Friday, November 4, 2011

Ya' Know What My Kid Just Did?!?!

We begin a story like this because the event was so frustrating,
if we can't share and laugh, we'll cry.
  OK, maybe we cried first, then chose to laugh later.

I heard about a Miss Princess who used her mom's
new lipstick to write her name on the newly painted wall.

A friend's precious little Man Cub  flushed his
Daddy's new watch down the toilet.

 My little sisters, Angie and Laurie,
held our calico cat down and wrote
"kitty" on her white belly with a big, blue Sharpie permanent marker.
As if we older people in the family might confuse
Stupid, our cat's name, with the neighbor's dog, Sam.

Now, these are funny, treasured family memories.

But, not every circumstance in our children's life should be repeated.

Yesterday, we began the series on gossip and defined it as
"idle talk or rumor,
especially about the personal or private affairs of others."

The King James uses the word "talebearer", which actually has a fascinating definition.
It combines the word "walk" with the word "slander."
We walk with slander when we gossip.

Those of you with younger kids can't fathom anything you say harming your kids.
Who cares if they suck their thumbs or have more than one bm in a day?

I believe when parents sin against their children with their tongues,
it's primarily unintentional.
But, careless words can harm as much as intentional words.

When sharing one of those amazing stories about your kids,
ask yourself these questions:

Am I betraying a confidence?
Kids tell us things from their hearts meant only for
our ears and our hearts only.
They're secrets that need to be kept.
How you react when entrusted with their little secrets
will help determine if they tell you their bigger secrets.
It's training ground for you.

You might think it's cute that your six year old has a crush
on a boy in her class.  But, if you repeat this too often,
she might not want to tell you about her crush when she's 16.

Could this give them an unfair label?
If people know your child is going through a lying stage,
they might always view that child as a liar.
Sad to say, some Christians can't forgive and forget.
If there's a need to be truthful about your child's struggle,
don't hide it.  Your Sunday School teacher may eventually figure it out.
But, don't broadcast it more than necessary.
(We don't want them telling all their friends how much we yell,
do we?
It's not pretending sin doesn't happen,
it's loving our kids and giving them respect while they're overcoming a sin.)

Could what I share embarrass them later?
If your son is 10 or 11 and is a bed wetter, you'll need sympathy,
some advice, and someone to promise you he will outgrow it...eventually.
But, your son doesn't need a lot of people knowing his problem.
In a few short years, he'll be a teenager and will have enough issues.
He doesn't need to hear a well-meaning woman walk up to you a year
 or so later and say in public, "So, is _____ still wetting the bed?" 

Could sharing their rebellion
turn them farther from the Lord?
Some struggles our kids go through that don't need to be public knowledge.
It's their story, and when they're ready to tell it, they will.

I was reading a book by a well-known Christian and she revealed
how she discovered her son was a homosexual.
I was devastated for him.
He was estranged from his family and his faith,
and his mother published his deepest, darkest secret for the whole world to know.
I didn't think it would help bring him back to the Lord,
but push him farther away.

When our kids were young, Scott and I gleaned encouraging and spiritual advice
about parenting from many wonderful families. 
However, when their kids became teenagers,
there was a roadblock on that information highway.
Initially, we thought it was because of shame over their kids' behavior.
We were wrong.
Out of love and respect, these parents were guarding their kids from
undue criticism and judgement for their struggling kids.
Christians can sometimes remember sins long after the Lord
has made them as far as the east is from the west.
They didn't want them to be remembered the rest of their lives as
"the kid who did _________________."

Will my vocalized disappointment with their
decisions mar their testimony?
Let's face it, no matter how much we love and respect our parents,
none of us are living our lives and our faith exactly as they did.
We need to give our older kids the same respect.
If they aren't making the decisions we would like them to,
leave it with the Lord. 
Always pray, give advice when asked, and allow the Lord to complete the work.
Let them grow up.
Share their victories, their good decisions, their accomplishements.
Let people see them through your eyes of praise.

If there's nothing to praise and you are dealing with a prodigal,
then just praise the Lord.
His promises will come true in that child.

I understand completely parents need support.
My girlfriend, Kirsti, has a similar sign in her home.
If you don't think this is funny, you don't have teenagers yet.
Just sayin'.    :)
 I can tell this dear sister anything and everything about my kids.
She'll let me cry.
She'll tell me the truth if I'm not loving or forgiving.
She'll give me promises from the Lord's Word.
She'll always love  my children and me,
no matter what I tell her.
That's why I can tell her.
I'm not telling you to hide parenting problems.
I'm urging caution in what you share and who you tell.
Can you trust the person?
Will she repeat what you are saying?
Will she  give you Biblical advice?
Will she pray for you and with you?
Will she still love your child?

It's just time for parents to take the advice we give our kids,

"O be careful little lips what you say..."

Remember, our tongue is a rudder,
steering the family ship.

We need to aim this craft for the shores of Heaven.


  1. Excellent advice, that I wish I had better followed.

  2. wise, so wise! Thank you for these reminders.

  3. That makes a lot of sense ... thank you.

  4. Very good advice. You gave me some food for thought today.

  5. Failing to follow this advice can severely damage the foundation of trust between your child and you for a long, long time. Such is my experience.

  6. I am too tired to do anything but lay on the sofa and be blessed by your blog!! This whole article is too true!! There were a couple lines that I found to be a huge encouragement.

  7. Thanks again for sharing your pearls of wisdom. I need to be reminded of this all the time. I let something out of my mouth the other day to my son and after 5 min the Holy Spirit convicted me deeply to apologise. It is very serious! xxx

  8. Thanks, Mindy. That was so good. May the Lord help us to be an example to our children in this area of life!

  9. Oh wow. I totally forgot about the cat thing. What a hoot. And absolutely wonderful advice following a humorous memory!


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