Two of my kids were having a growth opportunity, which is our family’s way of saying a “fight.” These two kids love each other, but didn’t like each other very much in the heat of the moment. I pulled out my proverbial soap box, got my hand positioned just right on my hip, and told these two youngsters of mine to look outside the window of our home. I told them that outside our home a world of people exist who may or may not be nice to us. There are no guarantees. “But, inside this house,” I continued as I turned them toward one another, “there are certain guarantees. Before you part your lips to speak, you must ask yourself this question: Are my words kind, necessary, and true?”
“If the answer to all three parts of that question is yes… proceed ahead.”
“If the answer to any part of that question is no… stop the words from coming out.”
Does that mean there is no room to address hard issues with one another? No. But in our home, it will always be done with a spirit of kindness using words that are only necessary and true.
I then ushered these precious kids of mine outside to a bench in the yard and instructed them to figure out their issues. And they were not going to bring words into our house unless they were kind, necessary, and true. Thank you very much. Have a nice time on this warm little bench on this warm little day.
There are some verses in the book of James I’m considering writing on the reminder board in the kitchen with a sharpie. Think of how handy it would be just to flash that board in the midst of my kids growth opportunities with this verse in bold ink: “With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be” (James 3 9-10 NIV).
I do not want disorder nor do I want any type of evil practice to be invited into our home; especially by my kids. If by chance envy and selfish ambition (which is where ugly words come from) is the key that opens the door for all that evil mess I despise I will do everything with the power of Jesus in me to tame my kids tongues.
And let all my Jesus girlfriends & boyfriends say, Amen!