Sweet summertime – the season of relaxed schedules, water gun fights, and bored kids.
Help us all.
Summer is also gardening season, and unless I miss my guess, most moms need fertilizer for growing graceful speech. With that in mind, let’s look at ten verses for cultivating a garden of life-giving words.
1. Use your tongue for praise
Scripture says God dwells in the praises of His people. Giving praise throughout your day will adjust your focus and foster a sense of His nearness.
So will I ever sing praises to your name, as I perform my vows day after day.
2. Cry out to God
You need help for those frustrating moments – God is near and ready! Cry out to him (also – it’s kind of fun to scare the family and break out in prayer).
Hear my cry, O God, listen to my prayer; from the end of the earth I call to you when my heart is faint.
Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
3. Get wise (and sweet)
Wisdom and sweet speech comes from spending time with God. Make Scripture a priority – for wisdom’s riches are far above rubies!
The wise of heart is called discerning, and sweetness of speech increases persuasiveness.
4. Persuade through wisdom
Draw from God-given, inner wisdom instead of blurting the first thing that comes to mind. It’ll help persuade your errant child.
The heart of the wise makes his speech judicious and adds persuasiveness to his lips.
5. Picture a honeycomb
Sometimes we moms need a visual. Have your child draw a honeycomb, hang a print of a honeycomb, or even find a real honeycomb to display! We want to provide sweetness in our homes this summer – and mom sets the tone.
Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.
6. Let them hear you praise
This is different than number one (maintaining an attitude of praise). This one means you bust out in an audible “PRAISE THE LORD FOR HIS MERCY AND GOODNESS” every once in a while. Your kids need to know – you believe in this God you’re always talking about!
Bless our God, O peoples; let the sound of his praise be heard,
7. Get quiet
Sometimes it’s better to be still than to react. You know the old saying, “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all?” (Or is it come over here and sit by me – I forget. Just kidding.)
Better is a dry morsel with quiet than a house full of feasting with strife
8. Cultivate a satisfied spirit
Many times we moms want what we want (bigger home, better neighbors, calmer kids) NOW. But displaying a short temper does nothing towards furthering those goals. It’s just like enjoying a relaxing evening after a hard day’s work – good fruit from our mouths brings satisfaction. Be more intentional about cultivating fruitful words and less obsessed with circumstances.
From the fruit of his mouth a man is satisfied with good, and the work of a man’s hand comes back to him.
9. Ignore unintentional or indirect insults
Disrespect should never be tolerated, but what about kid’s offhanded comments that prick your spirit (and sometimes smack of uncomfortable truth)? It’s best to shrug it off, pray, and revisit later if needed. (Many times this happens with older children/young adults. I’m learning to develop thick skin.)
The vexation of a fool is known at once, but the prudent ignores an insult.
10. Bring healing (not piercing)
You want your children healthy and whole, right? The next time you scream, picture sword wounds on your child. Gory, isn’t it? Guarantee that’ll change your mouth.
There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.
God’s Word brings life to the soul and grace to our words. Let’s take advantage of this wonderful tool and cultivate life-giving words this summer. This summer don’t just grow a garden – cultivate life-giving speech!
* (All Scripture taken from ESV)
Ruthie Gray is a wife, mom of four, Gigi, and caregiver, living in the sandwich generation and blogging to keep her sanity. When she’s not snacking on plastic drumsticks with The Tiny Tornado or snuggling Baby Cakes (her grandbabies), you can find her coaching young moms to capture joy in parenting at RearReleaseRegroup.com. Ruthie is the author of Count to Nine; 9 Liberating Steps for Mom Frustration and Anger.