How the F-Word Broke My Heart

Laura
Laura

Last year when Jesse was in kindergarten he learned a word we don’t say in our house and I was just not prepared!  One day he hopped off the bus and told me at lunchtime he learned the worst word in the world, and then he whispered in my ear “mother f—-er!” 🙉😳😡

Laura
Courtnee

Oh man, that’s a real doozy–especially the two-word version.  My curiosity is like a movie camera zooming in for a closeup of your face.  How did you respond?  

Laura
Laura

I nearly started crying at the bus stop.  I mean really?  That’s the first thing he told me about his day  Not, “Mommy, I learned to read a new word today.” Or “Mommy, I observed our tadpoles growing legs.”  No, no it was the “F” Word.  I was heart broken.  And now more than ever, I am feeling motivated to stay ahead of the “cafeteria voices”. #thetruthaboutgrowingup

Laura
Courtnee

I remember in 4th grade when I came home with a note from my teacher telling my parents that I had used the F-word in school.  I waited until Sunday night–at bedtime– to show my mom the note (which she had to sign).  My procrastination burned into my heart the weight of my offense and that I had to admit it to my parents.  

Laura
Laura

Woah! That’s a heavy load for a  4th grader to carry!  Yikes.  I guess we all have to learn these things at some point.  I just realized in that moment that I had been trying my hardest to educate him about the knowledge of good and now he had acquired the knowledge of evil.  I wish I had prepared him for how enticing that knowledge is.  Adam and Eve… Sheesh!  C’mon!

Laura
Courtnee

Yeah, Adam and Eve, thanks a lot. When facing her own mistakes, my 6-year-old has recently expressed her dislike of the story of how Satan tricked Adam and Eve into sinning.  My sweet daughter doesn’t realize that we will spend a lifetime wrestling with the enticement of evil.  As moms we walk beside our kids as guides.  It sounds like your little guy had a curiosity about this new word and you had an opportunity to be his guide.

Laura
Laura

No pressure, right?!  And to make matters worse, I know he wanted to share his new knowledge with his 4-year-old brothers. So we talked about how he was too young  to fully understand this word’s meaning but now that he knew it, he was responsible for keeping this word to himself.  So I set up the consequences: two weeks of no friends if he teaches his brothers this word.

Laura
Courtnee

That seems like a well-fit consequence.  Have you ever used creative consequences to demonstrate an offensive behavior?

Laura
Laura

Actually yes!  So fast forward to Summer Vacation when he teaches his younger cousin the word.

Laura
Courtnee

Oh no, he found a loophole. Not the classic loophole!  You told him not to teach his BROTHERS.  You didn’t say anything about cousins!  

Laura
Laura

Ahhhhhh!!!! Exactly!  I was so upset and for so many reasons.  I was still sad and embarrassed that he even knew the word.  I was angry that he disobeyed me.  I was however happy that when I confronted him about it, he told me the truth.  

Laura
Courtnee

Yes, whatever my kids do, I want them to not fear telling me the truth about it so they will not fear bringing their mistakes to God also.  So, you were able to praise him for telling the truth–and then what?

Laura
Laura

Right! So long story short, after struggling with what the consequences should be since we were on vacation, I had him choose to stay inside for the whole morning and not go to the beach or swallow a spoonful of Dijon Mustard.

Laura
Courtnee

Dijon mustard–so appropriate (and cleansing to your sinuses)! 😝  What did he choose?

Laura
Laura

He chose the mustard.  We talked about how words like that coming out of your mouth burn as bad as mustard going in.  I told him that I would share in his punishment and show him that it was possible to swallow mustard. So I had a spoonful too.  

Laura
Courtnee

WHAT!  THAT’S CRAZY!  CRAZY BEAUTIFUL!  You were Jesus to him.  Our highest aim.  I pray that he will remember that day for a long time and that God will layer it with wisdom and insight as he reflects back on it years from now.  But for now he may just say, “Mom, remember the day we ate the mustard.”

