Tuesday, November 8, 2011
Watch Your Words
Recently, my husband and I have been on the other side of the advice cart. We have been receiving loads of advice, and honestly, most of it is not helpful. You see, we are expecting another child. Not in the traditional sense, as I am not pregnant, but a sibling to my niece and nephew (whom are in our custody) is about to be born and we have been asked to consider taking the child in. For us, this means child number 7, and I know that it seems crazy to even think about. My husband and I are not rich. He is a pastor and I am an unemployed teacher. However, we live in a house that is overflowing with love and acceptance, and isn't that what children really need? We have sat down and talked as a family, we have prayed about the decision before us, and then we made it. From the outside looking in, it may not seem like a wise decision.
What I am learning is that there is a difference between wise words and helpful words. There are a lot of well meaning people who say things like, "You guys have no business taking in another child." and "There are plenty of other foster homes this baby could go to." And in truth, there is some wisdom in their words. However, their words are not helpful. The decision has been made. On the other hand do you know how many offers I have had for someone to come help with laundry or cooking or cleaning or any other type of support we might need? There have been some, but I can count them on one hand.
I am not saying all of these things to make anyone feel bad, but I am hoping to wake all of us up, me included. We can see a situation from the outside and think we have all the answers, but the truth is, unless we know all of the details, we probably don't have all of the answers. I was the best parent in the world BEFORE I actually had kids! Now, I have more questions than answers!
I have a friend who has been going through some life changes due to circumstances beyond her control. She lost her job and has decided, to return to school and get a degree in a different area. She recently shared with me some of the hurtful comments people have made to her regarding her decision. Now I bet if we asked those people, they would be surprised to hear that their words caused her pain. The intent of their words was to help but the effect of their words was pain.
The truth is your words are either a blessing or a curse...they cannot be both. They either bring life, or they bring death. So the next time you go to speak, stop and think about what effect your words are going to have. God gave us 2 ears and only 1 mouth!
In the wise words of James (1:19) "Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak..."