A gentle answer turns away anger, but a harsh word stirs up wrath. Proverbs 15:1
When it comes to parenting, the stress of so much responsibility can make it hard to maintain a sense of control. Whether it’s the kids, the house, work, marriage and other duties that pull at us, it’s tempting to take it all out on the kids with a harsh word.
Our wisdom byte for today is that even in the midst of all the hustle and bustle of life, we can be intentional at responding to our kids with gentleness. There are consequences if we don’t.
If we choose to allow our stress to become a fountain of fury, we are tempted to take it out on the kids. The consequences of careless callousness are devastating.
A harsh word…
- Provokes rebellion.
- Breaks the spirit.
- Cultivates foolishness.
- Tears down relationship.
Those are pretty grave outcomes of a harsh word spoken. And if a child is under that day in and day out, they become just like this. They will speak this way to others. They learn how to be by the model in front of them.
On the other hand, when we choose to slow down, think first and then respond, we gain perspective. Yes, it may very well be your kids who are creating your stress, but it is highly unlikely that all your stress results from them alone.
You may be feeling overwhelmed with life, and the easy target to release the stress upon are your kids. When we gain perspective, we can deal with the situation we are facing as it is, not as it feels. The many great rewards a parent receives from being temperate is long-lasting; they reap beyond the child rearing years of their kids.
A gentle answer:
- Chooses words wisely.
- Speaks what is edifying.
- Intends to bring healing.
- Instructs with a purpose.
Those are just a few of the many blessings of a gentle answer. They each are worth taking a deep breath, praying to God for clarity on the situation; then moving forward in gentleness.
Your children will emulate what they experience. If they experience a harsh word, they will be harsh. If they experience a gentle word, they will be gentle. As parents, we do reap what we sow.
Sow well and you will reap well.