Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Right Word

The ladies in our church organize various gatherings each year and invite women from all over to join us. Here I am pictured with my sister and two friends who drove some distance to be with us. Pictured from left: Gabe, my sister Elizabeth, myself and Suzy.

I am beyond thankful to fellowship with an amazing group of women each week. These ladies set the bar so high as they live their faith in love and service.

So often their examples inspire discussion in our home and provide a lovely model for my daughters. They are sincere women who do not seek to call attention to themselves, but simply serve where God has placed them.

Truthfully, I am honored just to be in their number. And so, I felt especially honored to be asked to join with the speakers at a recent Women's brunch and have the opportunity to share my heart. The topic I was asked to speak on: The Right Word.


I wanted to share these thoughts on speaking the right word in our homes with you as well. What I am sharing here is just a humble recap of what the Lord has taught me about speaking the right words-- because I needed to be taught by Him.

We had seventy women and young ladies in attendance. As I shared it was with laughter and quite a few tears, which is often the case when women gather and share the deep life changing work of God in our lives. May God be praised forever!

With love and joy!

Good afternoon ladies. I feel so privileged to speak to you today. Most of you know me, but for those who may not, my name is Rebecca. By God's grace, I've been married to my husband, Tom for nineteen years and we have five girls from the ages of 2 to 13.

While I can truthfully say that today our home is one of blessing and peace, it is nothing short of a miracle that I am standing before you today speaking on the topic of using the right words in our homes. You see, speaking the right word has not always been a strong point for me.

I grew up in a home with a lot of fighting. My father, who decades later came to saving faith was, during my formative years an alcoholic. As his drinking increased, so did the fighting between he and my mom. He began to keep poor company, miss work and eventually have trouble with the police. It was a stressful time.

People process trial in different ways. I became very self reliant and thought I needed to fight to get my way in life. I was angry and stumbled my way through life with little guidance or interest.

At 17, I met the boy who would be my future husband. Tom and I began dating and on June 16th, 1991-- three years after he first asked for my phone number-- we were married. I know that it may sound odd, but I wasn't the kind of girl who dreamed of her wedding day or imagined living happily ever after. Sadly, I had no such ideal in mind. Truth be told, I was afraid to be vulnerable and instead I found myself looking for ways to be in control.

Proverbs 14:1 says: "A wise woman builds her house, but a foolish woman tears it down with her own hands." That is what I was doing.

I was blind to the reality that I was losing far more than I was gaining in my effort to get my way. While I thought I was being strong and in control, I really lacked self control. I was a slave to sin and could not even rule my own spirit. And I didn't know it then, but there were times when Tom wanted to leave me.

Well, God knew. And in the fullness of time, when it would bring Him the most glory and for His purpose, He intervened in our lives. He drew both of us to Himself. He made us new in Christ and began to wash our minds with His truth.

Today I want to share some of the things the Lord has shown me over the years about speaking the right word in my home. Proverbs 12:20: says "There is joy for those who promote peace." It is my prayer that our homes would shine with this kind of joy and peace.

Women sharing hearts and hands.


One of the first things the Lord showed me once we become new creatures in Christ, was that I can have power over my words.

Romans 6:22 says: But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap is holiness, and the result is eternal life.

And Jesus told the Jews in John 8:32: You will know the truth and the truth will set you free.

Before coming to faith in Christ we are slaves to sin. Like soldiers in an army we obey the spirit of this world. The Word says when we were unbelievers we stumbled and didn't even know what caused it. But once we become new creatures in Christ we are like a soldier released from duty. We may have served the enemy commander for many years, marched in rank with his troops, and when when we see our old commander coming our way, our first reaction may be to salute him. But we are no longer in that army. We are servants to a new leader who is Christ Jesus. And we are freed to obey Him.

Romans 6:17-18: But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves of sin... you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.

Ephesians 4:22-24 says: Put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires... and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.

Those verses remind me of when I first came to faith. What a year of change. Our friends and family weren't quite sure what to do with us. We couldn't help but tell others about the Lord and how He made a way of salvation for us. We were so excited and the changes God was making were undeniable.

At one point I remember my step father accused us of being "put ons." Those were his words. At first I was kind of hurt and unhappy by the idea of being called a "put on." I mean, what kind of thing is that to say? But then the Lord showed me those verses in Ephesians and encouraged me that I was doing just what he wanted me to. I was a put on. It was a choice to put on the new man and for the first time, I had the ability to chose it.

