Watch My Words
Written by Guest Blogger, Jill King
Remember our parents saying “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all” throughout our childhood? Or my personal favorite, “Make good choices!” At the time I’m certain I rolled my eyes so far back in my head. I was the third child and such actions set forth by the two older than me made my parents completely un-phased by my attempts to show opposition. But the good news is these concepts were taught early on and often enough that they stuck with me into my adulthood.
I embarked on the journey of single parenthood a few years ago. A place I never thought I would be. As I contemplated – and continue to contemplate every single day – how best to provide for the most important person in my life, I picked up the book Simplicity Parenting on the advice of a couple friends.
There are a number of things that hit home with me in this book. And as we focus this week on watching our words, I’m reminded of the simple concept this book offers up of stopping and analyzing before we speak.
Then ask yourself: is what I’m about to say…
2) kind, and
If it doesn’t pass these three filters, it doesn’t really need to come out of our mouths; especially when interacting with the young minds we’re molding.
When we say less our words mean more, we convey confidence and competence.
Revive Our Hearts perfectly outlined God’s commitment to teaching us when it’s wise to hold our tongues. After reading each point, I found myself exclaiming “Amen!” and “Preach!” with both hands in the air. Of the top ten, my favorite is:
Hold your tongue when you don’t have anything to say that gives grace.
“Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.” (Ephesians 4:29 NLT)
I had my dad to demonstrate true grace to me growing up. He’s a calm, cool, reserved individual and a man of few words. When he does say something it holds true meaning and everyone knows to stop and listen. He is my hero and I credit him most for the person and parent I aim to be. He raised four girls – that’s right, FOUR – and survived our teenage years with this same collective demeanor intact.
In our family’s eyes he is an absolute saint. And I thank my dad – my hero, my idol, my friend – every day for showing me a gentle posture, and I hope someday my kid will say the same about me.
I read Arlene Pellicane’s post on Proverbs 31 Don’t Underestimate the Power of the Tongue, and her daughter’s sweet little words brought tears to my eyes when she said:
“Mommy, I appreciate how you say nice things to me. I appreciate that you help me love God and to do the right thing.”
That’s what I want to hear my child say! I want to hear and witness him using his words for good.
Each day I drop him off at school, I say “Choose love today, buddy. Be kind always. Smile at someone you don’t know.” (It’s my 2017 version of the phrase “Make good choices!”) To which he once replied “I smile at everyone, mom!”
That’s a parent win right there. We’re off to a good start.
How do you encourage the young ones in your life to use their words for good? Please join the conversation and share what you think!
Kind words do not cost much. Yet they accomplish much.
– Blaise Pascal
– Jill King
Jill joined the Joy Of It team a couple years ago managing many digital aspects of the organization. She’s a kind heart and quick wit and enjoys the simple pleasures of life…like a good cup of coffee and an invigorating run along the beach. Mostly coffee. Her greatest joy and inspiration is being mom to her 7-year old son. He’s what gets her up every morning – literally and figuratively.