May 17th, 2011 by Kristi Stephens
Yesterday I shared at MOB Society how sanctifying motherhood really is – it pulls out my “ugly” more than any other aspect in my life. Mothering is exhausting, consuming, exasperating, constant – there is no “put your best shiny face forward” when you’re up with little ones in the middle of the night, woken early in the morning with wet sheets or even a little face peering over your mattress with an offering of plastic donuts and pretend coffee for your enjoyment at 6am. Someone is always missing a shoe or crying because they want a snack or provoking their sibling. I am pushed beyond my limits and the “real me” bubbles out unbidden. And sometimes the “real me” is ugly.
Moms, I know that you get what I’m saying. I also know this: we love our kids. Our hearts hurt when they hurt, we long for what is best for them, we sacrifice for them, we would do anything within our power to protect them. I doubt that any of us have ever intentionally hurt our children with our words.
But on those bad days, have I unintentionally wounded their spirits, left seeping wounds that will ache and burn over time?
Proverbs 12:18 rings in my ears:
Reckless words pierce like a sword,
but the tongue of the wise brings healing. (NIV)
My words have tremendous power in the lives of my children. I’m sure if we were in a small group we could go around and all attest to the power of a parent’s words; words that have defined us and clung to us throughout our lives – for better or for worse. What will my children remember me saying to them? Will I, in a moment of frustration or carelessness, recklessly speak words that will wound and scar their tender hearts?
The thought chills me. It makes me humbly collapse before the Lord, begging Him to bind my tongue and keep me from ever damaging with my words these precious ones He has entrusted to my care. As we consider the words that come out of us, remember: it all starts with the heart.
If we want the words that come from our lips to be uplifting and nourishing, it starts with a daily “heart-check” before the Lord. It is when we are humble and meek that our anger is bridled and our tongues are brought under control.
From a 2009 post on meekness:
Meekness and humility go hand in hand. It is a humility before God, acknowledging that He is sovereign over all. It is also a humility before others, putting their needs ahead of our own, seeking to serve rather than to overpower, giving up the desire to retaliate when we are wronged.
True humility, true meekness, will bridle our anger and stand sentinel over our tongues and reactions.
So, this afternoon as I work on my “big, important adult tasks” and my daughter constantly “interrupts” me, wanting me to hold her, or play with her, or turn off the tv, or give her a snack… shall I be angry and impatient with her, letting my tongue and tone wound her when she has done nothing wrong? What if she does disobey – in my discipline, am I angrily reacting to how her behavior has affected me, or am I meekly and lovingly teaching her to do what is right? I hope that I am not the only one who feels 2″ tall as I read that.
Interesting that as we parent and disciple our children, God disciples us! Lord, you truly are slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness – make us more like You!
Hmmm… this seems to be a repeated theme for me. :)
Oh, Lord – bridle our tongues! My our words be intentionally nourishing, not recklessly wounding. May words of grace and wisdom be on our tongues as we mother; sanctify us from the inside out, we pray!
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