The revelation: our kids are TOTALLY people!!
I know, it sounds foreign, and as much as my father-in-law is convinced kids are plastic (family joke), I have discovered they are, indeed, flesh and blood people.
I know you're confused right now. As always, I have a story...
I have been very upset with a couple of adults lately at church because it got back to my child that they were speaking ill of her.
She used to love going to church and now, she still enjoys the Word, but heaviness hangs over her when she's there. She feels whispers around her, probably even when none exist...because you know, that's what gossip does.
How dare they!! Despite what they may think, our children are people, too, and talking about them is gossip just as much as speaking about an adult is. They're hurting my child!
And then, the Holy Spirit swooped in with conviction for me...as He often does.
How often have I spoken ill about my children to other people? How often, when someone is sharing about their teenage daughter woes, have I (in an attempt to sympathize) said, "I don't really have those problems with Des, but man are we scared of when Emily gets there!" and many other things about all of my kids.
Ya know what? That's not nice.
I learned before Josiah and I were even married that I should cover him in my speech (Time Warp Wife), but unfortunately, I didn't learn the lesson about my kids...until now.
Should we revisit what the Bible says about gossip?
Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths,
but only such as is good for building up,as fits the occasion,
that it may give grace to those who hear.
Whoever slanders his neighbor secretly I will destroy.
Whoever has a haughty look and an arrogant heart I will not endure.
If anyone thinks he is religious
and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart,
this person's religion is worthless.
...and MANY more. Ouch.
Now, please don't misunderstand me. I know sometimes we need parenting advice; we need prayer for this journey. However, if that's the case, then we should following the same rules for that as we would for getting advice and prayer for our marriages - seeking wise Christian counsel in confidence, always being aware that we should still speak respectfully, even in times of trouble.
As a general rule - when seeking advice concerning anything that concerns another person, follow exactly the same guidelines you would want them to follow were they seeking advice about you.
What? You wouldn't want them talking to 20 different people to ask for advice and "get prayer" about you? You wouldn't want them to talk to people who wouldn't protect your relationship and may jump on the "ill-speaking" bandwagon?
Huh - interesting.
It's the golden rule, folks. "Do to others as you would have them do to you" Luke 6:31.
And, as it turns out, this doesn't just apply to grown-ups or people you haven't birthed.
I guess I have some apologies to make. How about you?
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