I could see my son up ahead as he walked along with friends, heading towards the designated pick up line at school. I had been patiently waiting for what felt like over an hour. Actually, it was only 10 minutes, but I was in a hurry as usual and the minutes seemed to be dragging on and on and on.
I was still several cars away and prayed that he would somehow look my way but he was too busy socializing with friends. As I waiting and watched, I noticed that Carson was starting to act in a not-so-nice manner towards one of his friends. I could tell from the smile on his face that he thought it was just a playful gesture but his friend didn’t seem to be very amused by it and neither was I.
I wanted to hop out of the car and call out his name but the enthusiastic sounds of the students were so loud that I knew Carson wouldn’t hear me. Instead, I sat in the car witnessing the unpleasant gesturing continue, as my emotions rose higher and my blood began to boil.
By the time Carson got in the car I was reeling with anger and I let him have it. Without the skip of a beat, I lit into him with my berating questions. Why did you….? What on earth were you….? Don’t you know….?
With each condemning question, my son slipped further and further into his seat. The weight of my words pressed heavy against his heart and it was showing through in his posture and appearance. He didn’t say a word.
The atmosphere in the car grew silent and tense. I was feeling completely justified in my scolding until this verse brushed over my thoughts.
She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue…Her children rise up and call her blessed. Proverbs 31:26,28a
In the midst of that silent yet sobering moment, I realized that I had blown it BIG TIME.
Did I open my mouth with wisdom? No
Did I teach kindness with my tongue? No
Was my son going to rise up and call me blessed? Probably not
I knew God was reminding me of that verse as a way of softly pricking my heart because I had chosen poorly in the way I corrected my son.
My words were harsh but God Words were gentle.
I shouted loudly but God whispered softly.
I was teaching condemnation but God was mentoring wisdom.
My next choice was obvious. I quickly apologized to Carson and told him I was wrong in the way I handled the situation. I told him I was sorry and asked for his forgiveness. We talked through what had really happened and discussed what could have been better choices.
Restoration took place and we both learned valuable lessons that day.
As I climbed into bed that night, I thanked God for allowing me the privilege of being a mother. I asked Him to put a guard on my mouth so that I would be slow to speak and quicker to listen. I asked Him to help me become a mom who opens her mouth with words of wisdom and teaches with kindness, not condemnation.
What about you? Are you a mom or a mentor to someone? Have you found yourself in a situation where your words have not been kind, wise, or loving? What is your hardest challenge when it comes to taming your tongue?
If someone was describing you today, how would they finish this following sentence?
She Speaks with ___________________ .