I went to a Bible study last night at my friend's house and the topic we talked about was controlling our tongues. Not something I'm very good at and I've been trying to work on bettering for a few years now. Any progress I've made has been painfully slow and then quickly erased in a moment's frustration and flash of anger. Words biting, caustic, harsh and hurting, lashing out at the hearts I love most: my husband and my son...Regret and guilt overflowing my own heart mere moments later.
This morning, as I woke and was greeted by three warm, wiggling, squirming, treat-monging pups, scratching cheeks and butts, whispering lovey baby-talk good mornings and kissing furry foreheads, I wondered why it's so easy to gush sweet talk and love over our pets but more often so hard to do the same with the people who share our lives and our hearts? Don't they deserve that treatment even more? I somehow have more patience with my seven month old Boxer mix who eats anything and everything that isn't bolted down, destroying and mangling anything he can get in his mouth, than I do with my son, my child, whose heart and mind is my greatest responsibility to nurture and protect. My husband, who gives me his whole life, has to listen to my rants and ravings about family arguments and nagging about getting this or that done around the house. I have no doubt my two guys hear more negativity out of my mouth than anything positive or encouraging...and that really, really needs to change.
So, how do we change what comes out of our mouths? I plan to begin by praying on it. If something is causing a rant to rise up inside, just waiting for Bill to walk through the door at dinner time to unload upon, I will instead offer it up to God first. Let Him hear me out and cleanse my heart, fill me with something brighter and encouraging for my family's ears. I also pray for a more patient heart with Michael, to be more open to listening instead of being so ready to jump down his throat, remembering how easily I love on the dogs and share some of that gushiness with my two guys as well.