Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Watch Your Words

Have you ever noticed how quick people are to speak and how slow they are to listen?  I even find myself doing this all the time with my kids.  They start to tell me something and I interrupt to "correct" their thinking, without ever really listening to what they had to say, or to see if their thinking even needed correcting.  Maybe it comes from thinking I am wiser than them and I have some sort of need to share that wisdom, but the truth is a truly wise person rarely speaks!  The book of Proverbs is full of verses that tell us things like, "Even fools are thought wise if they keep silent, and discerning if they hold their tongues." (Proverbs 17:28) and "The prudent keep their knowledge to themselves, but a fool's heart blurts out folly."  Proverbs 12:23 Ouch!

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..."


  1. Just came across your blog and love what you wrote. I cannot believe people can speak so negatively and freely about a situation that is not their own. I don't even know you or the full situation but it definitely seems that you are the best parents for the job, especially since the unborn baby seems to be related (I wasn't too sure :) ). I now God will provide the way and now you will have seven chances at your kids becoming millionaires (just kidding about that last part ;) ) God Bless!


  2. I love it mom its so true! thanks(:

  3. Unfortunately we do all have those negative influences in our lives. Which makes me praise God for the positive friends who He sends at just the right moments!!