I opened the tube of toothpaste and said, “This tube is just like our mouths, and the toothpaste is our words.”
I squeezed the tube, and the toothpaste piled up on the plate.
I handed the whole mess to my oldest son, then 8, and said, “Now put it back in the tube.” He looked at me like I had three heads.
“That’s not possible, Mom!” he said.
“That’s right. And just like the toothpaste, once we say something out loud, we can’t take it back – it’s out there forever. So how carefully should we watch what we say?”
“Oohhh….very carefully,” came the response.
When it comes to raising kids and being married, there are a few basic cardinal rules that make all the difference. We’ve seen these to be true literally thousands of times. Any psychologist will tell you they are true. It’s not surprising that they are rooted in Scripture. So here’s our little list this morning of Do’s and Don’ts for Relationships:
- Don’t say mean, hurtful things to other people – our words should encourage and build others up. (1 Thes 5:11)
- Look for what’s right in a situation instead of focusing on flaws – we’re probably missing something huge, like the progress someone else is making or effort he or she is putting into something. (Phil 4:8)
- Be content with what we have. (Phil 4:11-12)
- Listen more. Speak less. Be gentle when we do talk. (too many to mention – think Jesus, Who asked questions and was kind in His communication, especially with sinners)
- Don’t judge (that’s God’s job) but offer grace. (again, check the entire life of Jesus) and (John 1:16-17)
- Love your neighbor (that includes especially the people we live with – and love doesn’t look like condemnation, accusations, defensiveness, or anger)
- Love your God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength (if we do, we’ll know how to behave in His strength)
That’s just a few. There are so many. Knowing Him and reading the Book daily can help us yield to His leading, becoming more like Him every day, in His strength, and not our own.
Dare you to check Proverbs 23 today with special attention to the words about discipline and knowledge. There’s a great piece of advice there.
Double dog dare you to have some self-discipline (in His strength) over what comes flying out of your mouth today.
It’s impossible to take back.
And sometimes it’s verbal abuse. (btw, this article suggests divorce – I don’t support that (and neither does the Bible) if both people are Christian. I do support solving the problem by getting help, or separating if necessary) And it can damage your kids.
Triple dog dare you to check your behaviors against the lists in the two links above…especially if feeling superior to anything read thus far… L
Burdened to pray today for those who are suffering, those who are being harmed, emotionally, and physically today.
Thank you for being on the journey with me…some days the path just makes me weep…I know many of you are doing the same. There are tears of regret, tears of repentance, and tears of compassion today – is your heart too hard to cry them? Do you check the lists and defend yourself? Or do you avoid checking them altogether?
Or are you living a life changed, seeking forgiveness from God and those you’ve harmed, “manning up,” so to speak (even though us gals are just as verbally abusive), to change the direction of your life and your family?