut you in line, teachers who your child got in trouble for something small with, the teacher that didn’t do what you asked when you asked as if you are the only parent in the school, the bill collector who was only doing their job when you weren’t doing yours, the customer service operator who got a lashing because the company you chose didn’t deliver what they promised… shall I go on? Don’t worry; this is NOT a judgment call! I have been in these positions, which is why I chose some of them! But nevertheless, these are killing people, their days, their joy, their confidence and most dangerously, if they are aware you are a believer, their choice to choose God. Let’s face it, if you go to a church with just one person who has lied, cussed you out or been nasty to you in anyway, are you gonna get anything out of that sermon or choose that person’s God?

This is how it is with our children. We forget that home is where our love is put into practice. How can we love people on the outside with authenticity and our families not feel it? How can we “train up our children in the way they should go” and assume they will stay serving the Lord when they were met with ridicule, angry words or even just condescending tones and sarcasm? We as parents need to get our tongues in check as James 3 states. We need to WATCH OUR MOUTHES!

Father God, we come asking forgiveness for the reign our tongues have had on us and boldly take back that power and train it to be used for our good and Your glory. We repent of idle talk, gossip, vile words that come out of our mouth directed towards the children You have entrusted in our care. Help us to mend the wounds we have opened at home and dug into even in our surroundings and daily lives. Thank You that Your mercy is everlasting and for each mistake we make, You are waiting for us with open arms. Help us today Holy Spirit to speak only life! In Jesus name. Amen!

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