I’m tired of you guys fighting over stupid STUPID things!
There are tons of people on this plane. Of course you’re gonna touch.
So just deal with it! If you don’t shut up right now, I’m gonna slap you!
Both of you just shut up right now!
I glanced over at my daughter whose eyes were as wide as mine. I could not believe the words pouring forth from the visibly upset volcano mama sitting directly behind us in our tight Boeing 737 quarters. Clearly this mom was done. Like put-a-fork-in-her done. It was a long flight with two little people (I’m guessing both were under the age of five) and she didn’t seem to have any extra adult help in sight. My heart flip-flopped back and forth, feeling sympathetic for the wee kiddos while frustrated with the mouthy mother, and yet compassionate toward this tired woman who was at her wits’ end in dealing with her bickering squirmy darlings.
Because we’re moms. We are faced with things every day that push and probe our patience levels to dangerously high extremes. And as time and lost tempers can attest, our children are quite skilled at pushing our buttons. And when they do, we are faced with a choice:
USE it or LOSE it. Use gracious words OR lose our temper.
I recently listened to a podcast with Karen Ehman where she was talking about her new book Keep It Shut. (Which by the way, has the best picture ever on the cover – beautiful red lips closed tightly with a golden zipper!) But something she mentioned really stuck with me. She said, “Don’t say something permanently painful just because you are temporarily ticked off.”
Ouch! I think she must have an inside peek into my home. Or my car. Or my heart! Sometimes I don’t feel like being all self-control-ish and employing those fruits of the Spirit. Sometimes I just feel mean and wanna REACT instead of acting the way I know I should.
We had an old record growing up that had this sing-song wisdom: If you can’t say something nice, shhhh, say nothing. Take a bit of good advice, shhhh, say nothing. Think of friendly things to say, that’s the path to follow. When you think an unkind thought, button your lips and swallow.
Our words are powerful, dear friends! They can build up. Or tear down. Just one nasty time of losing it with our kids can do long-term damage. Ask any friend you may know with a past that includes verbal abuse. Words can be quite potent. Like a fly to flypaper, they stick with you.
Matthew 12:34 says that “out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” I don’t know about you, but I want my heart to be overflowing with good things so that my lips can pour forth words of love and grace on my family.
Because we want to be wise mamas. Loving mamas. Kind mamas. We want our words to infuse LIFE. Infuse LOVE. Infuse HOPE. And most of all, we want our words to fan a flame within our children – to aid them in living fearlessly and whole-heartedly for their Creator. But sometimes we lose sight of that as mean ol’ nasty words naturally waterfall out of our mouths.
So, this week, before you blow up like Mount Mama, take a moment to select your words carefully.
Let’s choose to build up and know when to utilize buttons and zippers.
Lord, thank You for being our Prince of Peace. We know that it is only through You that we can learn to control our tongues. Father, we want our words to spill forth grace upon our families. May our lips be filled with Your praise and our mouths overflowing with Your goodness. Help our conversations today be flavored with a peace and love that can only come from You. In the powerful name of Jesus we pray, Amen.