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Monday, July 30, 2007

Matters of the heart

In the past two days, I have had to discipline 2 of my children for using unkind words (moron and idiot...where do they even learn those words?). In the past, we have always used tobasco sauce for verbal issues, at the recommendation of our old pediatrician, since it is a food product, but most children find it unpleasant.
I say in the past because my darling daughter Mimi decided to do her unkind namecalling as loud as she could at the home of, and in front of, my in-laws. Believing we need to address this promptly, but also not wishing to make a huge scene and/or cement even more firmly in my in-laws' heads that their granddaughter is being raised poorly, I took her up upstairs and used what generations of mothers have used before me...good old hand soap. I have to say, it's an experience she's not anxious to repeat.
Fast forward to today, when her older brother commits the same transgression. Off we head to the bathroom, and he tastes bar soap for the first time. Sadly, his head is a bit thicker than hers, so later that evening he loses it again, but this time in addition to the discipline, and the same gentle reproof I had given him earlier, and his sister before, (telling them I was washing the ugly language from their mouths like we wash dirt off our body, reminding them that the lips speak what is in our hearts, and reminding them that the tongue is a flame, like they learned in James), God graciously reminds me that He gave us the Bible for just this sort of thing. So I go off to gather my quick resources for finding Bible verses as they apply to particular sins (Wise Words for Moms by Ginger Plowman and Creative Correction by Lisa Whelchel) and Scott joins me on the couch after our trip to the bathroom. I had him look up Proverbs 12:18 and the Ephesians 3:29 and we discussed how unkind words wound, but wise words heal and we are called to build others up not tear them down with what we say. Things went smoothly, but the best part was later this evening when I went in to tuck his brother in...
As we walked toward their shared room, I could hear Scott reading. When we got to the doorway, I realized he was reading from the BIBLE. OUT LOUD. WITHOUT BEING ASKED. He was in Genesis reading about creation. And this is how good God is...we had also looked earlier at the verses in James that deal with the tongue because he had studied that in Precepts last fall. Those verses make reference to a fig tree not growing olives and a grapevine not growing figs. We has stopped and discussed those verses to be sure he understood how they applied to the tongue. Then, as I'm sitting there tucking in his brother, he gets to the part in Genesis where God created the fruit trees, each one with its seed according to its kind. I said, "See Scott, we were jsut discussing this in James, how a fig doesn't grow from a grapevine, and here in Genesis you see that it was God's plan from the beginning that each thing would be single minded and have one purpose, and be pure." God is so faithful to give my son two scriptures from two totally different places in the Bible that both say the same thing.
I had told him earlier that his unkind words made my heart cry like he was crying from the soap. Now I told him that hearing him read God's word made my heart sing.
I'm blessed to have such a faithful God. I can't imagine how people live without knowing Him. He was faithful to Scott, but He was also faithful to me, confirming that if I just take the effort to sow in fertile soil, He will ensure the harvest.
still have to blog about the reunion, but that's it for now,
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