A sewer by any other name….

“THAT is an infraction of the Law of the Least Of! You need to apologize to your sister.”

Her blue eyes looked up at me in complete confusion.  “It’s a WHAT?!!”

The sibling involved, without batting an eye, said, “It was dishonoring.”

“Ooooh!” Obvious understanding now all over her 4 year old face.  

Honor. I had no intention of writing about honor this morning.  In fact, until I opened my dashboard to write, my intention was to muse on the things that Father is teaching me about the Prodigal Son.  But, right before coming here, I read a piece from HSLDA called, “Curb the Culture of Cursing”

In the piece the author is cautioning parents to pay attention to what their children are saying to one another.  She mentions the speech of children to one another in public.  She also cites Proverbs 6: 16 – 19 as part of the standard by which we are to measure the words of their mouths.

While I appreciate her desire to draw attention to the way children – family members – speak to one another – I long to see her focus on the real issue at hand.  The heart attitude behind it!  From the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks.  While putting a guard on what our children are allowed to say to one another is helpful, it’s the heart attitude that is most concerning to me.

I once had a conversation with another Christian mum that has burned itself into my memory.  She said, “I don’t hear your kids call each other names,”  (They didn’t. They still don’t.) “what do you do to keep them from doing that?”  I explained to her “The Law of the Least Of” (Whatever you do to the least of these, my brethren, you’ve done unto ME. A term which I obviously have stopped using, since Davenna was TOTALLY lost when I used it the other day.) that operated at our house.  We talked about what that looked like, she asked questions, nodding, pausing, thinking.  Finally, she gave a vigorous nod, making me think that she could hear the import of what we were discussing.  With a smile of contentment and a deep sigh, she then said, “Yeah…I think I’m going to charge them a dime when they do it.”

We, the Bride of Christ, have become so deluded into thinking that we can apply the world’s methodology to our life issues and get Biblical results.  If we want Biblical results, we need to apply the Biblical methods.  So, while addressing the words coming from the mouths of our kiddos (and ourselves!) is a needful thing, if we never address the honor – or lack thereof – in their hearts, we will never get results that will last outside of our dime-charging earshot!!

You see, stinky words, no matter what we call them – cursing, infractions of the Law of the Least Of, ugly, rude – will still stink….until we change where those words are coming from.  James explains it so much better than I.

But no one can tame the tongue; it is a restless evil and full of deadly poison. With it we bless (the least of these and hence) our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the likeness of God; from the same mouth come both blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be this way. Does a fountain send out from the same opening both fresh and bitter water?

8 Responses to “A sewer by any other name….”
  1. tiffany says:

    I have a question for you that could open up a whole can of worms. 🙂
    Ok, I see in the story you related that the 10cent fee is going to get behavior results, but less likely heart results. Where as understanding honor, and the law of the least of these (great term!) is going to be dealing with the heart. And it is the heart I want to deal with.
    It occurs to me that spanking (or perhaps any punitive conseqence- time out etc) isn’t really all that different from the 10cent fee. And as such while it will create a nice pavlovian result that we find desirable it might not get to the heart, which is not desirable. Any thoughts of this? To parent (disciple- the root of discipline) sans unpleasant consequences is a very foreign thought and I am not sure what to do with it.

  2. javadawn says:

    Hey Miss Tiff, I’m using you as my excuse. Hope you don’t mind. LOL (I hit a brain snag and need to pause and refresh the gray matter before hitting it again!) 🙂

    Hmmm…WELLLLL…first of all, I don’t mind worms. It’s slugs I object to – so I don’t mind opening worms up.

    Heart stuff is hard to pin down, isn’t it? First of all, because it’s so contrary to our own nature. There are some people that I am certain have grasped it well (and deeply) and I read their thoughts and I think, “Am I just plain STUPID?! I don’t GET this!!” (Sorry for using the “S” word. At least I didn’t use the “B” word!!) 😛

    Yes, I think that many of us Christian parents have been taught to use spanking as a behavioral tool, to the exclusion of the heart. I have a friend who has already told her children, “If you lie to me, you will get 2 spankings” (I’m just “off the top-ping” here – I don’t remember the actual numbers.) “If you take a toy away from your sibling, you will get 1 spanking.” You get the picture.

    As we have watched her kiddos grow up, we have seen (and heard) them weigh the “cost” (the # of swats) of their actions against the “reward” (their own way). THAT seems a very dangerous way to train children to us.