Thankfully, my step father has since come to faith in Christ and he too is a "put on." He has has changed so much and loves to share what God has done in his heart.

You know, GOD has given us liberty to change and to rule our own spirits. Ladies, there is hope in that. We are not stuck. We may need to create new habits, but because of the rebirth in our hearts, we have the power to do it.

The lovely Chamberlain ladies served us by providing a wonderful brunch.


GOD IS purposeful. I want to take a minute to look at some verses that talk about our words and see what God says about the purpose of our speech. If you are like me, you may begin to feel a little queasy as I read these, because we are keenly aware of our own weaknesses. James says: If anyone does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man. We are not perfect, but GOD has given us a standard. And as we depend on the Holy Spirit, we can grow in self control over our words.

1. Ephesians 4:29- Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, that it may give grace to those who hear. What are our words supposed to accomplish in this verse? They are for edification or encouragement; they are specific to the need of the moment and they are to give grace to those who hear them.

2. Proverbs 10:11- The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life, but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence. Our words are supposed to be like a fountain of life, they are not be violent or just barely concealing hatred. They are not to stab or slander, but they are to speak words of life.

3. 1 Thessalonians 4:18- Therefore comfort one another with these words. Paul is writing to remind believers to comfort one another with the truth of Scripture in difficult times- our words are to bring comfort to other believers. We do not need to seek out the wisdom of this world, but we are to share the truth of God's Word.

4. Hebrews 3:13- But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called "Today," lest any one of you be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. We don't often think of our words being so powerful, but we are told that as we encourage our brothers and sisters day by day we are keeping their hearts from being hardened by sin's deceitfulness. Those words "sin's deceitfulness" are interesting, aren't they? They are very similar to the words in Ephesians we just read that talks about the old self being corrupted by "deceitful desires." Sin- and sinful desires- are deceitful. They lie and tell us they will satisfy. But the truth is, only obedience to Christ and esteeming others more highly than ourselves truly satisfies.

5. 1 Thessalonians 5:14: We urge you, brothers, warn those who are idle, encourage the timid, help the weak, be patient with everyone. Our words have a specific purpose, based on the circumstances God brings to our path. Using our words correctly is a skill. In fact, the Hebrew word "mouth" is "peh" which can be translated edge. Our mouths can be like knives-- bringing healing, like in the hand of a skillful surgeon or destruction like in the hand of a criminal. Of course we must remember that even though the skillful surgeon brings healing, he first brings pain. When we warn the idle or encourage the timid we may first cause a bit of pain to our friend, spouse, or child, but if done in love, those momentary painful words will bring healing and growth. Faithful are the wounds of a friend.

6. 1 Peter 3:15- But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. Do this with gentleness and respect. With our words we give an answer for our faith in Christ, our hope. We are to share the gospel and are witness of the truth with gentleness and respect.

We are tempted to think these verses are God's helpful tips for our words, but if you look at their wording of these verses, you will see they are GOD's commands. The Lord says that if we love Him we will obey His commands. The purpose of our words is to edify, to speak life and truth, to remind others of God's Word in hard times, and to keep the hearts around us soft. These are right words.

Wendy did a wonderful job leading our time together.


In the spirit of being purposeful, I have begun to do a special evening Bible study with our older girls. We are studying Loving God with all our Minds by Elizabeth George and we are loving it. In our first lesson we were looking up verses related to how God's Word helps us to shape our thoughts and in our study Elizabeth George mentioned that God's Word serves to "curb" our thoughts to keep them on the right path.

That instantly brought bumper bowling to mind. Have you done that with your kids? You take them to the bowling alley and, if they are little, you can get these inflatable bumpers that go in the gutters, right? That way, no matter how unskilled they are at throwing that ball, it can bounce back and forth but it will never end up in the gutter. They always hit at least one pin.

Well, God wants things to go well for us and so, He's given us Philippians 4:8-9 as our inflatable bumpers: Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable- if anything is excellent or praiseworthy- think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me- put into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

So, why do I bring up meditation when we are talking about using the right words? Well, for a couple of reasons.

