Tuesday, June 30, 2009

teachable moment

Today was an interestingly fabulous day. This morning my kiddos woke me at 5:30. I'm not a morning person at all so the timing was a bit rough. My sweetie put in a movie for them and they let us go back to sleep until about 7:30. While hubby and I got 2 extra hours of sleep, my kids did not and cranky is an accurate description of them. While listening to the umpteenth argument of the day, I decided it was a good time to start my day with prayer. I prayed that the Lord would give me godly wisdom in dealing with my children today, that He would give me extra grace for the day, that I would love my children the way He does and that I would be able to keep my cool. I am pleased to say, that prayer was answered. The day progressed with no significant mishaps (just ruining the last cup of coffee in the house with spoiled half and half and then the same old sibling fights that had been already going on.) My oldest decided just before dinner time was a great time to get really lippy and nasty with me. While he was in timeout, I thought of a facebook update I read today. My friends son used the "I hate you" card for the first time. Someone commented on her post that words are like trying to put toothpaste back in the tube. As I thought of this, a stroke of genius hit me. After timeout when we were talking about his attitude and words I pulled him into the bathroom with me. I had a sample tube of toothpaste from the dentist and I had my son squeeze out the entire tube onto a plastic bag. He told me he didn't understand but he squeezed out the entire tube. Then I asked him to put it all back into the tube. He looked at me again and said, "I don't get it." But he tried only to realize that it is quite impossible to refill the toothpaste tube. Then we sat and talked about it. I asked him how easy was it to squeeze the toothpaste out. He said very. I told him that was like his words. They come out easily when he doesn't think before he speaks. Then I asked how easy was it to put the toothpaste back in. His eyes got huge and he said it wasn't easy at all and that it actually made a bigger mess. Exactly my point. We can apologize for our words but we can never take them back. Sometimes trying to take back the words and hurt we have caused actually makes a bigger mess. Once the words (and the toothpaste) were out, there was no putting them back in. It didn't matter how much you wish you hadn't squeezed the toothpaste, that did not change the fact that toothpaste was out. Our words are the same, no matter how much we regret them or want to take them back into our mouths never said, they still can cause a mess. Once they have left the mouth, they cannot be reclaimed and the best you can hope for is forgiveness. One more good example of why we need to think before we speak! I think he got the lesson, but of equal importance I know I did!

Ephesians 4:29Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

1 comment:

Booklover1212 said...

This is a FANTASTIC teaching tool! Thanks so much for sharing that! I'm definitely going to use that one! (May I ask what you did with the baggie of toothpaste? LOL!)

~ Jennifer
http://thetoyboxyears.blogspot.com/