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Taming the Tongue

Taming the Tongue

Sometimes I just can’t control my tongue.

It was not a good day. For whatever reason, we were just off. I was irritable and impatient. I found myself correcting every little infraction, every childish noise. The more I corrected, the more frustrated I became. And the more my kids acted up.

After snapping at one of my children, I realized I needed help. This downward spiral was not going to improve without divine intervention.

“Lord, please help me control my tongue!”

As I whispered the prayer, the following verse came to mind: “…What you say flows from what is in your heart” (Luke 6:45b, NLT).

My shoulders slumped. If restraining my tongue is a difficult job, changing my heart is impossible. I’ve tried unsuccessfully to do it for many years.

Discouragement gave way to hope, however, as I remembered God is more than able to do just that. His power is infinitely greater than my sin. In love, He pointed out the root of my tongue troubles, not to condemn me, but to show the deeper level on which He wants to work (see Romans 8:1 and 1 John 1:9).

“Lord, change my heart, so love and grace can flow out of me.” My prayer had changed, just as my heart was changing.

Are you struggling to control your tongue today, moms and dads? Be encouraged. God is willing and able to change the heart out of which your mouth speaks. Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Recognize the root

Ask God to show you the root of your struggle. I’ve realized I become most irritable when I feel out of control – like when the house is a mess and company is coming over and I can’t keep my kids focused on their chores. Or when I just want the day to run smoothly so I’m not inconvenienced or made uncomfortable.

  • Pray for heart change

God wants to deal with sin, not merely on the behavior level, but at its core. Once we realize why our tongues are out of control, we can pray for heart change in those specific areas. We’re also more equipped to recognize these heart issues early on, before our tongues take control.

Last week, I became increasingly frustrated during a family chore time. God reminded me that I didn’t have to control the situation, that if my friends arrived before the house was clean, it was okay. As I surrendered to His control, my heart calmed down and my tongue stayed in check.

  • See the good

As parents, it’s easy to focus on things in our kids’ lives which need correction. While correction is essential, our children also need abundant affirmation and praise. They need us to notice their effort, to applaud them for making the hard choice to do right, to affirm the work of God we see in their lives. They need to know we are for them. That we love them and enjoy them and would choose them out of all the kids in the world. God can help us see the good He wants us to affirm in our kids – we just have to ask Him.

The tongue may be impossible to tame, but our God is able to do the impossible. As we allow Him to change our hearts, we’ll notice a drastic change in our tongues, as well as in our parenting.

By: Meredith Mills is a wife and mother to three inquisitive, adventurous, fun-loving kids. She loves finding Jesus in the everyday and is passionate about helping others experience Him, too. She blogs about living from a heart at rest at www.DazzledByTheSon.com. Connect with her on Facebook at Dazzled By The Son and on Instagram and Twitter @DazzledByTheSon.

Join us at www.just18summers.com for our parenting blog each Monday-Friday and for info about the Just 18 Summers novel.

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