First, it dawned on me recently that if something is not supposed to be in someone else's brain as their meditation, maybe it shouldn't come out of my mouth. So often we think others are responsible for their own thought life and we see our words as being completely separate from that. But what we say goes directly in someone else's brain for their meditation. As we speak, we are helping to create the meditation of someone else. If I want to build up and do not want to stumble those around me, I need to be careful in what I say.

This is especially true as we speak into the lives of our husbands and closest friends. So often, as we speak behind closed doors, we think are free to speak whatever we want to, but if we desire the best for our friends and family, and want them to have a right meditation before the Lord, we should be on our guard to speak the types of things listed in Philippians 4:8-9. Let us not cause the ones we love the most to stumble.

If you haven't studied Philippians 4:8-9 in a while, I would encourage you to write them down point by point and really contemplate each one. For example, as we are told what things the believer is to meditate on, we read:

Whatever things are true. Take time to think about and write out what true means. Before we dwell on a thought or speak on a subject are we asking ourselves- are these words true? Are they reliable and Scriptural? Are they even real?

I found a study conducted on worry and anxiety recently in which researchers found that 40% of the things people worry about are things that have never happened, 30% are things that cannot be changed by worry, 12% are needless worries about health, 10% are petty, miscellaneous worries, and only 8% were real, legitimate worries. In other word, almost 100% of the things people worry about are not true, are not real and cannot be helped by worry.

This brings up the other reason I bring up our meditation. I would say that 99.99% of the time I blow it in my speech, it is because my meditation is poor. If I begin to meditate on how I deserve better, rather that how I can esteem others, I will blow it. Or if I begin to get myself all wound up about how someone else sees me rather than on how God sees me, I will blow it. When we disobey this command and meditate on things that are untrue it is far more likely that our peace will disappear and we will say something we will later regret.

2 Corinthians 10:4-5 says: For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds; casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to obedience of Christ.

As we focus on what is true or real, and cast down imaginations, we will enjoy the peace God intends and our mouths will reflect those thoughts.

Whatever things are noble. The next command is to meditate on whatever is noble. Greek term means "worthy of respect." Do we meditate on what is worthy of awe? Are we memorizing Scripture? That's a great way to meditate on what is noble. The word noble also brings thoughts of royalty to mind. As children of the King, do our words reflect nobility? Is what I am about to say demonstrating high moral character and ideals? Is it fitting a person of my rank? Just as an ambassador does not speak on his own accord and should not involve himself in petty disputes, we are to be careful to exhibit excellence in our speech.

You get the idea. Each part of Philippians 4:8 is packed with depth to explore.

We think many thoughts each day, so this takes practice! Paul continues in this passage to say, "These things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these things put into practice, and the God of peace will be with you."

As we use Philippians 4:8-9 to guard our thoughts, like those inflatable bumpers at the bowling alley, they may bounce around but they will never take us into the gutter.

I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except by Me.


Okay this next point has been a gem to me. The Lord began to show me from Scripture that I have an enemy, but it is usually not those around me. Do you find it is easy to become adversarial when you meet challenges in your home? It's almost a knee jerk reaction, right? The big things in life we see as trials, but when we encounter daily interactions, where our ideas clash with someone else's or when someone is only looking out for their own interests-- well, it is tempting to see who ever is opposing us as the enemy and enter into battle. Peter tells us we must be on the alert.

1 Peter 5:8 says: Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.

We have a real enemy, but it is usually not those around us. God warned Cain that sin was crouching at the door waiting for him. If we forget or are unaware of who our real enemy is in times of conflict, or if we allow those who speak into our lives to forget it, then we are clearly giving our enemy an advantage.

I recently studied the Civil War with our girls and it is said at first, the Confederate Army did not have set uniforms. Each area just came up with their own color and some showed up to battle in the same color outfit as the enemy. Can you imagine the confusion that likely caused? Let's not be confused by those around us. They are likely not the enemy- even if they look like it at the moment.

Ephesians 6:12 says: Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

How would your response to those around you change if you could remember in times of conflict that our enemy is not flesh and blood?

1. How about when your child disobeys you or is arguing with a sibling? How could truth of knowing who your enemy is, cause you to respond in a God honoring way?

