This morning I was awoken to my son asking me a question. I love him dearly, but lets be honest, I am not much of a morning person especially before 7:00. :) After he asked his question, my first reaction was going to be to answer him back in some sort of annoyed tone of voice so that he would get the hint that i didn’t want to be spoken to at the moment……but I didn’t. Before I had a chance to get a word out, I felt a nudge in my spirit to respond back to him with a kind and warm response. I chose to do this instead, and I am glad I did.
My words and how I react to others can be a powerful tool that I can either use in a positive or a negative way. They can speak kindness and life into someone, or they have the ability to tear someone down. It can be easy to go throughout the day not being aware of what I sound like to others, or what words are coming out of my mouth. In James 3, it talks about how powerful the tongue can be, even though it is such a small part of our body. In verses 5-6, it tells us that a “tiny spark can set a great forest on fire” and refers to the tongue as being a “flame of fire”. How powerful words are, and yet I find it is one of the areas I struggle to keep in check.
In my life in particular, it is the hardest to control my words around my husband and my kids. They are the ones that see all sides of me….the good, bad, and ugly. Knowing that they see my imperfections, and still love me, I still need to be aware of how I am treating them. Being unconditionally loved by someone doesn’t give me permission to treat them like garbage, whether intentional or not. If they are the most important people in my life, shouldn’t they be receiving the best of myself that I can give them? Even with their imperfections as well?
In my marriage, at times it can be difficult to choose my words wisely. At certain times in my own weakness, I don’t want to be careful with what I am saying. There is a vulnerability that comes along with this relationship, and in my fear of rejection, words can be something that I feel like can protect me from getting hurt. I can hold him an arm’s length away, and not let him get too close by treating him harshly. Somehow in my twisted sinful thinking, I will have the upper hand. But this is so not true. As a believer, I am called to love and respect my husband. One of the best ways I can accomplish this, is to think before I speak to him. Will my words encourage him or not? Will it make our relationship better? What am I trying to control? At times it has been that I am the problem and not him, but sometimes it will get taken out on him, which isn’t right. Stopping to think before I speak can save me a lot of trouble. When I think before I speak, I can bring it before the Lord to know whether it should be said or not. If it is something that will carry out a good purpose, then it is. But if there is something wrong with me, and I am speaking out of anger, hurt, rejection, or to control the situation….then it is probably better left unsaid. There also might be a better way to say something that I might need the Lord’s help to come up with. And the great thing is as well, is there is always the powerful words of asking for forgiveness. :)
As a mom, my words and reactions are so important. It is not easy to parent kids. Especially staying at home, and being around them CONSTANTLY! It can be so easy to just brush my kids off, ignore what they say, like it is not important enough for my time. I have been especially convicted in this area lately. When I take a step back, and become aware of how my interactions with them, affect them, it becomes crucial to be wise on how I go about it. I want to reinforce in my children that I love them unconditionally, and that they are important. But they will not get that message if I act like I am irritated that they are talking to me, or asking me another question for the 100th time. :) Obviously it isn’t easy to always be attentive to every word they say, and respond with kindness every time they need something. But I have found that just taking a moment to ask the Lord for help, or for what to say to them, that I find I am more successful at this. When I rely on the strength of the Lord, it gives me the ability to show them how special they are to me, and that they are worthy of my time. They are precious and the most valuable little people to me after all. And the best thing is that if I do screw up, and say something that isn’t nice, they are very quick to forgive when I say I am sorry.
Finally, words are important even when my loved ones aren’t around. In my frustration with someone, it can be so easy to go and vent to a friend about the situation. Although it can be helpful, I need to be careful with my words here as well. Sometimes it is more important what I say when someone isn’t around. Everyone needs to be able to be real, but it is not right to tear another down when they aren’t present. It is definitely a fine line, but I find before I go and tell my problems to a friend, to tell them to the Lord first. When processing my feelings before the Lord first, I am able to then tell someone else about my problem, but not in a way that will bring someone else down. This is a much healthier way for me to deal with any situation.
Words are definitely something that I have had to be more aware of lately. I am curious about how others feel they control what they say. Do you have any particular ways or verses that help you think before you speak? Or in what ways do you struggle with this? I would love to hear other thoughts. :)