I was relaxing on the couch after a tiring day, feeling rather exhausted, and a little bit grumpy, as well.
My daughter asked me a question, and being irritated at being bothered, I unkindly snapped a reply at her. I immediately felt bad, and asked myself why I couldn’t have just answer her kindly.
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Then the Lord brought this verse to my mind from Proverbs 31: “She openeth her mouth with wisdom, and in her tongue is the law of kindness.”
I knew I had certainly broken the law of kindness!
As I thought about it, I realized that I had been speaking unkindly to the kids often, and they in turn were speaking unkindly to each other.
That’s when a plan came to mind!
I called the kids into the room for a little talk. I explained the verse to them, and said that I had been guilty of breaking the law of kindness. I apologized and said we were going to start something new to help us ALL remember to speak kindly.
I got a cup out for each of the kids and myself. In each cup I put twenty nickels. For the next week whenever I heard anyone “breaking the law,” they had to pay a fine. A nickel from their cup would be put into the cup of the person they spoke meanly to.
If they were both talking unkindly, they gave me the nickel. I was the “officer” and was the only one who could charge fines, yet I would admit and pay my fine when I broke the law.
At the end of the week, every one got to keep what was in their cup.
The result was wonderful! All of us became much more aware of how we spoke and what we said to each other.
Kind words became something we used much more often than before! I want our home to reflect God’s love, and this little idea was a big help to each of us.
As parents, we need to be more aware of how WE sound as we try to teach our kids to get along.
“Let the words of my mouth…be acceptable in Thy sight, O Lord.”
I didn’t realize how often I would get busy with the daily demands, and then get irritable with the kids and speak crossly.
I’m glad the Lord opened my eyes to this and made me aware of MY need to change before I could expect my kids to speak kindly to each other.