Keeping up with this series has been sorta difficult for me. Well, blogging in general has been which is weird. I am a writer. It comes easy to me and I usually always have something to say. But in this past six months, it’s just been a constant battle inside my heart and my mind. And to be honest, its been sorta paralyzing at times. God has constantly reminded me how much I truly need Him in this life and how I can’t do this by myself- even when things are actually going ok! So because of that, I’ve had to step back from some things and try to take some time to rest my soul and my mind when I can.
Through studying this chapter, God somehow always prompts me to write my next post in this series in the exact right timing that I need to hear from Him about what I’m struggling with. So I have found that doing this series has made me way more vulnerable than I was planning because I find myself sharing with you things that I’m really struggling with, as im struggling with it. It’s been a much more organic process than I was anticipating, but slower to evolve at the same time. Anyways.
The next verse in my study of Proverbs 31 is:
“She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.” Proverbs 31:26
Words. This next verse is about our words. *Sigh*
Why is controlling our tongues one of the hardest lessons to learn? Why have I been struggling with this so much? The truth is, I haven’t been struggling with it in a gossip sort of way, although there HAVE been times in my life that I’ve struggled with that. But right now, I’ve been struggling with my words in the ways that I talk to my family. Mostly my kids. Lately, I have been tired, not reading my Bible enough and just running on empty. I’ve allowed myself to become exhausted and to take on too much at times. And because of that, I have so willingly put my kids last- especially this past week- and I have had an incredibly short temper with them. My short temper this week, has not come from God. The Bible says MANY times that the Lord is slow to anger, like in Psalms 103 stating, ‘The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.’
Not only is He slow to anger, but He’s compassionate, gracious and abounding in love. My words and my heart haven’t reflected that to my kids this week. I haven’t loved them the ways that God loves us as much as I should have. I haven’t been compassionate, gracious or abounding in love. Don’t get me wrong, I DO love my kids. And I haven’t been a complete monster to them. HA. But, I’ve just had a shorter fuse that I usually do. And I was convicted this week that it’s been out of my own disobedience. To be honest, I had a defining moment when Cruz walked up to me and told me he was “really, really mad” after I had yelled at him for disobeying. My heart broke. The way I was choosing to discipline them this past week was actually making it worse. And it was stirring up my little boys anxious heart and confusing him about why mommy was so angry. And it was causing HIM to be angry and mad too. How do I know? That sweet boy actually TOLD me that he was very, very mad when I yell.
Words. Words are so powerful. They have the ability to ruin entire households. Wars have been started over mere gossip. Families torn apart over harsh words, misunderstandings or even just the wrong tones. Proverbs 15:4 says, “The soothing tongue is a tree of life, but a perverse tongue crushes the spirit.” Proverbs 18:21 says, “The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.”
Our words can crush spirits and has the power of life and death. Holy moly. When I read this, I was vividly reminded about the damage I can do with my words. My big, loud, carless words spoken over my little boys can crush their little spirits. It can crush a girlfriends spirt. My husbands spirit. Or your OWN spirt. Our words are so incredibly powerful. Powerful enough that Satan can make us THINK that our words aren’t doing any damage, when in fact, they are sparking a fire that could blaze and entire forest (James 3:4-6).
The Proverbs 31 woman is very, very different. I actually don’t think she had a lot to say, at times. The Bible says she speaks with WISDOM. And with wisdom comes discernment. She is thinking about her words, choosing wisely, and not starting gossip. She is deciding to use her words for faithful instruction to her children, her family and her friends. Words that they can count on. Words that will be uplifting, even in a crucial disciplining moment. Words that won’t do damage or crush little spirits. Her words give life. And I have a feeling that she wasn’t known as the town gossip. She wasn’t known as the bully or as someone who would put you in your place if you needed it. She was wise in her speaking, choosing what words to say. She gave out faithful instruction and all those who were witness to it gained something positive from her words.
Don’t you want your words to reflect that about you as well? Shouldn’t our mouths be an exact reflection of our hearts? Shouldn’t our little kids come to know and subconsciously understand that mommy isn’t going to fly off the handle? Wise words and faithful instruction SHOULD fill our homes. When I think about what that looks like, it isn’t yelling and screaming. It isn’t chaos. It isn’t gossip. It’s methodical, well planned, self-controlled words that are only spoken to give life.
Oh how I’ve failed at times recently here to give life with my words. What a convicting passage for me. I am going to be working on allowing my mouth to be the gate keeper for every word that comes out. Because once your words are out, they can’t be taken back. And THAT, is when it can cause real death and crush spirits. We think that words aren’t going to be painful. Or that our toddlers won’t remember or hear what we mutter under our breaths when we are angry. But in fact, they are. And once spoken, if not thought and planned carefully, can kill a precious spirit that was designed by God Himself. I’ve received a jolt this week by this verse. And you better believe that I’ll be working on this area of my life from here on out. God is very clear to warn us of the danger here, with our words. And I don’t want my kids, family or friends to be on the receiving end of something that is so obviously a heart issue on my part.