Sunday, October 12, 2014

Words

This weekend had been perfect so far. We had planned on a busy Saturday yesterday with three soccer games all away, but they were cancelled due to poor field conditions and rain.

And you know what, it was glorious. We did nothing yesterday. Nothing. It was awesome. Sometimes we get so caught up in all the hustle and bustle and keeping our kids active and involved in sports and hobbies that we forget to just... relax.

But a day at home with nothing on the agenda was just what this family needed.



Of course a rainy day at home inside is also cause for a few disagreements between kiddos. Naturally. I broke up an argument or two yesterday. And today I'm sure to do another.



I have been trying to teach my kids that what they say matters to each other. Even if they are just kidding and don't really mean it, words do hurt.

I have been going back and forth about opting out of social media. I use to enjoy scrolling through pictures and looking at decorating ideas or recipes, but now, I feel like when I look at social media, it's just people complaining, saying hurtful things to others. And I'm not sure I want to be involved anymore.



I had written a post a year or so back for another website, but I think it's worth repeating. I think we need to chose kindness. Because kindness breeds kindness. We need to chose love. Because love breeds love. We need to stop tearing each other down with our words. Nothing is gained from that. Let's chose to be good, positive examples for our children and the generations to come.

The older I get, the more I understand how little I truly know. One thing I have always struggled with (and please tell me I’m not the only one) is keeping my mouth shut. There’s an old saying: we were given one mouth and two ears so we should listen twice as much as we talk. I have a tendency to feel that I need to have the last word, or I often speak before thinking. I just blurt out words without considering how those words will affect the person I’m talking to.



But the phrase ‘sticks and stones may break my bones, but your words will never hurt me’ isn’t exactly true is it? I’m sure you can remember back when someone you loved and cared about said something very hurtful to you. And those words did hurt. They cut like a knife, and sure that person may have asked for your forgiveness and you may have granted it, but did you ever forget what they said? Can you?

What if, though, we thought about what we said before we said it? What if we took a moment and thought is what I’m about to say going to be offensive to the other person? If the answer to that question is yes, then does it really need to be said, and if it does, then is there a kinder way to say it?



Because the trouble with words is that once you say them, you cannot unsay them.

Once you speak a word, you can’t take it back. This is applicable to your spouse, to your children, to your parents, to your siblings, your friends, your co-workers, and anyone you speak with essentially. And because we can’t take our words back, it would behoove us to choose our words carefully. And maybe, just maybe, not speak at all. Like when your spouse says something that just irks you to no end, you can say a snide remark back to them and consequently begin a verbal battle OR you could smile and. Keep. Your. Mouth. Shut.

I’m writing this as an encouragement to you, but for the record, it’s also an encouragement to myself. Just so we’re clear.

Not only is it wise to consider your words carefully and sometimes choose not to even speak it all, but it’s also a good idea to heed the words from Proverbs 16:32 ‘He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty’. Meaning we shouldn’t snap at our children when they break a toy or spill their milk, or we shouldn’t snap at our husband when he doesn’t put a new toilet paper roll on, or we shouldn’t snap at the person who cuts us off on the highway (or flip them the bird).

Again, let's stop and consider our words and our thoughts before we even open our mouth. Because our words, the things that come out of our mouth will affect our children, they will affect our marriage, and maybe we won’t see any results from our angry, disparaging words tomorrow or the next week, but over time, the hurtful things we say will impact our relationships.

So I’m going to do my best to, at times, not even speak at all. I will consider what I say (or at least try to), and I will consider my tone. I will consider my words.

Because words can and do hurt.

 

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