If you are like me, when you hear arguing you instantly think you know what is happening on the other side of the house. Who needs a trial, right? You know exactly what happened and who started it. But that is not Philippians 4:8-9. When I do that I am always headed for trouble. One of the points in those verses is to meditate on whatever is right. When I start heading towards a conflict, making assumptions, I am rarely ever right. And I always regret it.

But when I keep this in mind: that I have an enemy, but it is not those around me. I am far more likely to go with a spirit of helping wounded soldier rather than siding with the Accuser of the brethren. I can take those kiddos and wrap my arms around them and remind them that they have an enemy, but it is not their sister and it is not me. When I go to my children with that spirit, we are far more likely to go the Lord in prayer, truly confess our sin and ask for His help in our lives. Proverbs 15:1 says: A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. This is certainly the case.

2. Maybe you have a friend or a family member that is insensitive to your feelings, or always assumes the worst. Or maybe someone has come to you with a complaint about that type of person. How could knowing that we have an enemy, but that it is not the person in question, cause you to respond in a God honoring way?

3. Let's up the anti. What if that person is your spouse. And what if he decides that your family is going to something one way and you think it should be done another way? Or what if you don't think he's doing what he should in some area. Are you tempted to argue or withdraw and see him as the enemy? Or do you respond gently? That does not mean that we cannot give our opinions, but when a final decision has been made, do we take our concerns to the Lord or do we fight?

I love the verses in 1 Peter 3. In verse 3 we are told not to make our beauty merely outward, but to cultivate the beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit which is very precious in the sight of God. We are told that we are just like the holy women of old who trust GOD and adorned themselves with submission to their own husbands, as Sarah obeyed Abraham. We are daughters of Sarah if we do good and are not afraid with any terror.

In this context Peter's exhortation is to the Christian woman who is married to an unbeliever. That could be a reason to fear. And yet, we are told not to fear or be terrified. How many of us are like that study on fear and anxiety and spend countless hours worrying about things that have never happened?

Our husband is not the enemy. God is on the throne. He controls the heart of the king and he certainly controls the hearts of our husbands. What a great resting place for our hearts that tend to fear.

Paul exhorts us more than once in the book of Philippians (1:27 and 2:2) to choose to be of the same mind and to strive together for the gospel, rather than against one another.

And, as you know, in 1 Corinthians 13, the Lord tells us what love is. And we find the mind blowing idea that it is not about feelings at all:

"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs... There are no feelings in those verses. Those are actions that as believers, we have the power to do.

Dear ladies, I know we live in a culture that says we need to "keep it real" in order to be hearable, but I am convinced that we serve a God who says we need to keep it edifying.

To be useful, we need to ask the Lord to help us to put a guard over our mouths and see those around us as being on our team. And I would encourage you to remember that you have an enemy, but it is not one another.

My dear friend Dana did a fantastic job speaking on Shining the Joy of Christ into our Homes.


I want to close today with a story that demonstrates the power of words. Sharon Jaynes has said, in her book The Power of a Woman's Words, that our words are the mirror in which people see themselves.

As you think about the words you speak, what kind of mirror would you say you are providing for your husband, your children, siblings and friends? Are you helping them to see their God given talents, they ways in which the Lord has grown them and the way God is caring for them each day?

Proverbs 3:7 says: "Do not withhold good from those who deserve it, when it is in your power to act."

We have the power to help others see themselves the way God sees them, to build up and to edify. Do not withhold a good word from those around you.

He was in the first third-grade class I taught at Saint Mary's School in Morris, Minnesota. All thirty-four of my students were dear to me, but Mark Eklund was one in a million. Very neat in appearance, he had that happy-to-be-alive attitude that made even his occasional mischievousness delightful.

Mark also talked incessantly. I had to remind him again and again that talking without permission was not acceptable. What impressed me so much was his sincere response every time I had to correct him for misbehaving. "Thank you for correcting me Sister!" I didn't know what to make of it at first, but before long I became accustomed to hearing it several times a day.

One morning my patience was growing thin when Mark talked once too often, and then I made the novice-teacher's mistake. I looked at Mark and said, 'If you say one more word, I am going to tape your mouth shut!'

It wasn't ten seconds later when Chuck blurted out, 'Mark is talking again.' I hadn't asked any of the students to help me watch Mark, but since I had stated the punishment in front of the class, I had to act on it.

