“A Gentle Tongue is a Tree of Life…”

Brad and I drove to Castle Rock on Sunday to meet with our social worker for the third and final time in order to complete our home study.

The discussion was brief, although the content was seriously heavy. We talked about challenges that may (and, most likely will) arise as a result of becoming a multiracial family and how we might react when our son, perhaps as a teenager, asks about his biological family.

We left the meeting with many things to consider, talk and pray about with each other and with our girls. I wonder how we’ll all react if we’re ever faced with strangers or even “friends” who might have something negative to say about our son or point out the fact that he “must be adopted”. (Thank you, Captain Obvious??)

Ultimately, we have to begin to consider how we’ll react to words that will be hurtful. The tongue is a powerful weapon, after all. James 3:8 refers to the tongue as “a restless evil, full of deadly poison.” It’s true, isn’t it? I think of how often my girls have come home in tears to tell me about something that was said that hurt their feelings. I want to be able to tell them that it’ll get better when they get older, but I would be lying. Hateful, sarcastic, cruel words seem to have even more venom when they come out of the mouths of adults.

Though it’s tough to admit, I’m just as guilty as the next guy of using my words as a weapon. I’m working on it… Really, I am. Here’s the verse I’ll be writing over and over on a few dozen post-its to tack up all over my house and car:

Ephesians 4:29 “Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.”

Do me a favor; next time you hear something “foul” or “abusive” come out of my mouth, feel free to point it out. Be my accountability partners… Don’t we all want friends who help us to become better versions of ourselves?

I know I do…

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4 thoughts on ““A Gentle Tongue is a Tree of Life…”

  1. People say well-intentioned but somewhat hurtful (or perhaps just ignorant) things to us as adoptive parents all the time. And our adopted child, as you know, is lily-white! I just always try to remember that when I adopted a child, I basically took on a secondary role of educating all of the people about adoption — my parents, my siblings, my church, my neighbors, our schools, etc. Frankly, *I* didn’t think much about all these things before we considered adoption. So I try to be as patient as possible. Most people don’t mean to be hurtful; they just don’t know. That’s our experience, anyway.

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