January 10, 2012
"But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips." Colossians 3:8 (NIV)
Standing in line for the concert gave my family plenty of people-watching time. As girls and guys made their way to the back of the line, I pointed out all the immodest clothing. "Why would she wear those in public?" "Oh my! I can't believe she feels comfortable dressed like that!" I commented as one-by-one they passed us.
I must have shared quite a few of these statements because my oldest teenaged daughter finally said, "Mom, you are being mean!"
I felt so small. I hadn't thought I was being mean. I was simply pointing out to my girls how not to dress. But my daughter was right.
The truth is, my girls already know how not to dress; I have been teaching them since they were five. And now I was teaching them how to judge another woman. I was teaching them to be mean.
Since that night at the concert I've come to the conclusion that mean girls often come from mean mamas. When we point out other's flaws, we are modeling for our kids a judgmental heart. Instead, what we mamas need to demonstrate is compassion.
Our key verse today says we are to rid ourselves of slander, which means a scandalous remark. In fact, in the verses before and the verses that follow, it doesn't mention of any time when it is okay to slander others.
One way we are overcoming a mean spirit in our family is through accountability. When my girls are gossiping or putting another girl down, I gently point it out and my girls do the same for me.
At first, having my child call me out was a bit uncomfortable. But making this a family issue, rather than just me correcting my kids, is bringing us to a deeper level of kindness.
Like me, you may be surprised to discover just how often you say unkind things . If you watch each other's words, both you and your child will become more compassionate, less judgmental and a whole lot more careful about the words you say! It's working for me; I know it will work for you too!
Dear Lord, I want to rid myself of slander and in turn teach my children to do the same. Please cleanse my heart of judgment and help me to set a guard over my mouth. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Looking for a way you can connect to your girl and learn about friendships together? His Revolutionary Love: Jesus' Radical Pursuit of You by Lynn Cowell is for girls ages 13-18. It is a great study for moms and daughters to bond over! There is a free leadership guide for it on her website!
Visit Lynn's website for a free family purity guide. Together you can honor God with your hearts, words and bodies!
Visit Lynn's website where she shares additional ways for you and your child to grow closer to God together! She's also giving away a copy of her book His Revolutionary Love as well as her CD "Building a Bridge to Your Child's Heart."
In the next 24 hours, spy on yourself. Are your words building or breaking?
When you have a critical thought toward a person, intentionally look for a positive remark you can make about them.
My words are either building or breaking; none of them are benign.
Romans 12:10, "Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves." (NIV)
© 2012 by Lynn Cowell. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road
Matthews, NC 28105