I remember the scene as if it had occurred this morning. I walked to my desk, very deliberately opened the drawer, and took out a roll of masking tape. Without saying a word, I proceeded to Mark's desk, tore off two pieces of tape and made a big X with them over his mouth. I then returned to the front of the room.

As I glanced at Mark to see how he was doing, he winked at me. That did it! I started laughing. The class cheered as I walked back to Mark's desk, removed the tape, and shrugged my shoulders. His first words were, "Thank you for correcting me Sister."

At the end of the year I was asked to teach Junior High math. The years flew by, and before I knew it Mark was in my classroom again. He was more handsome than ever and just as polite. Since he had to listen carefully to my instruction in the new math, he did not talk as much in ninth grade as he did in the third.

One Friday things just didn't feel right. We had worked hard on a new concept all week, and I sensed that the students were growing frustrated with themselves and edgy with one another. I had to stop this crankiness before it got out of hand. So I asked them to list the names of the other students in the room on two sheets of paper, leaving a space between each name. Then I told them to think of the nicest thing they could say about each of their classmates and write it down.

It took the remainder of the class period to finish the assignment, and as the students left the room, each one handed me the papers. Charlie smiled. And Mark said, "Thank you for teaching me Sister. Have a good weekend."

That Saturday, I wrote down the name of each student on a separate sheet of paper, and I listed what everyone else had said about that individual. On Monday I gave each student his or her list. Before long, the entire class was smiling, "Really?" I heard whispered. "I never knew that meant anything to anyone!" "I didn't know others liked me so much!"

No one ever mentioned those papers in class again. I never knew if they discussed them after class or with their parents, but it didn't matter. The exercise had accomplished its purpose. The students were happy with themselves and with one another again.

That group of students moved on. Several years later, after I returned from vacation, my parents picked me up at the airport. As we were driving home, Mother asked the usual questions about the trip, the weather, my experiences in general. There was a slight lull in the conversation. Mother gave Dad a sideways glance and simply said, "Dad?" My father cleared his throat as he usually did before something important. "The Ecklunds called last night," he began.

"Really?" I said. "I haven't heard from them in years. I wonder how Mark is."

Dad responded quietly. "Mark was killed in Vietnam," he said. The funeral is tomorrow, and his parents would like if you could attend." To this day I can still point to the exact spot on I-494 where Dad told me about Mark.

I had never seen a serviceman in a military coffin before. Mark looked so handsome, so mature. All I could think at that moment was Mark, I would give all the masking tape in the world if only you would talk to me.

The church was packed with Mark's friends. Chuck's sister sang "The Battle Hymn of the Republic." Why did it have to rain on the day of the funeral? It was difficult enough at the graveside. The pastor said the usual prayers, and the bugler played "Taps." One by one those who loved Mark took a last walk by the coffin.

I was the last one. As I stood there, one of the soldiers who had acted as pallbearer came up to me. "Were you Mark's math teacher?" he asked. I nodded as I continued to stare at the coffin. "Mark talked about you a lot," he said.

After the funeral, most of Mark's former classmates headed to Chuck's farmhouse for lunch. Mark's mother and father were there, obviously waiting for me. "We want to show you something," he said, taking a wallet out of his pocket. "They found this on Mark when he was killed. We thought you might recognize it."

Opening the billfold, he carefully removed two worn pieces of notebook paper that had obviously been taped, folded and refolded many times. I knew without looking, that the papers were the ones which I had listed all the good things each of Mark's classmates had said about him. "Thank you so much for doing that," Mark's mother said. "as you can see, Mark treasured it."

Mark's classmates started to gather around us. Charlie smiled rather sheepishly and said, "I still have my list. It's in the top drawer of my desk at home." Chuck's wife said, "Chuck asked me to put his in our wedding album." "I have mine too," Marilyn said. It is in my diary." Then Vicky, another classmate, reached into her pocketbook, took out her wallet, and showed her worn and frazzled list to the group. "I carry this with me at all times," Vicky said without batting an eyelash. "I think we all saved our lists."

Ladies, our words will echo in the hearts of those around us. They will likely remain long after we have left this earth. The things we say to encourage the good will likely be just like Mark's paper-- opened many times in dark hours.

Our words have the power to propel others to love and good deeds. They bring the gospel to the lost and keep the hearts of those around us from becoming hardened.

