NOT TO BE SLANDERERS
Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderersor addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.
Psalm 119:103 How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth.
Psalm 37:30 The mouth of the righteous speaks wisdom, and his tongue talks of justice.
Reflections about when to speak, where to speak, how to speak:
– Timing – Ecc. 3:1, 7
* Atmosphere (including who’s around)
* Your attitude (self controlled)
* Context of situation
– Wording – Prov. 15:28
* Thought out
* Slow to speak, quick to hear – James 1:19
* Tone – Col. 4:5-7
– Comfort in Correction
* Do you need to encourage to the right, reprove, correct, or instruct?
* Find something good or right, if possible, try to give hope before reproof.
Gently and lovingly addressing ‘issues’ in our families with our children (or perhaps concerns with our husband) is not always easy. Remembering that a soft answer turns away wrath (Prov. 15:1) and reminding ourselves as Hebrews 12:11 says that discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but afterwards yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness for those who have been trained by it. As always, remain humble before the Lord and He will lift you up.
As we continue to focus on our speech it is important to remember both what we say (tongue) and how we say it (tone). Understanding the potential damage our words can cause will help us to choose our words more carefully. We have all experienced how the same words with two different tones can communicate two very different attitudes and elicit two very different responses.
Examples of ‘tone’ and the destructive effect often takes the form of sarcasm, where the true intent of the heart is not hard to see beneath the surface of comments such as: ‘that was real smart’ or ‘smooth move’. Parents and children alike need to stop and think about what sarcasm really sounds like to the hearer or how it might be making the person feel.
Manipulation through the tone of our words is a trap moms can easily fall into. When frustration raises a parent and even an older child can completely turn the situation into someone else’s fault simply by what is said. When Moms employ manipulative words, a child leaves feeling like it is their fault when the truth is that Mom didn’t have her act together. When we find the fault lies with us, we must be prepared to apologize to our children and seek their forgiveness for not taking personal ownership for the situation and attempting to shift the blame.
Most Commonly Asked Questions of Contact Moms
Q: We recently returned from vacation with relatives and my two month old is all off schedule. How long will it take me to get her back on her regular routine?
A: It seems no matter what a child’s age and whether it is a short weekend trip or a vacation, a regular routine seems to be tossed aside. But for the two month old who is finally in a predictable feed/wake/sleep schedule, a plane flight or time with Grandma who has been waiting to hold her little pride and joy … it doesn’t matter that it’s naptime. First of all we want to encourage you to ‘relax’ and not ruin your time with family worrying about disrupting your baby’s routine. Often if you can relax a bit and give the relatives the opportunity to enjoy her, they in turn, tend to relax as well giving you the freedom to follow your basic routine. Remember, she’s a baby for such a short period of time. Realistically, once you return home, it may take a few days to get her back on schedule. And yes, there may be some crying and protesting from your little one, as you work in reestablishing her routine, but in about three days, she should be back on track.
Some additional thoughts to consider regarding traveling: Be sure to consider the context you’re in-especially if you’re on an airplane and your baby starts to cry. Please, don’t be so rigid in adhering to a strict feeding routine at the expense of the passengers around you. Have a bottle of breast milk or formula ready to help baby settle quietly during the flight. Remember, considering the preciousness of others takes priority over your baby’s feeding schedule.
What can be done once the routine is broken? You can go ahead and feed at her next scheduled feeding or readjust the schedule to feed in 3-4 hours, being confident that being flexible when traveling will damage neither your baby nor the routine.
Slander: a false tale or report maliciously uttered, and tending to injure the reputation of another by lessening him in the esteem of his fellow citizens
Speaking Life: to articulate sounds which provide nourishment; to express thoughts by words which demonstrate spirit, animation, briskness, vivacity, or resolution.
“For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks”Matthew 12:34. Having the right things come out of our mouths starts with having the right attitudes in our hearts.
Proverbs 12:18 – “Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.”
Take an apple and pierce it with a paring knife (this represents our harsh words piercing the heart). Then pull the knife out (this represents saying I’m sorry). You can apologize for your words, but the damage is done. Smooth the skin back where the knife went in and leave the apple on the counter. You will soon see that the affected area turns browns. This is a great way to demonstrate to your children the importance of guarding their words. They can visually see that once the words are out of their mouth, the damage has been done and is difficult to repair.
As parents, the words we use have great value. Words help our children form beliefs and establish certain realities. Our words set their orientation in life and have a profound implication on their emotional and relational health. Something we should ask ourselves is, are the words we speak ‘life’ giving words or ‘death’ words? Join us as Gary Ezzo explains the power of both ‘life and death’ words, not only with our children, but in all our relationships.
*visit christianfamilyheritage.org to purchase this CD at a reduced price during the month of February.
Thoughts from the Board –CHILD TRAINING
Scripture teaches that we are to: Guard our mouth (Psalm 141:3); Control our tongue (James 3:2); Stop saying bad things (Proverbs. 4:24); Keep our tongue from evil (Psalm 34:13)
Why? Because the tongue has the power of life and death … (Proverbs 18:21)
Are we training our children to use that power wisely? Of course, like anything else we attempt to teach and model for our children it must be taking place in our own lives. When we hear our children use harsh words towards one another, words that result in hurt and bitterness, which by the way can be hard to overcome if received on a continual basis, what do our words of correction sound like? Using kind words, as stated in Ephesians 4:29, words that are good and helpful, is one of the biggest keys to siblings getting along.
On the other hand, if we allow our kids to speak unkindly to each other without asking for forgiveness and making it right, we are allowing them to build up resentment and bitterness toward each other. Resentment and bitterness that often grows to a place where they don’t get along and eventually, don’t even like each other.
If this is an issue in your home or you see that your children are not being careful in how they speak to their siblings, it is time to hold them accountable for their words and the hurt they are causing. In a time of non-conflict, consider asking some questions to help your children ‘take their thoughts captive’ and think before speaking. For example: “How could you have worded that differently?” To an offended sibling, “How should you have responded?” “Why was that not the best way to handle the situation?” “How did your words make your brother/sister feel?”
Everything we say is to be good and helpful (Eph 4:29) because by doing so we are speaking life. Our words can bring healing, put courage into someone, and build people up. Speaking life is powerful making such a tremendous difference in our life and in the lives of those around us. Most importantly ‘speaking life’ brings glory to God and reflects His character and love to the hearer.
There is a very definite connection between a child who has not learned to bridle his tongue and becoming “wise in your own eyes.” Even if a child is being respectful, but feels he has a right to offer his opinion, or voice his concerns (i.e. tattling) and this behavior goes unchecked, we, as parents are sending the wrong message.
With five children, I discovered the words; “be quiet” are not relevant in the mind of children. Riding in the car, sitting in a waiting room or participating with us at church could still be a pretty noisy affair. Even if all five were striving to be obedient, being ‘quiet’ still made more noise than I wanted. So we found it important to train in ‘silence’. We showed them what it looked like to be silent, we practiced silence, and then we rewarded for silence in fun-filled competition. This achieved the desired result. They came to understand the difference between keeping their voices low i.e. ‘being quiet’ and ‘being silent’.