Tag Archive for: taming the tongue

Dare 9 – The Respect Dare – Developing Patience – For Parents of 20-Somethings

Driving back home from campus having just dropped their youngest daughter off from a weekend visit home, Lynette turned to Russ and began chuckling. “Isn’t it amazing how God has grown us!” she began. I can’t believe we were able to respond as we did.”

“You are so right,” Russ responded. “I guess raising four kids will do that for you. I love that kid so much and just want her to be successful.”

The day had started out similar to every Sunday on the weekends that Britney had chosen to come home. Together they would get up and go to church and rush home to pack up her things. Clean laundry, books, computer, purse, snacks for the dorm, became the routine checklist. Lynette would usually make a visual sweep of every room just to make sure Britney hadn’t forgotten anything that she might need for the next few weeks.

Typically they headed out the door for Britney’s restaurant of choice. That was her ‘treat’ for the weekends that she came home. “Yeah, something other than the standard cafeteria fare!” she would sing.

As they were leaving the restaurant with half a pizza left from their meal, Britney gasped. “Oh, no! I forgot to get my shirt for the concert out of the dryer. I’m so sorry, Dad, but we’ve got to go back home!”

Twenty minutes to return home wasn’t really that big of a deal. “At least it’s early enough in the day that we can still make it back home before dark,” he responded.

On the road again, the conversation was light. It was obvious that Lynette and Russ were just enjoying being with their daughter and hearing her talk about her world at school. They had never fathomed how much they would miss the chatter of their kids until this one left for college.

About an hour into the drive, Britney remembered something important. “Oh, I can’t believe it. Mom, we didn’t get laundry detergent!”

Responding with extreme calmness, Lynette suggested they take a detour into the next town and find a grocery store. “Glad you thought of it now,” she remarked. With that, Russ took the next exit without emotion or frustration. In ten minutes they were back on the highway.

With less than 10 minutes until they would arrive at Britney’s dorm, a distraught groan of “Oh, Dad, you are going to kill me!” came from Britney’s lips. “Did either of you pick up my dorm keys? I didn’t see them on the table with my other stuff. I can’t get in my dorm without them. We’ll need to go back home.”

Russ quickly pulled off to the side of the road to scan the van for the keys. As they looked, Russ remembered having put them on the key hook at home. None of them had thought to grab it when they left. Starting to turn around and drive the hour and a half home, Lynette suggested that they call campus security to get Britney in her dorm room so she could get the things done she needed for class tomorrow. It was decided that Russ would return with the key later that evening…another three hours on the road.

Playing back the day’s events with Russ, Lynette was able to reconstruct what would have happened if this has been their firstborn. First, Lynette would have chastised him for forgetting the shirt. Then when the laundry detergent had come up, she would have told him that he needed to plan ahead. She knew that both she and Russ would have been upset that they had to give up that extra time stopping at the store and would have probably let their emotions show how much he had upset their day! But the key would have set both of them off into a spiraling whirlwind of accusations of “whose fault it was”. They would have given voice to words that would have destroyed, rather than nurtured the relationship.

Proverbs 18:4

The words of a man’s mouth are deep waters, but the fountain of wisdom is a bubbling brook.

Forgetfulness by our 20-somethings can be frustrating if we are the ones impacted by their lack of thought. May God give you patience and wisdom as you provide servant leadership and keep your tongue in check.

“Let go…and let God,”

Hope you will join Nina Roesner as she provides insight on marriage and Leah Heffner as she blogs to wives with little people as we go through The Respect Dare together.

The Respect Dare – Dare 7 – For Parents of Tweens & Teens

Sitting in a small group of women at her Tuesday morning Bible study, Marjorie slowly retreated into her own world of pain. In her mind she knew these women meant no harm to her personally, but she could feel the weight of failure as a single parent. Silenced by their ongoing chatter, she could almost sense that she might hyperventilate. “Get hold of yourself,” she thought. “You’ll be out of here soon and will be busy at work in no time. Until then just smile, nod, and pretend like it is no big deal, so they think you’re engaged with the conversation.”

As their study time was wrapping up, the group had broken into their small groups to do their “catch up on what’s going on in your world” conversation so they could get to know each other on a deeper level. “You know the drill, ladies. Make sure you walk away with a prayer request from each person in your group so that you can pray for them this week,” their leader had instructed.

As they had moved chairs and gotten situated, Brie got her group started.

“Things are great in my world. Melissa is getting ready for her first date! I met the boy yesterday after school, and he seems so nice. He plays guitar in the worship band at his church.” They’re going to go have pizza at that new little Italian place by the interstate. I’m taking her this afternoon to get a new outfit! Maybe I’ll even treat her to a new hair style and a manicure. It will be so much fun. I guess just pray that they’ll hit it off and that Melissa and I can really stay connected as she is growing up.”

