I don’t know if you’ve had to make the weighty decision about your children’s schooling yet, but we prayed and talked about it for a long time, finally deciding public school was a good decision for our family. For the most part, I've rarely second-guessed our decision, except when I think about the cussing they have endured. Sometimes I wonder if we should have chosen a different schooling option, just to protect their ears.
We don’t cuss in our house, and our friends don’t cuss. Our kids learned what good communication sounded like before they ever hit school.
Though we didn't worry about our kids cursing, there were some common phrases in our culture that we decided were not going to be acceptable in our home.
Three Phrases We Outlaw in Conversation:
1. “Shut up.” We don’t even allow this to be said jokingly at our house. Have you ever noticed this expression never sounds very kind, even when you add a tone of humor to it?
2. “This sucks.” I don’t allow this word, because I know God wants us to live with a thankful heart toward Him. It’s not possible to speak thankful words and this complaining expression at the same time.
3. “I’m gonna kill you.” This is violent, and even adding a tone of humor to it doesn’t remove how ugly it is.
It’s not enough, though, simply to ban certain words. As parents, we need to teach a high quality of communication in place of what could be crude, cruel, or grumbling.
Paul writes a note to some of the early followers of Christ and gives them this instruction:
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 NIV)
We look at how evil the world is becoming and wonder what we can do to change it. I believe a powerful influence can come from homes where kids are taught to speak with thankful hearts and meaningful, beneficial words.
What if we raise kids who not only refrain from cussing but who actively look for ways to speak encouragement and truth?
We can change the world –one mouth at a time.