We have a standing rule as parents. As tempting as it might be, we do not yell at our children. One would think that our home is always peaceful then, wouldn’t you? No yelling, no screaming, and no raised voices. (sigh) Very quickly though, one learns that just because you aren’t yelling, doesn’t mean all is right in the world.
I wish I was always kind. I wish my voice emanated grace and dripped with love. Unfortunately, I’m human. While yelling is purposefully avoided, I have noticed a trend which is equally unhealthy… bitterness. When speaking to our children during times of stress or discipline, I have taken note that my voice is not always as sweet as it ought to be. Instead of speaking with a gentle voice, I tend to become harsh and firm; in essence, allowing my pride to take over.
Now, don’t get me wrong. There is nothing wrong with being firm. I think, at times, all children need a firm hand. However, there is a significant difference between being firm and being harsh. That is where I need a little work.
Instead of taking a moment to breathe, pray, and then bring my children back into a proper relationship with the family, I am taking the easy route and reacting to the situation. This ought not to be so. I need to make a better effort at adding a dose of sugar to my voice.
Truthfully, my fear is that I will sound like a mommy whose voice just drips with honey, but who lacks any substance. Do you know what I mean? I think we’ve all seen people who have the sweetest voice when talking to their children, but their children pay no heed to them whatsoever; continuing in their disobedience. I want to be taken seriously. No! I need to be taken seriously. I shouldn’t have to cajole and beg my children to do what needs to be done. I shouldn’t have to ask more than once and offer them something nice to get them to listen.
There must be a perfect middle. A place where I learn to be just a tad sweeter, but not so sugary that it makes one sick to the stomach. I am sure there is such a position, but I am learning I cannot stand there on my own. Being human, I am completely unable to be the parent I long to be on my own steam. It is only through the power of the Holy Spirit that I am able to love my children the way they ought to be loved.
Bearing one’s soul is always hard. It isn’t easy to admit we are failing, especially when it comes to our parenting. I want to make excuses and assure everyone that I try to be a good parent; that I don’t yell at them; that I don’t even become harsh that often. However, the truth is, even a little harshness is too much. I may be human, but that is no excuse.
Like my children, I too am still learning. Through our daily lives, through our homeschooling, and parenting, I am attempting to gain victory in this area of my life. I want my children to look back on their childhood with fondness and love. I want them to remember that while their mother might have been firm on important issues, she was also kind and loving.
I pray I have victory in this area. That I would be mindful of not only the words which come from my mouth, but the tone in which they are said. I pray my heart would be humbled and my life reflect the message I am learning. This is a battle worth winning.
Time to Chime In: Have you been able to conquer the battle with your tongue? Share with us helpful tips, hints, and ideas on how to better speak with love.
“Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.” Ephesians 4:29