Controlling your mouth can be a challenging feat when it has run free for most of your life. I have been struggling for several years to tame the tongue. Thankfully, God is gracious to us and forgives us when we mess up. And, boy have I messed up, especially with my son:
“If you don't pick them up NOW they are going in the garbage and that's the last you'll see of those beans!”
I just yelled at my son over beans.
$2.00 worth of beans caused me to get red-faced, yell like a crazy person and threaten to do something I won't do anyway.
For weeks afterward, I heard, “You gonna go in the garbage truck in a minute!” from our three year old when he would get mad and I struggled to explain why I said it but he shouldn't.
Yes, Mommy did say it but it was wrong.
You want to be a kind and respectful boy, you don't want to talk like that.
But you don't want to talk like Mommy.
What confusion I created for this precious little child.
Be like Mommy and Daddy – no wait, don't be like us when we lose our temper, get angry, yell or say stupid stuff.
The last six years have dotted with many examples of my shortcoming when it comes to my mouth. Some days I hear my son talk back to me and I must humbly admit, he got it from me. It is my fault he talks the way he does.
No Wonder Silence is Golden
It's no wonder they say silence is golden. If we'd learn to stop, breathe and pray before we opened our mouths just 50% of the time I think life would be much sweeter and the above scenarios wouldn't play out as often.
We get frustrated with our kids, spouses, co-workers, friends and the guy who can't find the gas pedal. It's not the frustration that's wrong, but what we do with it that causes pain, shame, guilt, and confusion.
Yes, I had asked him 3 times to clean up those beans he was playing with. (Yep, he was playing with beans on the living room carpet with his little construction equipment. It's ingenious, really. Low mess, hours of fun!)
Yes, I had burned two grilled cheese sandwiches leading up to said crazy-person incident.
Yes, I had a lot on my plate.
No, there's no excuse for my mouth.
The Lord is showing me just how much my mouth gets me in trouble and it's humbling.
The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.
~ Proverbs 18:21
So, mama, how do we get a handle on this thing that has the power to build up or tear down? Here are three things I have learned that will help you in your journey in controlling your mouth. Yelling your kids doesn't have to be your family's normal routine.
Key #1 – Take Something for Diarrhea
If someone you love has diarrhea you would give them something to help relieve their intestinal pyrotechnics? Well, friend, if you talk too much then you've got diarrhea of the mouth and you need some good meds.
You must learn to stop the flow. I find myself saying the wrong things way too often because I just let whatever comes to mind fly right out of my mouth. When we take every thought captive it's easier to stop the flow. Thoughts become words. Time with the Lord is the best medicine to stop the pyrotechnics of the mouth from spewing all over everyone.
Key #2 – Think Before You Speak
“That sucks.” or “It's not bad but I think I like the other one better.” Which would you rather hear?
I worked for a man I respected who said often, it's not what you say, it's how you say it. I could not agree more.
Some say it's “coddle” or beating around the bush language. I say it's speaking directfully-respectfully. Yes, I know directfully isn't a word. My point is that we can be direct and show respect when we talk.
Are you driving your family away with harsh, negative words? Are you speaking out word curses and death with negative talk about your life and current situations?
It's time for a change.
In her book How to Manage Your Mouth – A 30 Day Wholesome Talk Challenge, Connie Hughes explores how we can change our words and control our tongue. This 3o day devotional ebook will challenge you to be aware of your words, stop speaking and make better word choices.
I've read through the book multiple times. Each read I glean a bit more insight about myself and my mouth problem. This is a great tool to help you realize what you're saying and how to manage the tongue.
For the Kids
Maybe your mouth isn't the problem, or maybe like me, you've hand-made a problem for you kiddos with your bad examples. Your mess is no excuse for helping your children see a better way.
No worries. How to Mange Your Mouth for Kids is also available.
What a better way to show your children a good lesson in recognizing your sins, repenting and learning how to live free from those sins than to work together to manage the family mouths! Connie offers a Mouth Bundle with both books for $9.97.
Key #3 – Recognize & Deal With Your Temper
The root of our mouth problem is likely our bad temper. I don't want to hit or throw things so when my blood boils, my mouth erupts. How about yours?
If we can learn to learn to recognize when our temper is flaring and implement good strategies to calm ourselves down, our mouth would run less and we'd have less regret.
I have gone through the Temper Toolkit at least seven times. Seriously.
Every time I do, something else jumps out at me as Lisa speaks and brings me to tears. This is a Holy Spirit-anointed eCourse that will change your life. The Temper ToolkitThe Temper Toolkit is closed right now, but be sure to sign up for updates when it reopens for enrollment.
Be sure you grab my free printable. These 10 questions will help you on your journey toward less yelling at your kids (and in your home).