    The thing I keep coming up against, as we train Davenna in particular, is “Does my training accurately reflect Father?” THAT is so hard for me. There are times I go to bed and KNOW I have done a very poor job of training my kiddos that day – and invariably, I want to couch it in terms of “I was so busy…” BLARK!

    So, my .02 worth is, the Word says that there is a place for spanking our children in their training. I will continue to spank our children, when it is warranted. HOWEVER, how I define when it is warranted has changed. Spankings are ONLY used for open defiance.

    I try to listen for Father when I am faced with different discipling (note: difference in my way of thinking, as well. It used to ONLY be disciplining.)issues. BUT that implies a)being faithful re: my own intimate relationship with Father and b) a willingness to be inconvenienced when it comes time to train. (ding,ding,ding!!! Here’s MY area of sin!)

    For example, at our house if you are fighting with a sibling over a toy, you are reminded ONE time that we love people not things – and if that thing is causing you to sin against your sibling, then we need to rout it from our house! Hence, should there not be immediate softening of hearts toward one another and the toy/item kept in its proper place, it goes to another proper place – our Goodwill box. (Once it enters the hallowed “halls” of the Goodwill box, it does not come out.)

    Interestingly enough, Davenna is the only child to be very careful to immediately soften when it involves her own things, but when it belongs to the offended/ing sibling, she is less likely. One time, she went so far as to say, “It’s okay – I’m still mad – you can put it in Goodwill.” I said, “Okay.” I put it in – then I made her go get one of her toys and “buy” it out of the box. (A rare exception to the previously mentioned rule!) 🙂 That made a bit of an impact.

    I don’t think that you need to consider parenting sans negative/unpleasant consequences. Scripture is very clear – we’re called to choose life…or choose death. Death isn’t a pleasant consequence. When we begin early training our children that THEIR choices must be choices between life or death, then we are teaching them a)from a Biblical posture and b)to grow up, expecting that their choices really DO matter and c) that they are to mature in their choices, if they want to walk in life and d) death stinks! 🙂

    Did I just ramble? Sorry – I’ve been thinking and writing all day long and am in that mode. Sadly – there is no one around to edit ME! LOL

    Let me know if I even came CLOSE to answering you. (Within 5 nautical miles would be good!) 😛

  3. javadawn says:

    Good CATS!! That thing ended up being another whole BLOG! 😛 Sorry. 😕

    OH! And just fyi – the “B” word is bored. 😀

  4. tiffany says:

    It did come close, perhaps 2 nautical miles. 🙂

    Actually, I think it came close than that, and I want to ponder for a bit.

    Thanks ❤

  5. javadawn says:

    I can be cool with 2 nautical miles. 😉

    Seriously think/ponder/meditate whatever is of any value here and then holler/share what Father has shown you. (Keep John 14:26 firmly in mind!!) I’m eager to learn too! 🙂 🙂

    You’re more than welcome. ❤ yourself. 🙂

  6. Amber says:

    Yikes! So much to digest! God is speaking this (through you) at just the time He wants me to learn it~Amazing! I have been reading “Don’t Make Me Count to Three”. A parenting book about reaching your child’s heart and teaching them to think like Christians rather than just training them to act like Christians! Thanks for being God’s means of adding to the teaching He is trying to give me.
    The biggest lesson Father has been teaching me about this is; You can teach your children to act Christ like, but that does not mean they will have a Christ like heart or thinking. OR You can reach your child’s heart, and teach them to think like Christ, in turn they will then act in a Christ like way!!! Changing their behavior does not mean you are impressing their heart toward God!
    You have greatly added to what He is already putting on my heart!!

  7. javadawn says:

    Sorry Amber, I had to laugh when I read the title of your book.

    We had a neighbor one time that would yell at their kids, “Don’t make me count to three!” Then, they would take (10 minutes – literally, we timed them once!) to get to 3. Then, they would say, “Did you hear me? I said THREE. Do I need to count again?!” At which point, they would. When I could divest the situation from the reality of what they were teaching their children, I would laugh.

    Amber, if you can get a hold of this truth, while your Sweetie is still little, THAT will be grace upon grace in her life. I am more convinced then ever that the standards for training up our children have been raised, by Father. The hour is late and He needs hearts that are a) turned toward Him and b) willing to obey, no matter how difficult that obedience is!

    That obedience – that DOING of the Word – is hard for all of us – but if we can train it to our children, then by default, we learn it as well! (A key issue, I believe!)

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