Sometimes we don’t realize the lasting impact the little things of life will make. This was driven home in a recent conversation with one of my kids.
We were talking about love — what it is, what it isn’t, how you express it. Not just romantic love, but exhibiting the characteristics of love in relationships, on the job with co-workers, in everyday circumstances when interacting with others.
I was going to look up I Corinthians 13 in the Bible because to me, that describes the characteristics of love in a way that I can understand and is so practical. My daughter began quoting it word for word before I could even google it. Love is patient, love is kind, it does not envy …… I asked how she knew it, she said ‘Mom, how could I not, when I was growing up you had a picture on my bedroom wall with the words of those verses on it. I read it every night before I went to sleep.’
Right then, I realized that it’s the little things that have lingering effects on our children, for the good or bad. Making every effort to speak, show or allow them to read the truth of scripture in natural ways allows for it to settle deeply within for development of their character and be available in their memory for instant recall when needed.
Did you ever say something you wished you could take back? You know, open mouth and insert foot. In our families don’t we just sometimes say the meanest, most thoughtless things?
I know I have and do at times. One time I was so exasperated at the shenanigans of my daughters, that I blurted out ‘you don’t have half a brain between the two of you’. Not exactly the nicest thing for a mom to say! I guess I can justify it a little since I’ve read that humans only use about 10% of their brain capacity, so added together that would be 20% and that’s less than even a quarter of brain power (am I stretching it here?), but I really can’t get around that it just wasn’t appropriate not to mention positive!
Actually, it left a visible ‘scar’ on their memories. I know, because they have never let me forget it. It has become one of those family jokes. Their excuse for any number of silly, nonsensical things they come up with when together. And it became a catch phrase for Chris, their brother to use when he was exasperated with their actions.
Even though we laugh about it, I still have a suspicion that it still hurts a little when they remember the instance in which I said it. I can’t take back those words, but I’m sure trying not to open my mouth as quickly as I used to. Maybe, just maybe, I’ll avert making other really stupid, hurtful comments.
Good words to live by — Rash language cuts and maims, but there is healing in the words of the wise. — Proverbs 12:18 The Message