{A Gentle Answer} :: Be Slow to Speak

Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.
— James 1:19-20
Learning to control our tongue isn't just about talking nice to our children. It's also about building connection with them and avoiding unnecessary conflict.

Listen more. What a great concept! It's something I fail to do because I lack the intention of doing it. Being a mother has with it some habits that are formed out of necessity in order to keep on top of all the different facets involved in raising children and running a household. 

One of them is multitasking. 

It just develops over time, sometimes unknowingly. But sometimes we don't know when to switch this little time saver off in order to fully hear our children. Do you ever chastise one of your children before getting the whole story? I do. Or snap at them because you're only half listening and you feel interrupted?

This could be a very real problem if we do not address it. Eventually, those little ones who have something to say now, may or may not come to us when they have things to say later. They will remember how we listened. Did we give them our full attention and hear them, or were we quick to snap back because our attention was focused on something else?

Learning how to control our tongue isn't just about talking nice to our children. It's a start. But it develops into something deeper. 

Connection.

James 1:19 is such a powerful reminder of how we can avoid conflict. Listen more. Talk less! When we can do that, being slow to become angry kind of takes care of itself.

We really need to be careful to keep our hearts in check here. Because our reactions really reflect our heart. What goes in is going to come out. Do not listen to people who tell you how to handle issues if it is not biblical. That kind of advice can only lead to trouble, even if you feel justified.

Our children will learn from us. Let them see us quiet if it means we won't say something we'll regret.

What you can do.

Today, try to spend less time talking and more time listening. In fact, when your child comes to you with something to say, stop what you are doing, look them in the eyes, and give them your full attention. 

For more devotions like these, check out my eBook, A Gentle Answer

Learning to control our tongue shows our children we respect them and helps them connect with us, building trust. -Christin Slade