Spring Into Healthy Living by Taming the Tongue

Ah, spring. The hope of new life, a breath of fresh air, the promise of sun and longer days. We throw open the windows, letting the crisp breeze clear out the stagnant breath of winter. With this series, we examine every area of our lives where we need freshness, detox, and change. This article is about detoxing our speech.

Sometimes our homes smell clean, our food tastes clean, but our mouths shoot poison. Have you ever found yourself saying things that you wonder about later? Maybe afterwards you had thoughts like these:  Where did that come from? I can’t believe I said that! He made me say that or, She pushed my buttons. With spring and its representation of newness emerging, it’s time to clean up our words.

Examining our beliefs

The first action to take is to consider our core beliefs about ourselves, our spouses, our children, and others. What does our self-talk consist of? Do any of these thoughts sound familiar?

  •         I’m so forgetful.
  •         I’m not a good homeschooler.
  •         I’m not a good mom.
  •         I’m messy and unorganized.
  •         I can never get it right.

Or, how about these?

  •         He would rather be at work.
  •         He doesn’t help enough.
  •         They are doing it on purpose to get a rise out of me.
  •         They are unmotivated and lazy.
  •         No one really cares.
  •         No one understands.

What we believe in our heart of hearts makes its appearance when we open our mouths. The first step toward changing what we say is to change what we believe.

Make a change

Fill your mind with truth about yourself and others

We change what we believe by refusing to listen to the lies we conjure up from our past, from our impressions of what others think, and from the whispers of Satan whose aim is to destroy you and your family. We need to do less listening to ourselves and more talking to ourselves. Lies must be countered with truth. Those negative statements must be turned into positive ones. Most importantly, we must open our Bibles and fill our minds with the Word of God, otherwise we may become victims of worse lies as described in Luke 11:25-26,

“On its return, it finds the house swept clean and put in order. Then it goes and brings seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they go in and dwell there. And the final plight of that man is worse than the first.”

Fill your mind with noble thoughts

In addition to countering lies with truth, especially the truth of what God says about you, we also need to change what we think about. Our thoughts impact our beliefs, which then impact our speech and actions. We can still experience the temptation to focus on negative events in our lives and the hurtful behaviors of others. Then we become discouraged, depressed, resentful, and frustrated and find ourselves right back where we were—believing lies. What if we focused instead on the positive? What if we lived out Philippians 4:8, which says,

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”

Imagine the transformation in your home if there were more loving, kind, praising words!

Examining our words

Does your mouth speak both blessing and cursing?

Now that we have addressed our thoughts and beliefs—the root of all behavior, including speech—let’s look at the words that come out of our mouths. Are we detoxing our speech even as we detox our thoughts? The words we say ought to improve if we are filling our minds with good things, but sometimes old habits linger. Sometimes we behave one way at church or with friends and another way with our loved ones. The book of James talks about this—out of the same mouth come blessing and cursing (James 3:10).

But, I don’t feel like building others up!

If we are to improve our relationships, our speech should encourage others, build them up, and point them to the right path. We know this, but sometimes we’re just having a bad day and it’s hard to build someone else up when we feel down. HERE are some ways to get back on track and gain perspective when you have a bad day homeschooling.

We also struggle to encourage and bless others when they have brought us emotional pain. We tend to take on an attitude of “you hurt me, so I’m going to punish you/hurt you/refuse to talk to you.” But, as this post reveals, that response only intensifies our pain. It doesn’t heal us.

During this season of renewal and cleansing, of repentance and transformation, let’s get back on track with the way we talk to each other. Let’s detox our speech!

CHIME IN: What are some ways you tame your tongue? Are there any go-to Scriptures or prayers you use? Share with us in the comments below!

This post is part of the Spring Into Healthy Living blog series. Check the other posts:

Julie Polanco is a 16+ years veteran homeschooling mom of four challenging, artsy kids. She is the author of two books for moms–God Schooling: How God Intended Children to Learn and 100 Ways to Motivate Kids–and the high school botany instructor for www.SchoolhouseTeachers.com. Julie has been featured in several publications and blogs, including Today’s Parent, Old Schoolhouse magazine, Some Assembly Required, Homeschooling with Heart blog, and Alternative Health Guide. She teaches live middle school science workshops for her local homeschool co-op and is actively involved in her church’s women’s ministry. You can find her at www.julienaturally.com where she offers natural learning & living solutions for challenging kids and their families. You can also find her on Facebook @julienaturally and Pinterest @julienaturally.



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