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Saturday, July 5, 2008

I think my paradigm just fell off its axial..

My son uttered his first real curse word today. It was a proud parenting moment, let me tell you right now. Ya take them to church, ya model correct behavior, ya train them up and this is the thanks you get?

But seriously. He did. It was shocking to say the least, especially coming from the mouth of my sweet little boy who crawled up into my lap just last night and murmured sleepily to me that I was the best mama ever in the history of the universe. So how come I feel like I'm failing my kids miserably? First my three year old, and now my son.

His daddy did a very thorough job of explaining why we don't use that word or any form of it in our family (hence, he lectured a bit) and asked my son where he heard it. I must admit that I had a knee-jerk reaction(sort of like when you drive by a police officer and you slow down even when you're not speeding)and had to bite my lip to keep from saying anything, because for just a split second I had the ridiculous notion he'd heard it from me. But then I remembered that I don't cuss, y'all. I don't. Except for that one word, but I've almost stopped saying that altogether.

I realize this is just a small blip on the radar in the grand scheme of things, and I do believe he has learned his lesson as far as cursing goes. We are fairly proactive when it comes to many issues like this in our home, as we try to discuss them with our children before they ever come up. However, it has effectively served as a very potent reminder for me that as a parent, I have to be more aware of what my children are hearing and seeing.

As a Christian, I know that it's easy for me to become desensitized to the things of this world, but that's not always so for my kids. They are little sponges soaking up everything, the bad with the good - and wringing it out does no good. It's still in there.

Phillipians 4:8 says, "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things."

We shared that with the kids again this morning and then prayed that God would help us use our mouths as instruments of praise instead of destruction. When we finished praying, my son asked the question, "But how do I get it out of my head if it's already in there?" After explaining that Scripture is the only way to fill that void, I thought of a poem I once read that was written by Frank Outlaw and searched for it to share with him.

Watch your thoughts: They become your words.
Watch your words: They become your actions.
Watch your actions: They become your habits.
Watch your habits: They become your character.
Watch your character: It becomes your destiny.


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5 comments:

World's Greatest Mommy said...

Poor sweetie. My son's eyes were filling with tears one night a few months ago when we were doing our nightly scripture study. We were reading about the second coming and he was crying.

He said that he didn't want to be burned as stubble, but that he'd been repeating bad words at school that his friends said, and he wanted to repent.

We talked with him for a long time and came up with some ideas to keep from saying those things.

He's glad that it's summer, because it's easier to stay away from those boys and keep his thoughts and words clean.

A case for homeschooling...I'm telling ya.

Andrea said...

I have been there too. That poem is a great reminder, and we always try to take everything back to Scripture.

Mzzterry said...

I just want to say I think you & your husband are doing a good job with parenting. Talking it over and basing it on The Word is always the right answer. Keep those lines of communication OPEN, it really helps when they hit the teen years!

Flea said...

A great little poem. My kids only use the cuss words they hear family use, sadly enough. Which means they use fart and crap. For teenagers, I'm pretty happy with that.

There have been times in the past when I've caught my daughter very vehemently saying a couple of different cuss words and acting innocent about it. When I pressed in, I found that she'd hear them via TV and didn't know what they meant. In fact, every time I've explained what the words meant, the kids have been horrified. Slows 'em down.

Summer said...

Great poem and reminder for us all.