DAY 8: THE MOUTH
I picked my teeth!
It was just one of those moments after having a scrumptious thick crusted Pepperoni pizza and the residues stuck in my tooth. Johnny’s conversation on the other hand, was quite engaging and somehow somehow, my brain whispered to my fingers, “pick your tooth please.”
So I did. Hardly noticing that little potatoes have eyes too. I did not realize how intently our daughter was watching our moves. Suddenly I heard, “Bad manners mommy! Very bad manners!”
I was startled. What could I have possibly done to this wonderful soul?
Me: “What did I do?”
Her: “You picked your teeth mommy, with dirty fingers, Yak! Yak! Bad manners! I will ‘chuna’ you!”
She actually proceeded to pinch my thigh. Her tiny fingers were quite painful than what I imagined. She then demanded that I should cry.
Her: “Cry mommy cry! Mhhhh.”
I had to fake some little tears, lest she sees that her efforts to correct me were fruitless.
We had a loud laugh after that, and my hubby was quick to place the card on the table.
“That’s you Hunnie. That’s what you tell her, ‘bad manners! Don’t pick your teeth with your fingers!’”
Truthfully speaking, those were my words to the last point. She edited out nothing. She left out nothing. She was articulate and concise. Those were my words.
She reminded us again that our children, not only pick our actions, but our words too. Even before they begin picking other words from their friends, teachers and other children, they pick our words FIRST, in our homes.
I have heard 3, 4, 5 year olds use curse words. I have heard more kids blatantly abuse their parents, even publicly, and they gladly excuse that uncouth behavior as “just being kids!”
What do you mean that they are just being kids? Don’t you know every child’s hearts bears foolishness – Proverbs 22:15, and only the rod of discipline can put them back on the right path – Proverbs 13:24?
Don’t you know that if you don’t teach them to set a guard over their mouths, they will be eventually ruined by their own folly?
Don’t you know that it is your godly responsibility as a parent, to guard your own mouth too from negative, derogatory, abusive, and sarcastic words that they could pick and gush out?
Ask yourself today, how have your words affected your children?
Have they picked up cursing words from you as a parent?
I know you and I have had a foot-in –mouth moments. Moments that we do the great reversal. Talk much, listen to nothing, reason to nothing, and eventually get too angry, too quickly.
But listen to what the Bible says in James 1: 19, You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.
How often do we get to practice this holy scripture in our homes? Our homes where our first ministry lies? How often do we hit the pause button?
As parents we need to watch what we say before our children. We need to learn how to season our speech with grace that the words we speak, will edify our families. Cursing, critical words, abusive words should not have a foothold in our homes.
Remember, how you talk to your spouse matters, they will see, they will speak it out.
How you talk to their nanny matters, they will see, they will speak it out.
How you talk to the guard at the gate matters, they will see, they will speak it out.
Do not be quick to assume that they are “just kids” and will not be affected by words that you say.
The Bible says in James 3:10 that, From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so.
Teach them to avoid ‘self-cursing’ words like, “I cannot do it”, “Am not brave”, “Am not beautiful.” Instead, teach them to believe in their God given abilities, even if they try and fail. Teach them to use polite words like “Please” if they want anything, “Thank you” if they get anything, “I am sorry, please forgive me” if they error or do a mistake.
Teach them to be respectful, but still maintain boundaries.
Teach them to say “No” to strangers, or “No, thank you” to food being offered to them expressly, without your knowledge.
Teach them to avoid cursing words or derogatory words, even if something doesn’t work out right. Those words may look fancy in the world we live in today. The society may package them to seem so right and trendy, but the Bible says that there is a way that seems right to a man, and eventually, it leads to death.
Teach them how to control their words in any surging moment of anger or pain.
Their mouths can be used for good or for evil, the choice will eventually boil down to them. Help them make the right choice.
Have sometime as parents to review the words you two speak to each other and consequently to your children. You will definitely find a pool of words which are damaging to your children. Pray about them and ask the Lord to help you hit the “pause” button before speaking them out.
Actually, ask the Lord to purify your mouth with coals of fire that whatever you say to yourself, your spouse, your kids will be seasoned by His salt of grace.
If you have older children, begin today by affirming them through your words. Sit them down and begin cancelling out every self-cursing words that they could have spoken over their own lives. Use the authority you have in the name of Jesus Christ.
Remind them today that they are brave, beautiful, handsome, destined for greatness, and fit to lead. Speak to them anything else the Lord leads you to.
If they are younger, teach them to say, “Please, thank you, I am sorry” and any other word that could build them. If you can find songs and illustrations, use them too. Songs are a great way to teach your children.
I thank you for my children. Thank you for your greatness and power that you have given to us through your son Jesus Christ. Lord I thank you for our children and their mouths. I pray that Father you will protect them and guard their mouths from error.
Help them to set a muzzle over their mouths. Teach them to control their words in moments of pain or anger.
Lord teach my children. You are the ultimate parent to us all.
May the words of their lips and the meditation of their hearts be always worthy before you.
I pray for grace too as we parent them. When stretched out, help us to be patient and guard our mouths from speaking out negatively against the blessings you have given us.
Lord forgive us for those times that we have sinned with our mouths against our children. Help us to be gracious like you Jesus.
In Jesus name,
[Remember that as you sing the Head, Shoulder, Knees and Toes song, you can always turn that cute song into a prayer! Thank you for following the series! Keep being blessed!]