Hey everyone… I am overloaded! With Children’s Camp and VBS coming I just haven’t gotten anything written for this week. Here it is Thursday and I am still working on it! So, I am choosing a guest column for my family thoughts this week. May it be encouraging to you as we seek to be the parents and families God has called us to be. I will include just a couple of paragraphs. If you like it, please click the link to read more…
Taming the Wild Tongues in Your Family
Here’s help if you’re concerned about how your children talk to you and to each other.
by Dennis and Barbara Rainey
What would it be like to share your home with a lion, a cobra, a grizzly bear, and a grumpy pit bull who all suffer from persistent migraine headaches? Believe it or not, there’s a housing situation that’s much worse. The beasts roam freely there too, but the ferocious creatures are neither tame nor trained. Although the greatest of animal trainers have tried to restrain them, these snarling monsters refuse to submit. Leashes and bridles are of no use—they are just tasty snacks to chew up.
In our home we know all about these wild and uncontrollable brutes. We’ve had as many as eight of them at once prowling through our house. And we must inform you, several of these untamable beasts are lurking in your home, too. Don’t let down your guard. Stay alert. The wild tongues are running loose!
James, the brother of Jesus, wrote a description of these venomous vipers: “For every species of beasts and birds, of reptiles and creatures of the sea, is tamed, and has been tamed by the human race. But no one can tame the tongue; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison” (James 3:7-8).
James also reported, “The tongue is a fire, the very world of iniquity; the tongue is set among our members as that which defiles the entire body, and sets on fire the course of our life, and is set on fire by hell.…With it we bless our Lord and Father; and with it we curse men, who have been made in the likeness of God; from the same mouth come both blessing and cursing” (James 3:6, 9-10).
The Scriptures don’t lie. We’ll never tame the tongues we live with, ours included. But these wildest of beasts can be corralled and, over time and with diligent, persistent effort, trained to deliver blessing rather than poison.
As we raised our six children and observed other families, we saw two ways in which children struggle to control their tongues. The first is disrespect to parents. We may look back on our generation and see that as parents, we gave our children far too much freedom to grumble and speak their mind. Remember when children were “seen and not heard”? We’ve swung too far in the opposite direction when we allow our teenagers to show disrespect at the expense of adults without being disciplined and corrected.
The second area is sibling rivalry. We wish we had a 10-dollar bill for every sibling skirmish we’ve seen in the Rainey household. Our children verbally sparred over such life-changing issues as:
- Who gets to sit in the front seat of the car
- Who got the biggest slice of mom’s homemade apple pie
- Who has had the most friends over to the house, or who had a friend over to spend the night at the house last
- Who made the mess and who cleaned it up last
- Who had permission to wear what: “She never asked to wear my blouse.”
- Who got more freedom when he was growing up
The good news is that a tongue trained and harnessed by the Holy Spirit becomes a powerful beast of blessing. A tamed tongue will sing praises and offer wisdom and encouragement. A trained tongue can comfort those who mourn and offer kindness to a stranger. With such a tongue we can confess Christ and offer words of love to a spouse, a child, a parent, a friend, even an enemy.
For more of this excellent article on parenting, go here…