As you create a keepsake on the hearts of your family and friends, I pray that God would bless your efforts. I know that it is an effort to control our tongues and to speak the right words, but in Christ we have the power to do it.

May we chose to say with Paul, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

Thank you.


  1. What a great(and timely) post! I think(if you don't mind) I'll print this out so that I can peruse it more thoroughly.

    Of all the places I go on the web, your's is the one I walk away from most encouraged or most convicted. Usually both ;-)

    Lots of love,

  2. Love, love, loved your talk Saturday! I have been thinking it over all week. I love you and I love the way that everything you touch becomes even more beautiful.

    Love your little (read:younger) sister,

  3. Good stuff, Rebecca! Thanks for sharing, and thanks for living this in our relationship just this past summer.


  4. Oh Sommer- you are such a blessing. I would be honored. Sincere thank you and love my friend.

    Thank you my dear Lizzie. That brings me true joy. It's about time you listen to your big sister! I kid, I kid. ;) I love you to bits!

    Thank you dear Kendra. I love you. Thank you for letting me.

  5. I think I'll be printing up this post.

    It is quite timely given a horrible day a couple of days. A day I think I will regret for many years to come but a day I hope the Lord uses to draw the hearts of my children and me closer to each other's and one that we see His grace in.

    Thanks, Rebecca, I appreciate you.

  6. Oh dear MB- We ALL have had those days! Eeek. I can think of one right now with me in the staring role. Not pretty. Those are the kind that prompt us to ask the Lord to change us-- and He will.

    Know you are in my thoughts and my prayers even now. This is a spiritual battle sister. Let's lift one another up!

    I am comforted at times by something Terri Maxwell said about the Lord changing her and that her children could not even remember her unkind words from their childhood. God can certainly do that. And when they do remember, but see us fly to our Savior for forgiveness and express this is not God's desire for our home, well I believe He can make a deep impression in the soul with a humble woman like that. The kind of woman I have always seen in you.

    He will be glorified.

    I am thankful for you too!

    Love and hugs!

  7. Dear Rebecca,
    I have had your site bookmarked for eons but it was only recently that I figured out how to do the RSS feed to my inbox.

    The timing could not have been any better...of course, because that is how the Lord does these things.

    I am 43, the mother of 5 delightful children and married for 9 years. I have great children and for the most part they obey when asked, but there is still an element of harmony that is missing from our home.... I think that may be in part due to me...

    I am passionate about the Lord have been saved for 8 years now...I cannot seem to get enough of His word or Him period.

    I think though I have not relinquished myself to him entirely to let Him be in control and hence, I am trying to be the one in control and it comes through in my words....

    Too much of raising my voice, hollering...I have been seeking the Lord in this area for the last two months and He is using articles such as yours to help me get right with Him.

    I need Godly counsel from other women such as yourself and I am so thankful you have shared this article for the rest of us to peruse and seek the Lord for how it may impact us.

    I want the peace and harmony in my home, I do not want to raise my voice except when there is the exception... which I am thinking should be rare...

    Perhaps you can comment by email. If you go from hollering several times a week and you want to change that because you know it is right...when the children do not do what you have asked them...is it just a matter of making sure you discipline consistently? And keeping your patience so that you do not raise your voice. My children are 9 mo up to age 8...I think I still have time to turn things around and make our home even better..

    I know it needs to start with me though.

    Ok, enough of my rambling. Thank you so much for this post...I will be studying those scriptures.

    God Bless~~

  8. I wasn't sure if you caught it and maybe I am mis-understanding the text... the paragraph about Love...love is kind....you put love does envy and love does boast....I think you meant does not envy and does not boast?

    Blessings, Melissa

  9. Praising God for your comment Melissa and that the Lord is growing you! He is such a loving heavenly Father.

    To answer your question, I really think it helps if we have a good meditation each day. There are times I need to remind myself that God teaches us (James 1:20) that our wrath will NEVER produce godly righteousness. That verse helps me to remember that if I want my children to grow in righteousness, I am shooting myself in the foot if I get angry and yell. That won't help to get them there.

    I don't want to give the impression that I never blow it. But if we do, we must repent and confess that we were in sin as I am sure you do. : ) Demonstrating that God's way is best (His way being that we should express 1 Corinthians 13 love) keeps us all on the same page.

