I was scrubbing dishes in the kitchen. I don’t like scrubbing dishes; bad things happen when I’m occupied with suds and my mind melts into the warm water. She pattered up behind me, and I could tell that she had news. I tell my children to come to me about anything–that they should come to me about anything. When they have ought against their brother, I point them toward forgiveness. I also teach them to work things out amongst themselves; but I’d rather hear about it, and handle it, than have them “handle it” themselves. So, now, we have a fine line between tattling to me and needing Mom. Though, even tattling works out from time-to-time.
She placed her hand on my waist and tugged at my shirt. “What is it, Honey?” I said.
Her eyes were wide with shock and tense with worry. She’d just heard something she shouldn’t hear; her sister had said a bad word. “She said the ‘sh’ word,” she mourned grimly.
“Oh,” I answered sadly, “You mean she told you to be quiet in a rude way?”
“No,” she shook her head rapidly while her eyes remained fixed and indignant.
“Oh!” I said as I dropped a dish to sink quickly beneath the foam, and I turned to run down the stairs.
As the heel of my foot hit the top step, the Lord snatched me up by the collar. I was angry; He wasn’t. My pride was hurt; His wasn’t. “My children…my children don’t curse!” Only one just had, and I needed to find out why.
I took a deep breath and walked the rest of the way down the stairs into the playroom. I walked straight toward the one with the potty-mouth. She was worried, and she squinted at the tattler.
“Honey, where did you hear that word?” I whispered.
She told me, and I bowed my head. I was relived that it wasn’t from me (because I don’t have a perfect record), but I was sad that she’d heard it at all. It would be so great to live in a bubble!
“Well, hmmm,” I said slowly, “I’m glad that that came out! I had no idea it was in there.”
“You mean…I’m not in trouble?” she asked with a curious face.
“No, you’re not in trouble! Not this time. It’s not your fault that that word was inside your heart. It’s not your fault that it got there. If ugly stuff is inside us, it will come out when we’re mad. If it hadn’t come out of your mouth, it would have just grown and grown and caused more and more damage to your thinking. But now, we can deal with it. We can talk about it! And we can ask God to heal your thinking so it doesn’t bother you in secret or come out of your mouth again. When the bad stuff comes out, that’s good! We don’t want it to stay inside.”
She smiled; me too.
I don’t want to raise children with good mouths; I want to raise children with clean hearts. I just need Him to remind me sometimes.
Luke 12:1-3 (KJV)
In the mean time, when there were gathered together an innumerable multitude of people, insomuch that they trode one upon another, he began to say unto his disciples first of all, Beware ye of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. For there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; neither hid, that shall not be known. Therefore whatsoever ye have spoken in darkness shall be heard in the light; and that which ye have spoken in the ear in closets shall be proclaimed upon the housetops.
Psalm 139:23-24 (KJV)
Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
Matthew 12:33-35 (KJV)
Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit. O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.
This story was almost a late addition chapter in my new book, but I decided to leave it short and blog it instead. If it blesses you, please consider buying the book. Other topics handled include:
- Why do I have to obey?
- What is sin?
- Why is it wrong to whine?
- What happens when we die?
http://rcm-na.amazon-adsystem.com/e/cm?lt1=_blank&bc1=FFFFFF&IS2=1&npa=1&bg1=FFFFFF&fc1=000000&lc1=EB44CA&t=kingdtwind01-20&o=1&p=8&l=as1&m=amazon&f=ifr&ref=tf_til&asins=149447980XHave you read “Little Children. Big God.”? Have you had a conversation with your children that has pointed either them, or you, toward our Maker? Have you blogged about it? Comment, or e-mail, and I’ll include your link below!