By: Mandy Hill
“It’s the way you live, not the way you talk, that counts. Mean-spirited ambition isn’t wisdom. Boasting that you are wise isn’t wisdom.” (James 3:13-14)
Have you ever really listened to your own voice? The way you speak to your spouse, your kids, your family, your friends? Have you ever heard the way you react to the behaviours or actions of your children that you disapprove of?
How does your voice sound? Are you kind, gentle, forgiving? Or are you rude, harsh and mean?
I had a moment recently where I heard myself…clear as day…..my words; straight from my daughters mouth. My heart was convicted as the words she had spoken to her brother caused him pain; evidenced by the tears he had in his eyes. His intentions were pure and to help. Her reaction to his efforts to bring her joy, had brought him pain.
The verse from James 3 that says “it’s the way you live, not the way you talk that counts” came to my mind. In those moments as I watched the interaction between my two oldest children, it became so very clear to me that it doesn’t matter how many rules or guidelines my husband and I give our kids….the ones that will truly be heard are the ones that we genuinely model ourselves.
How we react to each other as husband and wife, how we react to their poor behaviours; they see it all and they take everything in. What goes in their souls, WILL come out.
Based on what comes out of your mouth and how you act in the everyday; how are you raising your children?
When your kids are feeling frustrated, have they learned it’s ok to come completely unglued?! Do they lash out under stress? Sulk when they don’t have it all? When they are facing conflict with a friend, do they seek resolution or revenge? When given a choice between extending kindness or bitterness, which is more frequently chosen?
Not easy questions to ask yourself…..but I believe it’s so important to ask them anyway. If we are not careful with what we are putting into our kids souls by ways of which we are acting; we should certainly not be surprised by what comes out.
Father God, I pray with urgency for a heart that is likened to yours. I pray for patience, perseverance, good character and a hope that I may pass onto my children. God, please stir within my soul a passion to live a life that strives to be more and more like you. I pray for Ben, Sophie and Spencer….give Nathan and I the wisdom we need daily to raise these amazing little lives to know you and serve you. I pray for my sisters, please guide them and direct them as well as they endeavour to raise their precious gifts to be followers of you. I pray for a special anointing on each family that will read this post today. In your name I ask, Amen.