“That’s so cute! I remember when Daniel started dating Tiffany. It was fun watching them get to know each other. Even after two years of marriage, they are still so in love,” Linda gushed. “They’re leaving on their cruise next week. I hope they come back with a grandbaby in the oven. Maybe just pray for their safety and, of course, that Tiffany will have an announcement to make!”

Everyone laughed.

“Oh, it’s my turn. Tyler just found out he’s getting a full-ride academic scholarship! I’m so proud of him. We’ve told him that since he won’t need to use the college money that we’ve saved, we’ll go ahead and buy him a new car with it. He’s already got it picked out! We’ll make a big deal of getting it the day after graduation. For me you can pray that he and his dad can agree on which car to buy.”

For Marjorie, the conversation droned on. All she could think of was what a loser she felt like.

Nancy had a praise. She shared about her son Martin’s new promotion at the bank. She also asked that everyone pray for their neighbor who recently had a heart attack.

Leah talked about the new smartphones she had just bought her junior high twins. “Just pray that they don’t do anything stupid with them and they can handle them maturely. This is such a scary time as a parent. Dan and I were a little nervous about getting them, but we finally felt like we had to give in to the peer pressure. Just pray that we’ll be able to work through what might come our way through all of it.”

It was Marjorie’s turn. She’d been rehearsing in her head what she would say during the time she felt the darts of the others’ words pierce her heart. She knew she couldn’t even compete on the level of their world any more. How could they even relate to all she was going through? She knew that she couldn’t have when she was married to someone who was earning six figures! Here they were talking about their smartphones and cruises and she needed prayer that God would protect her teens while she was away at work. She needed God to shield her kids from the influence of their father’s world with his new live in girlfriend. She could see how her boys were struggling in both worlds they had to live in. She was really getting worried about her 16 year old and the new friend he was hanging out with. Even though things were heavy on her heart, she responded, “Not too much going on in my world. Mitch, my 8th grader, is thinking he wants to try to get a paper route which would keep him busy a couple of afternoons during the week while I’m at work. I guess just pray that he gets it.”

Jeremiah 10:23

“Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom or the strong man boast of his strength or the rich man boast of his riches.”

As parents, we’re all proud of our kids and their accomplishments. We love to share all the good that is going on in their lives. But our tongues can sometimes be a dart that brings poison to others when those we are boasting to are not experiencing the same success.

Dare you to become aware of how your excitement to share your kids’ success might impact a hurting parent.

Having been both the participator and the recipient of similar conversations, I’ve had to humbly…

“Let go…and let God,”

Hope you’ll join Leah as she blogs through The Respect Dare to moms with little people and Nina Roesner as she continues to inspire us with new insight on marriage.

Dare 6 – The Respect Dare –

Mark and Audrey were at odds on what to do. It seemed that lately there were a lot of money issues with their twenty-three year old son. Mark was of the opinion that by twenty-three, it was up to their son to be totally independent. “He’s a man, for crying out loud!” Mark bellowed. “I didn’t have my dad bailing me out every time I turned around.”

Audrey had been tempted to challenge him because she saw things differently. But she bit her lip and decided to pray about it instead.

“Lord, Justin is still in college with only one semester remaining. He sounded really down on the phone today. It is obvious that he wasn’t sure he would be able to make it through the next few days financially. It had obviously taken a lot just for him to ask. I know we’re paying for part of his college tuition, but everything else is on his dime, and he has maxed out his loans. I know that Justin is carrying a heavy load trying to graduate on time. I understand why he recently quit his 20 hour a week job because of one of the classes he needed to graduate; this leaves him with little to no spending money. It makes sense that He needs a loan. He just needs necessities to get by. Help Mark to see that, Lord, and please help us come up with a solution.”

She thought about how she had seen her aunt operate in situations similar to this. She knew what Aunt Mabel would do. She would just pretend like she was “spending extra money” at the grocery store or some other place and give the money to her son without telling his father.

022614_0211_Dare6TheRe2.jpgAudrey didn’t want to undermine her husband like that. She had seen the remnants of trust be shredded by Aunt Mabel’s willingness to “get her way” regardless of what her husband thought. She needed to come up with another way to get Mark’s attention. She also didn’t want to drive a wedge between Mark and Justin.

What was it she had learned in Daughters of Sarah? “State facts without emotion,” she remembered. “Men need short, logical communication.”

As she continued to contemplate how to best approach Mark she kept remembering a verse.

Ephesians 4:1b-2

Walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love.

