I’ve been pondering the concept of kindness this weekend. It’s not something we see modeled in our culture, it's not an attribute generally valued in movies, in magazines, and certainly not in current political speeches.Yet, it can change your world—and transform your children’s lives.
One of the most stunning characteristics of the Proverbs 31 woman, in my opinion, is that she “opens her mouth with wisdom, and on her tongue is the law of kindness.”
Frankly, I think this is the most difficult and demanding thing she does because it reflects what is in her heart—you know, from Matthew 12:34: “For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.”
Ouch. This is where the rubber meets the road. Our words reflect our hearts.
So, here we are, working morning till night, feeding our kids, teaching them, making sure homework is done, dealing with sibling rivalry, balancing the checkbook, going to the grocery store, getting everyone to co-op or music lessons or soccer. . . Whew! We’re tired, we’re overwhelmed, we’re busy, and there’s no end in sight. And now I’m talking to you about the words that come out of your mouth??
Why? Because our words have power, particularly in the lives of our children. Words can affirm and words can accuse. Words can build up and words can tear down.
By the way, it is not just women who need to be careful and kind in their speech. In the New Testament, the Apostle Paul makes an interesting and similar connection between teaching and a heart attitude when he writes to Timothy: “And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient. . .” (2 Timothy 2:24) He also describes (in Galatians 5:22) the fruit of God’s Spirit in a human heart: love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
Did you notice that? Kindness is just one of several attributes that can revolutionize our parenting and teaching!
If you're interested, here’s a more in-depth article, The Surprising Ingredient in Teaching.