James – The Speech of Motherhood James 3:1-12

by frazzledmama on June 25, 2014



My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment. 2 For we all stumble in many things. If anyone does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle the whole body.3 Indeed, we put bits in horses’ mouths that they may obey us, and we turn their whole body. 4 Look also at ships: although they are so large and are driven by fierce winds, they are turned by a very small rudder wherever the pilot desires. 5 Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things.

See how great a forest a little fire kindles! 6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell. 7 For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and creature of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by mankind. 8 But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. 9 With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of God. 10 Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so. 11 Does a spring send forth fresh water and bitter from the same opening? 12 Can a fig tree, my brethren, bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Thus no spring yields both salt water and fresh.

                                                                                                                                    James 3:1-12

I really find this passage in James intriguing.  Maybe it’s just me…but I think it’s interesting that James starts off this passage by talking about the huge responsibility that teachers carry.  Verse one is specifically talking to pastors, or teachers in an official teaching capacity.   If you are a teacher of God’s word, James 3:1 says that you can expect to be held to a higher standard by the Lord.  Really though, that higher standard is also expected of you by your fellow brother’s and sister’s in Christ, isn’t it?  You’ve done it, haven’t you?  Or is it just me….We expect our spiritual leaders to be a little bit “better” than we are, a little more holy. We expect them to hold a higher standard than the “average” Christian.  James goes on to encourage us to look inward before we cast judgment on our Spiritual Leaders. He says, “We all stumble in many things…” and then proceeds to use the tongue as an example.  I find his approach interesting because it’s like he gives this single admonition to teachers, and then launches into 11 verses, which when boiled down to its simplest terms becomes, “Don’t be so judgy and watch your mouth!”

My mind races in so many directions on this passage, but as most of my reading audience is moms, I want to share my thoughts on what I am calling, “TheSpeech of Motherhood.”

I don’t think I have to tell you what words can do to a person.  Especially the littlest people in our lives.  How easily little words and phrases can me misconstrued and crush those fragile blooming hearts and cloud the minds that are forming thoughts and opinions of oneself.  Dear Mommas, it is so vitally important to bridle your tongue when you are speaking to your precious children!  They internalize so much of what we say to them.  Now, I am not the kind of Momma who never expresses displeasure to my children, nor do I keep a sing-songy voice all day long.  I don’t believe that is doing my child any favors either.  They must learn to deal with the emotions of others when they have disobeyed or not followed directions.  However, the choice of words and the severity with which they exit our mouths should be filtered through loving kindness towards our children.  I have purposed, as did my parents, to never call my children names, or assign unfavorable attributes to them as an individual.  If they are being lazy, I tell them they are being lazy, I will not say that they are lazy.

Have you ever noticed that when a mom is speaking to her children, her tone of voice, even her demeanor are generally different than when she is speaking to anyone else?  This can be a good thing, or a bad thing.  I believe that the Duggars do a great job sharing this concept of bridling the tongue with the world.  But even before the immensely popular Duggars came on the scene, I had a great example of using my tongue to build up my children in Mr. OverKill’s aunt.  I’m going to call her Auntie Regal Serenity.  I choose that title because it suits her to a T.  She has been mothering children for well over 30 years now. You might expect to see a beaten down, frazzled, dejected person after all those years of pouring out her life for her children.  But no!  Everything about her, even the way she walks displays an air of grace and dignity befitting a queen.  When I was expecting Bubba, she was expecting baby #8.  It was so much fun to experience my first pregnancy with her.  I was always impressed at how she never yelled at her kids.  I thought she must have the patience of Job.  She shared with me that she did not, but the Lord had taught her to guard her children’s hearts, by guarding her own mouth.  The Lord was so kind and gracious to give me an example of what “bridling the tongue during motherhood” looked like.  I promise you, I know that it is not easy!  I also know that you are going to fail.  James tells us that plainly in verse 2. But, day by day if you purpose to bridle your tongue you will find that soon, it will become second nature to speak words of kindness and love, even if they are also words of discipline and correction.

Be honest with yourself. How bridled is your tongue?  What would your husband say, or your children?  What type of lasting impression do you want to leave on their souls?  What example are your giving them for how to speak to others, and one day your grandchildren?  I know it is hard, I promise.  I am not perfect, ask my kids. But don’t allow that imperfection in you stop you from trying.  Ask the Holy Spirit to help you, to convict you, and to help you improve your “Speech of Motherhood” and as James tells us, He will!

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