Audrey kept thinking about the relationship with both of her “men”. She needed to not only show respect for her husband, but also respectfully spur Justin on to independence as well. How could she do that without undermining either one?

The next evening, Audrey ventured into conversation with her husband. “Mark, I know that you and I are at odds on how to deal with Justin’s financial struggles right now. Would you be willing to listen to an idea that I have that might be a win-win for all of us and still recognize that Justin needs to be financially independent?”

When you and your spouse don’t agree on how to handle a particular situation, parenting can be difficult. Communicating in a way that the other understands can be crucial in reaching the best solution. And sometimes choosing to not do things like “Aunt Mabel” did, is a true act of showing kindness out of love.

Dare you to lean toward gentleness in your communication with your spouse.

“Let go…and let God,”


Be sure to join Nina and Leah as we go through The Respect Dare together!

Dare 5 – The Respect Dare – Is My Mouth in Check?

Karissa went into the guest bedroom, tears welling up within her. “Why did I even come? I love her, but I hate being around her!” she thought to herself. “Why is it that I can graduate from college with honors, go to work every day and get accolades for a job well done, be up for a promotion at the age of 24, and then come home and feel like I can’t do anything right? I’ve been here less than 15 minutes!” Dread for the coming week welled up within her. “I wish I had just stayed home.”

While Karissa was in the bedroom unpacking, her mom was busy in the kitchen in the kitchen fixing lunch. “A whole week with Karissa to myself!” she felt as light as a feather. “I get her all to myself.”

Karissa pulled herself together hoping her mom wouldn’t notice the tears. “Brace yourself!” she warned. “Just let her words go in one ear and out the other. Nothing she says can hurt me.”

As Karissa entered the kitchen her mother grabbed her and hugged her. “I’m so glad you are here! Sit, let’s eat! You need to put some meat on those bones, dear. You’ve lost too much weight!”

“Just busy I guess.”

“You’ve got your hair different. I like it, but you know I really like it shorter. You should cut about an inch off so way people will see your face better.”

“I like it this way, Mom. I get a lot of compliments on it.”

“So, Karissa, are you dating anyone yet? I know you want children someday.”

“No, Mom. No future husband in the wings. I’m sure he’ll show up when he is supposed to and I think I’ve got a few years left on my biological clock for children.”

“What about that guy, Dan, you were dating. I really liked him. You should see if he still has any interest.”

“He’s married now, Mom.”

“I knew you shouldn’t have let him get away.”

And on and on the conversation droned.

By bedtime, Karissa was ready for seclusion from her mother’s words. “Lord, I know Mom doesn’t say things with a malicious intent. It is as if she doesn’t even think about the way her words affect other people. Help me to not be so sensitive. Help me to just enjoy her.”

By day three, Karissa was having a tough time keeping it together. All she could think of was the end of the week and getting away from all the criticism and negative input from her Mother. She decided she had nothing to lose. In actuality, there wasn’t even a relationship from her perspective…so there really was nothing to lose.

“Mom,” she ventured that evening. “Can we talk about us, about our relationship?”

“Sure, honey, you sound serious.”

“Do you like having me here?”

“Of, course.”

“Do you like me for who I am?”

“You know I love you. I love you with all my heart.”

“I didn’t ask if you love me. I asked if you like me. Do you like me for who I am?”

“That’s a silly question.”

“Mom, I know you don’t mean to, but I feel like you are constantly telling me who I should be, what I should do, what I’m not doing. What I’m really saying is that I don’t think you respect me, for me…You read your Bible don’t you, Mom?”


“There’s a scripture in there that goes something like this. Philippians 4:8 Whatever is true, noble, right pure, lovely, and admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

“I know that verse.”

“Could you try meditating on that when you think of me? When I’m around you, I feel like I don’t measure up. I feel like you want to “fix” me into whatever your idea is of a “perfect” daughter. In reality, I don’t think you respect the fact that I’m an adult and my own person.”

“Karissa, that isn’t the way it is at all.”

“Mom, I’m not accusing you of anything. I’m just letting you know how it feels to me. There’s another verse you might want to think about too.”

Proverbs 25:11

A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.

“Mom, I want to feel like you cherish me as you would gold or silver. I want to be cherished like one of your best friends now that I’m an adult. Would you tell your best friend that you thought they should cut their hair, or wear a different color lipstick, or wear different shoes, or find a husband? I doubt it. But you still feel like you can say those things to me because in your mind I haven’t grown up.”

Moving our children into the adult world in our minds is difficult. We will always have a desire to mother them.

Dare you to choose your words carefully as you cherish this new adult to adult relationship.

“Let go…and let God,”


Be sure to join Nina and Leah as they blog through The Respect Dare for wives and young mothers.

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