A mother of three was a couple places ahead of me in the check out line at the grocery store. I remembered those days as the two little ones kept grabbing the items off of the shelves around the line, and the older one was crying for a treat. I smiled and said “this shall pass”, but I don’t think the mom heard me.
The lady behind me said she missed those days. I replied that I was enjoying the stage I was in now where I could leave my kids home and go shopping alone. We laughed about the different stages in life. Then we heard something that made us both look on in shock. The mother started swearing at her oldest child telling her to stop crying and calling “mom”. I was stunned as was the lady behind me and the man in between the mom and myself started to say something to the mom, but then she swore at him.
I thought about the whole situation on my way home and kept thinking those poor kids, they need love and nurturing and to feel safe with there mom. I then heard God in the background saying, “don’t judge.” I haven’t walked in her shoes. I also heard him ask “are all your words to your kids nice?”
Ouch! I pondered this question on the way home. Yes, there are times when I yell at my children, when I am upset about something else. I do apologize to them when I realize what I’m doing. Then I thought about how I treat my husband when I’m upset. Yep, I will take things out on him as well. I’m not sure why I do this to those I hold most close to my heart. I think I may do it because I’m comfortable with them and I know they will forgive me. I can’t blow up at some stranger on the road, or in the grocery line, or even a co-worker. I’m in my safe zone at home where I can let things out. Whatever the reason, it isn’t fair to my family.
I went to God’s word knowing there are many verses on our tongues. This tells me that our tongue get us into trouble a lot or God wouldn’t have so much to say on the subject. The one that stood out to me was Proverbs 15:1-4 “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. The tongue of the wise commends knowledge, but a mouth of the fool gushes folly. The eyes of the Lord are everywhere, keeping watch on the wicked and the good. A gentle tongue is the tree of life, but a perverse tongue crushes the spirit.” The last thing as a mom that I want to do is crush my children’s spirits.
My dearest Father in Heaven, please hear my cry. I pray for the mom in line at the supermarket. I don’t know her situation but you do. Lord, I ask you to forgive me for those times that my tongue has crushed spirits. I pray that she gets what she needs and that she comes to know you, Lord. Please help me have a gentle tongue; a tongue that is uplifting, comforting and loving to my family and those around me. Lord, help me listen before I speak. I also pray this for all those reading this. I thank you, Lord, that you know all and that your grace is new each day. Amen.