Monday, December 14, 2015

The Tongue

the tongue, blended family, step family, stepmom advice, step mom, step mothers
This is a hard one for me to talk about because the struggle is real and I struggle with this every day.  Do you often say things you didn’t mean to say but said it out of anger? In another word, as I would like to say “Thinking before speaking” is a hard pill to swallow. It all comes down to this; you have to decide “Do you want to be right or married”? When your husband says something negative about his own children, you just need to listen, do not add your own thoughts or observations to the conversation because it may backfire on you.  You might think you have permission to speak freely with your husband about his children, but you really don’t and your only digging yourself into a hole that you cannot get out of.  Try to zip the lip and find the control with that tongue. If you really need to share it, share it with a friend, confide it with them rather than your husband.  
Just recently, my husband called my stepdaughter and left a message for her and she didn’t return his call until five days later and it was just about what she wanted for Christmas and her list of wants. That really bugged me. It made me feel like that we are only good enough to be called when you want something from us.  Unfortunately, I opened my mouth and said that to my husband and he, of course, said he doesn’t think she’s just using us for Christmas gifts.  Then I realized what I had said and quickly shut my mouth and walked away. Then I tried to cool myself down before I said anything else that I might regret next.  Ultimately we have to ask ourselves these three questions before speaking about a concern or issue we have with our stepchildren.
  1. Is it kind?
  2. Is it true?
  3. Is it necessary?
If the answer is yes then talk to your husband, if the answer is no to any of these questions than control our tongue and stop and walk away.  We sometimes need to choose peace over being right. We need to let go of our desires to be right all the time and just keep things to ourselves or share it with our friends, but we instead need to choose peace.
Us stepmoms need to learn when to speak or when not to speak.  “Let your conversations be always full of grace” Colossians 4:6.  Karen Ehman said, “When we choose to lace our words with grace healing happens”. In proverbs 16:24 it says “Gracious words are a honey comb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones”.  We always have to resist the urge to lash out in anger and instead control our tongues.  We need to learn how to let go of us trying to prove our point and instead choose to do the right thing and love the other person with words of full of grace, positivity and love.  When our stepchildren say something to us that makes our blood boil with anger, we need to pause to recalculate how we are going to respond; it may even be best to not respond at all and just walk away.  If we do choose to find words of grace to say what’s on your mind.  Don’t choose the first thing that comes to our minds because it’s usually in anger.  Sometimes we just have to face the fact that we are going to have people in our lives that we don’t mix well with and it’s like oil and water they don’t mix.  We just need to choose grace over a bitter tongue.  There is a book that I have read that I totally recommend for anyone that doesn’t have control of “The Tongue” it is called: “Keep it Shut” by Karen Ehman.  It’s a wonderful book and it has really opened my eyes to how I sometimes have problems with controlling what I say to others.

Here are some tips for your tongue:
  • Be Willing to Listen to others right away
  • Don’t be in a hurry to speak or voice our opinions.
  • Be Patient. Do not flip your lid.
  • Think before you Speak.
  • Do not do or say anything wicked or immoral
  • Don’t say something that will leave a forever scar just because you are temporary ticked off.
  • Remember the 3 questions. Is it kind? Is it true? Is it necessary?
  • Think about whom we are speaking to but think about what they may be dealing with at the time and how your news may affect them.
  • Check your motives and your heart before sharing any good news.
  • Remember that one lie leads to multiple lies after just one lie, so don’t speak a lie.
  • Watch your words even in the workplace because people are watching what you say.
  • Be nice to your enemies, kill them with kindness.
  • Speak words that would honor God and not what someone else wants to hear.
  • Our words should always be delivered with respect, kindness, and grace.
  • Our words are powerful and they always have consequences.
  • Need to choose to grant favor with our words or to love someone through our words.
  • Spend time reading the ten scriptures (below) to help you.

Here are three warnings I have read in the past that really helped me:
  • Don’t speak too much.
  • Don’t speak too soon.
  • Don’t speak without first listening and then give the advice. Or Don’t speak at all.(Karen Ehman; 2015)

For those of us who are spiritual, here are ten verses to help with watching our words
  • Though you probe my heart though you examine me at night and test me, you will find that I have planned no evil; my mouth has not transgressed. Psalm 17:3
  • Before a word is on my tongue, you, Lord, know it completely. Psalm 139:4
  • Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. Ephesians 4:29
  • Set a guard over my mouth, Lord; Keep watch over the door of my lips. Psalm 141:3
  • Do not let your mouth lead you into sin. Ecclesiastes 5:6
  • Let your conversations be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone. Colossians 4:6
  • May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer. Psalm 19:14
  • Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless. James 1:26
  • Whoever would love life and see good days must keep their tongue from evil and their lips from deceitful speech. 1 Peter 3:10
  • Words from the mouth of the wise are gracious, but fools are consumed by their own lips. Ecclesiastes 10:12

Overall, we need to remember that love covers all wrongs, but hatred stirs up conflict. Choose today to make a change in your life and to stop stirring up strife. Choose to speak life-giving words.

Do you often struggle with your tongue and often regret what comes out of your mouth?  You can change the way your tongues reacts to things that are said by reading that book (Keep it Shut) or by following the key steps above.

References:
Karen Ehman (2015). Keep it Shut. What to say, how to say it and when to say nothing at all. Zondervan publishing.

13 comments:

  1. one of the things i find that helps me is reading the Word every day - helps put in my mind (and on my tongue) the RIGHT things to say :D

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  2. I think we can all benefit from thinking before we speak. It's something I am always working on - trying to remember my filter, and that not everything I think needs to be said out loud.

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  3. I like the book, Keep it Shut. There is alot of good advice in the book. I am reading a book now called "just show Up" and it talks about a circle of friends and how you have to share with the person in the outer circle. So in your case, you would share with a friend or someone about your husband's kids (not him) - just like you said.

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  4. I love those 3 questions; is it kind, true, necessary.:) I definitely use those often before I speak or type. :)

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  5. I have been hearing *great* things about "Keep it Shut." I may have to add it to my list.

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  6. oh yes this is an area where I am weak often talking before thinking which leads to many problems

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  7. Thinking before speak strategy always beneficial for anyone!! Thanks for sharing wonderful tips!!

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  8. too often people do a bunch of talking but haven't done any listening. Important to remember communicating involves listening as much as speaking.

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  9. Less talk less mistake. Think before you speak. This is my mantra in life and I guess it totally relates with your post too!

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  10. On my gosh, this is a great blog post. What good advise. Being a parent is so hard, being a step parent can be even harder.

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  11. Wow great post thank you for sharing.

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  12. This is a wonderful post and so true. Matt always tells me not to argue with crazy just to keep my mouth shut and walk away. It is a battle because I like to argue.

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  13. I pinned this for future reference. This is something i want our whole family to work on. I like your 3 questions too!

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