Laura
Laura

He does remember.  I know it made an impact on him and me.  And even though he definitely made the wrong choice teaching the word to others, I know the Holy Spirit helped me with this consequence.  And helped me to show him in a small way what grace looks like.  AND instead of my child’s sin breaking my heart I can see it as an opportunity for both of us to receive grace.

Laura
Courtnee

Amen Sister!  You took him to the foot of the cross.  Thanks for helping me realize that I am not looking to make perfect kids, but rather kids who know from experience God’s forgiveness and value God’s wisdom to handle those cafeteria voices.

Soaking in the Truth

Scripture to encourage you:

  • “I want you to be wise about what is good, and innocent about what is evil.” (Romans 16:19b, NIV).
  • “Kind words are like honey–sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.” (Proverbs 16:24 NLT)
  • “In the same way, wisdom is sweet to your soul. If you find it, you will have a bright future, and your hopes will not be cut short.” (Proverbs 24:14 NLT).
  • And If you are interested in re-reading the story of “The Fall” feel free to check out Genesis 2-3.
  • Romans 7:7-25 talks about the battle between our new nature and our old nature.  But, keep reading because Romans 8 talks about the Holy Spirit who empowers our new nature to live like Christ.  “And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you.” (Romans 8:11 NIV).  What?!?! The Holy Spirit who raised Jesus from the grave is the same Spirit who gives new life to our mortal bodies!  Whenever I (Courtnee) am discouraged about my own battle with sin and temptation, I read Romans 8:11 and imagine a lifeless Jesus being raised up in the cave-tomb where they laid him.  

 


Music to inspire you:


Readings and Resources to come alongside of you:

  • This podcast majorly encouraged me (Courtnee) for how the meal table (often a source of stress and discouragement for me) can actually be a tool for discipleship.  This is not about nutrition or meal planning–it’s about loving our kids around the dinner table or personal tea time.  Creating a Lifegiving Table with Sally Clarkson :: ITA136

Related Posts on Texting The Truth:

  • Decluttering Our Spiritual Closets
  • We are so glad to be adding Courtnee White as a NEW WRITER here at Texting the Truth.  Check out her Mom Win and be patient with us as we get her bio added to our team page!

 

Living Out the Truth

Ideas to try from Courtnee:

  • A few years ago, I realized I was paralyzed by this desire to be the first to speak to them, but also by my perfectionism of not wanting to make a mistake in how I approached various topics.  That’s quite a pickle to be in.  Motivated but paralyzed by fear.  But ultimately it is impossible for us to be the first to talk to our kids about everything.   I am really trying to focus on stopping to think through consequences that fall in line with the offense.  For example, my daughter is going to clean out the kitchen trash and recycling cans (which are quite dirty with drips of food) to illustrate how her disrespectful words affect the environment of our home and specifically our relationship.  (That’s the most creative I have gotten so far.)

Ideas to try from Laura:

  • I recently talked to a former Mentor Mom from MOPS about how she handled inappropriate language that her children learned at school.  She sat them down one day asked them to tell her every bad word that they know or had heard at school and she would tell them what it meant.  She heard just about every word and the only word she did not tell them the meaning of was the F-Word.  She did not feel they were old enough to know the meaning.  But I loved that she talked to them honestly about what they were and had an open discussion about the “evil” they overhear every day.  I haven’t tried this yet, but I think that it is something I will do with this and other topics that I want to make sure God’s voice is the loudest about.

Treasured Products we love:

Wise Words for Moms by Ginger Hubbard

This is a pamphlet that can help a busy mom think through a wise approach to shaping their children’s heart and behavior and giving consequences that are appropriate to the offense.  It is the size of a wall calendar.  I have found it helpful because it has questions, Bible verses and suggestions according to the issue you are addressing in your child.

Hidden In My Heart: A Lullaby Journey Through Scripture ~ Scripture Lullabies

These CDs are so meaningful.  I put them on when I want the mood of our home to be influenced by the Lord but sitting down and reading the Bible or a devotional is not going to work.  I wanted “Bible songs” for my kids to soak in that were not annoying to my ears.  

 

{These suggestions are ideas from novice moms. Sometimes our life situations need more. In that case, seeking out professional help is the right call.}

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