So. Last week I wrote this post on Words. And then on Friday I got a call from my First Grade son's teacher about his choice of words.
Ben and I like to joke that Jake is (almost) 8 going on 80. Like a grumpy old man in a young little body. He's not easily amused or impressed, and on any given day he's pretty easily annoyed by whatever and whomever. And his "filter" is, well...we're working on that.
It's just one of his quirks. I like quirks in people, it's what makes us, us. That being said, the kids has some great qualities too...and dimples. Dimples are like my kryptonite. All he has to do is smile...
At school on Friday one of Jake's classmates declared that it was going to be a great weekend, which Jake then replied something to the effect of "I hope you have the worst weekend ever."
When his teacher repeated what he said to me, I couldn't help but wish he'd been using some sarcasm...but he hadn't. Jake was annoyed, and blurted what popped in his head.
As I sat Jake down that afternoon to talk about it, I said that part of maturing was thinking about what we say before we say it. Filter 101. So we ask ourselves, Is this kind? Is this helpful?
And in the back of my brain God is whispering, do you hear yourself?
And as a parent, I was disappointed that he chose those words...but I've also been there. Or maybe I am there. I'm 35 years old, and I've learned to filter thoughts when in public. And, when you become a pastor's wife, God helps you install a double-filtration system for your tongue. It's like a requirement.
But at home...my filter is maybe not working so great. I'm quick to tell the kids all the things I think they are not doing right. Without really filtering if it's kind and helpful in training them. And I skip that part because I'm impatient and irritated.
And that's not ok.
So in the parsonage, we are all working on: Is it Kind? Is it helpful? And guess what?
It. Is. Hard.
I was trying to explain to Jake that it's a problem we all struggle with, even grown ups. But if we don't learn to tame our tongue we end up being rude and hurtful...and someone that people don't want to be around.
And that got me thinking...maybe the people who don't bother to filter what they say drive me so crazy because the rest of us are doing the work to filter! The hard work. It's like when I see people in pajama pants in public. It's not so much that I hate the pajamas (ok, maybe I do) but that if the rest of society goes through the effort of putting on some pants, then so should they.
Wait...was that kind? was that helpful? Hmmm. I'm not sure. See, still working on that. ;)