    Yes, consistent consequence does help (especially with our little ones), but I believe tying heart strings (building a loving relationship) is just as critical. We do need to help them to want to obey. We do not want to stumble them. Does that help at all?

    Thank you for pointing out my typing error. I will go fix that. : )

    Blessings to you!

  10. What a powerful collection of verses! I'm going to write these on my white board in the kitchen where I can see them often. Thank you for your encouragement and for sharing.


  11. Thank you so much for this beautiful reminder! This is something that I feel is a continual work in progress. I think that I will also be printing this out to keep on hand when I need another reminder! Thank you so much for sharing this, what a blessing this must of been for all the ladies who attended your churches gathering!

  12. Hello Rebecca and a blessed Monday and week to you. Thank you for your response that does indeed help. And yes, I do confess my sin to my children when they are directly involved and seek forgiveness, it does have a big impact modeling what the Lord instructs us to do.

    Perhaps you already have or may in the future share a post on tying heart strings and getting children to want to obey.

    Thank you again for your help.

  13. Thank you Catherine- what a sweet encouragement. And what a great way to make them your meditation. Love it!

    Thank you so much Anna. I really appreciate your sweet comment. This was a real labor of love. : )

    Hello Melissa- Thank you! Oh good. You are so dear. Yes, that is a good topic. I have learned so many sweet heart tying techniques from the Pearl's ministry (No Greater Joy.org- search tying heart strings). Have you ever read their books? There is much wisdom there. They are sometimes mis-read as being harsh, but I hear their desire to win the hearts of children loud and clear.

    In my own life, I often hear their words encouraging me to seek to do things I might not otherwise do. : )

    Blessings to you!

  14. Just checked in here and found your talk posted! This was such a wonderful and encouraging reminder, Rebecca. Praising the Lord that we have sisters in Christ to encourage us! Printing it as well...ironically, just this morning I hand-wrote, "The law of kindness is on her tongue..." and stuck it on the refrigerator where I could see it multiple times a day. :o)
    Love Your Friend,

  15. well, i certainly need to go back and read this more in depth, but what a wonderful post! I only wish I had seen it at the beginning of my boys two week break! ;) There a definitely some verses in your talk that are going to be posted around my house as friendly reminders! Thank you Rebecca! I consistently find such great encouragement from your posts! Merry Belated Christmas!

  16. Just the encouragement I needed today. I've been fighting the enemy for a day now as he assults my thoughts attempting to convince me that our homeschool program is inadequate. True, we aren't where I would like us to be due to set backs from my daughters accident. But, that is all God's timing, not mine.

    Thanks again for sharing and encouraging your sisters in Christ!


  17. Thank you so much sweet friends. This is SUCH a battle! Praying for you tonight!


  18. Thank you for the comment this morning on my blog :) I just saw your follow up comment about the pearls...I am familiar with them....I will need to go back and look through some of my books I have on them :).

    Have a blessed week!! and Happy New Year!

  19. Hi Rebecca,
    Ive been enjoying reading your blog, and the story of Mark just brought tears to my eyes, how touching. Ive been so anxious about taking my children out of school and having a total of 6 (ages2 - 9) at home with me that I cant seem to find a right word to say to any of them. I keep grouching and feel really bad.....(sigh), I get so down when Im like that, that I cant seem to pick myself up! But just hearing about a young child who showed no hard feelings, and could keep smiling - then I have to try harder.

    ..And what do you do AFTER you have blasted your girls for arguing, they keep bickering and the wisdom of dealing with it hasnt dawned on me yet.


  20. Hello Husna!

    Thanks so much for your note. I understand. It can be especially difficult when we are feeling under pressure.

    "For we all stumble in many things. If anyone does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle the whole body." ~James 3:2

    The Lord says:

    "Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly of heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light." ~Matthew 11:28-30


    "He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might He increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall. But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall ran and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint." Isaiah 40:29-31

    You asked what I do when I blow it? I repent. I explain how God wants me to talk and I apologize for my failings.

    In areas they need growth, I share what I am seeing and explain how God wants them to behave. I may have them memorize Scripture related to their struggle. I make them apologize and seek to make it more time consuming to disobey than to obey.

    Have you ever read Tedd Trips book, Shepherding a Child's Heart? I think you would enjoy it.

    Blessings to you!