My mother was an athlete in every sense of the word. She didn’t just play the sport, but she was the MVP on every team. She was that girl who could grab a ball and play just as good if not better than the boys. So of course when she had a daughter she expected that she would be just the same…. but she was wrong. There’s a whole lesson on our expectations for our children. But that’s a lesson for another day.
I was nothing like that. Not for lack of trying, I just wasn’t that great of an athlete. So these were words that I heard quite often. “You throw like a girl!!” For a while I took those as the insult she intended, until I got old enough to respond with, “Thanks mom! I am!” Don’t get me wrong, though I have a flawed human for a mother, she is fantastic!!
I was reminded of this not to long ago while sitting in Bible study talking about controlling the tongue. Especially when we got to this verse,
“So too, though the tongue is a small part of the body, it boasts great things. Consider how large a forest a small fire ignites. And the tongue is a fire. The tongue, a world of unrighteousness, is placed among the parts of our bodies. It pollutes the whole body, sets the course of life on fire, and is set on fire by hell.” James 3:5-6, HCSB
In this verse and the preceding verses, James is reminding us to walk like we know Jesus, not just talk about it. That includes the words that we say. So specifically, this verse is reminding us that our tongues can be a destructive force, though it is but a tiny organ. But lets look at the flip side of that. If our tongues can be the cause of a forest fire, doesn’t it make sense that our tongues can be a huge force for good, especially for our kids?? Last week we talked about bragging on our kids. This week I want to talk about all of our speech with our kids. It’s important to remember that our words have big meanings, especially to our children. So, imagine if that fire that we started was a positive fire?? What if regardless of the negative words that our kids hear from everyone else, they know we’re a fount of positivism on their side??
As I’m writing this, I’m reminded of a scene in the movie Pursuit of Happyness. Will Smith’s character is playing basketball with his son. While they’re playing, his son says that one day he wants to play basketball in the NBA. Initially Will Smith’s character tells his son that more than likely he’ll only get to about his (dad’s) height so he has little to no potential for making it to the big leagues. Once he sees his son’s reaction (the little boy grabs then throws the ball away, angrily) to the misguided slight, he corrects himself. He then tells his son that he was wrong to say that. He tells his son that what he should have done is the only way to do anything he wants to do in life is to work hard and go for it.
This is the perfect example of lighting a fire! Lets remind ourselves of this verse every morning. Remind yourself to light a fire for God in your babies!!