Today I started reading chapter 12 and, I confess, the first verse made me laugh. What was so funny? This:
"Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates correction is stupid."Stupid? God actually used the word "stupid" - not weak-minded or distracted or even befuddled...nope, he called
"A fool shows his annoyance at once, but a prudent man over looks an insult...Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing." (v. 16, 18)When I read those verses, I cannot help but think about how I sometimes react to my own husband and children. I can count way too many times where I have spoken harshly, criticized, or chewed out one of them because of something I perceived, in a quick instant, they were doing (or were going to do.)
Yet, before the words were even completely out of my mouth, I would come to the realization that if I had waited just a few seconds longer - no longer than what it would've taken me to slowly breathe in ...and breathe out - my whole perspective on the situation would've changed.
Taking time to
take a deep breathe
and show a little patience
would've prevented me
from speaking reckless words -
words that I know, at times,
have truly pierced my loved ones' hearts.
There are few things more heartbreaking, than looking into the eyes of your precious child - knowing that the
careless, impatient words
you have just spoken
have hurt and wounded him deeply.
John 1:19 tells us,
"My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry..."I am working on this and I have peace in my heart that I have made amazing progress but I can never take back the words that I have already spoken. I can only apologize and seek forgiveness and then work to make sure I do my best not to do it again. Instead, I will speak to my family in a language of love; speaking words of encouragement, hope and healing...
With God's grace, let all of our homes be safe havens for those we love - a place they can come and always know they are loved and accepted. A place where they can express themselves freely but respectfully. No, we will not always agree but we can learn to disagree peacefully. But home should always be a place where, when we "screw up," we can confess, have a good cry (if needed), and seek forgiveness - and know that forgiveness and mercy will always be extended to us. No matter what.