The quiet words of the wise are more to be heeded than the shouts of a ruler of fools.
Without outing the offender, I will speak to the stubbornness of toddlers. I am in a particularly tough season with one of my children. At moments I question my own sanity in the midst of loving and shaping the character of my children. But worthy is the battle waged for instruction of my children.
I think I have had moments in my own life where I put value, even high value, on my own stubbornness. Seeing it in it's simplest (or most complex) form through a young person has shown me the truth of such wrong thinking. Well, I see just how ugly it is. How painful and hurtful it can be. How maybe the whole idea of, "tell it like you see it." Well, it may not be helpful or even kind.
In a book by Tedd and Margy Tripp, Instructing a Child's Heart, he makes the case for kind words in the correction of our children. Here's what they have to say about our speech.
Pleasant words promote instruction. Words that are kind and good, words spoken with love and graciousness, promote instruction. Words that are courteous and tactful evoke a good response.
Harsh, loud, demanding and demeaning words do not reflect the gentle confidence of one who delights in joyful, reverent awe of God. They reflect a heart that is fearful, angry, and controlling. Such words make instruction hard to receive.
My mantra with the moms in my life is...LOVE IS KIND! Love is KIND! That if you are yelling... Well, you are not loving. I know it is a weighty challenge. I know the temptation when faced with the stubborn sin of a young child the strong desire to yell. TRUST ME! I know.
Yesterday I faced one of the longest hardest challenges to my kindness. Check that, if I were depending on my own kindness it would end before I finished my first cup of coffee every morning. But yesterday the Lord showed me how in the midst of TOTAL frustration He would supply the kindness needed to love my child.
When Jason returned late in the evening from school. I was able to explain that without my total dependence on the Lord, I would devastate and hurt with my words. But as my child entered into fits of epic proportion, I was able to show them the gospel with a calm kind spirit. It's amazing how strongly stubbornness can keep a child holding out in anger.
This morning I see the fruit of that tough battle waged. I see a gentleness in my child. It was a long battle, but to God be the glory. He loves the hearts of this poor sinner, and He loves the heart of my child. He supplied the grace to speak with kind, gentle words in the red faced anger of my small sinner.
A wise man's heart guides his mouth, and his lips promote instruction. Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones."