We can be so unkind with the people we love the most, can’t we? Have you ever struggled to have self-control with the words you say? God has given us influence in the lives of many people—and our words matter. The Holy Spirit wants to help us tame our tongues! Join me today for week two of our study at MomStrong International!
Today’s Scripture Writing:
- Romans 8:1-4
Mentioned in Podcast
- Lincoln Day Dinner
- Becoming MomStrong
- Evangelical Christian Credit Union
- James 3
- Genesis 3:1
- Ephesians 4:29
- James 3:8
- Proverbs 16:23
- Proverbs 19:11
Join us at MomStrong International for our newest Bible Study and Scripture Writing!
Hey everybody. This is Heidi St John. Welcome to the podcast. Today is Wednesday, May 15th this is episode number 766, this is also week two of our study on taming the tongue. We’re talking about deep water. The Bible says that our words have that have the effect of being deep water in the lives of the people around us. I’m going to be talking a little bit about the study this week, and also a few other things that are on my mind. We’ve got a lot to cover. Stick around, I think you’re going to be encouraged
So thanks to everybody who’s been following us here at the podcast. I want to give a huge shout out to everyone who’s leaving reviews for the podcast over at iTunes. I read this one the other day, andI wanted to read it to you. It says, Thank you, Heidi, for being a bold speaker of truth in today’s confusing culture. So often your podcasts clarifies and confirms a Bible passage I’ve been studying or a situation I’m handing over to the Lord. He’s truly using you to encourage and enlighten your listeners. May continue to bless your ministry. Thank you for that. Every review that you leave at iTunes blesses our staff. We read them, they encourage us. We’re praying for you, so keep doing that. If you haven’t left reviews for the podcast yet, I want to encourage you to do that. Also, we have a sponsor here at the podcast, which is Evangelical Christian Credit Union.
You guys have heard me talk about them before. If you haven’t checked them out yet, I want to encourage you to do that. You can find them at ECCU.org and you can join a financial family that actually values your values—moment of silence. Think about that for a second. You can be have confidence in putting your money at ECCU.org knowing that this money is actually going to help further the message of the Gospel. And also, they have a wonderful program for homeschool families. So if you just go to ECCU.org/homeschool. You’ll find that they have an awesome program there for you, which includes their Start Young program. But I want to encourage you guys to check it out because if you’re like me, and I know that you are, we’re trying to help our kids grow in a way that is going to make them into wonderful adults. And part of that is discovering how to manage money. And God’s word has a lot to say about it and this is a great opportunity for you to help your kid open an account that keeps them accountable. And so they’ve got age appropriate spending and saving and even online budgeting options that kids will love to use. So check it out at ECCU.org. I know you guys are going to be blessed.
All right. I want to encourage you, really quickly, to a join me over at MomStrong International. If you haven’t gone to MomStrongInternational.com yet, this is a great time to get involved in this study. This study this month is called Deep Water. We’re studying the power of our words. And last week we studied a little bit about the importance of making deposits, right, into the lives of our children. And today we’re going to take that a little bit farther and I want you to think with me for just a minute because every day we have opportunities to either bless people or not bless them, right?
And so we all have situations where we’re on our last nerve and we were tempted to say things that we shouldn’t say. And really what it comes down to is—it’s self control, right? Because our kids can totally push us to the end of our, end of our self control, right? Actually we do that. Can I just be honest? I’m sure that I do that to my husband. I’m sure that there are things that I say to him or he just wants to like, you know, a fly off the rails at me—and it comes down to self control. And so when we’re in those situations, we have a choice—so we can either zip our mouth and walk away, right? Because it’s to a man’s glory to overlook an offense, right? Says Proverbs 19:11—or we can help our kids or our husband see the error of their ways. And so then the question comes up—what would Jesus do?
Well, if you’re like me, I can talk myself into saying—well, he was a truth teller and he didn’t let unjustice continue. And then something I don’t necessarily want to say, but I’ve justified it in my mind, can roll right around the Holy Spirit filter and right out of my mouth, right? Soft control. Who needs it? We do. I do. You do. And, I think we want to put ourselves in the position of recognizing that our words have power. Our words carry with them great authority. You guys, we live in a world full of people, but God has put a select group of those people right inside our sphere of influence. And these are the people that we rubbed shoulders with at the gym or the deli. These are our kids, people that we talked to in zoom calls, or at family reunions. And it’s so important for you to understand that this sphere of influence that you have narrows down first to your children and to that precious a person that you have married.
And we want to bless them with our words. And God uses His words to create, and to heal, and to discipline, and to love us incredibly well. God uses His words to exhort us. He uses His words to save us and we are His image bearers. And He has given us this precious gift of speech. And so we want to use our words in the same life-giving manner that God does. And so last week, we started the connection between our hearts in our mouths. We talked about making deposits into the lives of our children and into the lives of the men and women that we touch everyday at work, or wherever that is. Your words are speaking for you. The Bible says in Proverbs 16:23 that the heart of the wise instructs his mouth and adds persuasiveness to his lips. Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.
And so, how many of you guys have had that moment in your life, that moment in your day, when this was what you wanted but your sin nature got the best of you, that lack of self control over your tongue gets to you? And now we realize that James 3:8 is right, right? No one can tame the tongue. The Bible says it is full of deadly poison. But the Bible teaches us that whoever guards his mouth preserves his life, like the one who opens wide, his lips comes to ruin. And so this week we’re going to study a little bit about what we say to our children and what we say to her husband’s especially, or what we say to our spouse. I know there are a lot of dads listening to this today and guys, you know what?—your words carry with them incredible authority.
Did you know that? Your words carry with them incredible authority. I had a friend that a long time ago when Jay and I were pastoring up in northwest Washington. He used to say, Heidi, it’s all about tact. And timing. Sometimes we, we mistake honesty for rudeness. I heard a woman say to me one time when I listened to her correct her child in a very unkind and unseemly way, and she said, I’m sorry, I was just being honest. And I said, no, you just mistook honesty for rudeness. And I have kind of a theory about this. I think that we say the most unkind things to the people that we love the most—and I wrote about this and Becoming MomStrong—because we’re comfortable in the relationship. What are your kids going to do? Right? I mean, they’re stuck with us.
My kids are stuck with me, and so I could be the most horrible woman in the world. I could say to them, you know, I could make terrible deposits into their, into their banks of their hearts every day by the things that I say. But the bottom line is—I am responsible before the Lord for the inner voice that I am giving to my children by the things that I say. For the things that I’m saying to my husband—I can either build him up with my words or I can tear them down—and we all know how to do this, right? And so it is about tact and timing. It is about not mistaking honesty for rudeness. It is about saying, Lord, what would you have me say in this particular situation? So let’s talk about four very life-giving practical ways to bring blessing into the conversations that we’re having with the people that we love, with the people that are in our lives.
And this is so important for you to get. This is why we’re devoting the month of May to speech and to talking about what it means to bring life to people around us. And I just want to encourage you, like I said before, if you’re not joining me over at MomStrong International, this is a great time to do it. So the first thing we want to talk about is content. So when we think about what we’re saying to people around us, the first thing we want to ask ourselves is, is what I’m saying wholesome? Is what I’m saying necessary? I’m just gooing to let that sit. I’ve said to my kids many times over the years of the regrets that I have in my life, 99% of them are things that I said that I can’t take back. Words that came out of my mouth, that once they were out, they were just out.
And you know the old saying—sticks and stones can hurt my, it can break my bones, but words can never hurt me—we all know that’s a lie, right? Because words carry with them incredible power. And mom, before you fly off the handle at your eight year old who’s driving you nuts, think to yourself, how is this going to be interpreted later on? Is this necessary? Is it good? Is it truthful? Is it edifying? Sometimes we have to say hard things, but we can say hard things in love. We can say hard things and let them sit softly because of the tone that we use them in. And we have to ask ourselves—is what I’m saying necessary? Is that what I’m saying wholesome according to Ephesians 4:29? That’s what we want. That’s what we want to be asking ourselves. James 3 teaches us that the tongue is small, but it’s got the same straight as to spark a lightning, a forest fire, right? Or a rudder on a ship, on a ship.
And so the great news is that when we allow the Holy Spirit to be the captain of that ship, He directs the rudder. And so he’s going to help us discover and decide what it is that He would have us say. So the first thing is, is content. The next thing is tone, and tone is how we say something, right? This is a huge, big deal, right? So does my tones on testy, am I impatient? Are, are those who are listening going to hear my heart? Or are they going to hear my frustration? This is the same thing on social media. There have been many times that I’ve said things on social media and my heart didn’t come through, but my frustration did. That’s not what we want. So ask yourself—would I use the same tone that I’m using with my children or my spouse, with a friend from church?
Remember I told you that I think that we’re the most free in our speech with the people we love the most because that relationship is so secure. I have often marveled at the fact that most of us would be, would be kinder to the checkout person at Walmart when we’ve had a bad day, then we would to our own children or we would to our spouse. And we need to be very, very careful about what’s the tone of voice that we’re using. Does my tone sound kind? Does it sound encouraging? Does it sound reasonable or am I condescending? We all know what that’s like. And also mom and dad, you have an opportunity to correct the tone in your children. I’m amazed at how I see children talking to their parents here, even at the homeschool resource center—and sometimes even at my own house.
Years ago, a child who will remain unnamed, I had asked this child to mow the grass. And I remember—we have a, you know, a pretty big yard—so it’s not a small job, but it’s a job that this child could do. And so I asked my child hate mow the grass. They were fine. They replied in the affirmative. I went about my business. About half an hour later I came in and I noticed that said child was sitting on the couch and, my phone was being used by this child. And so I said—hey, I thought I asked you to mow the grass. And with some, I’m not sure what happened in that moment with my kid, but the words that were spoken to me have echoed in history in the St. John Home. And these are the words I heard you guys ready for this? I like to see you mow the grass.
I mean, as soon as this kid said it to me, you could just tell. It was like, oop, that was a bad idea. Back it up, back it up, back it up. But it was too late. The words were already out there. So I saw the phone and I took it out of the hands of this child and I said, ah, here’s what we’re going to do—follow me. And I went into the garage and I threw that phone as far as I could across the garage, flew over my husband’s head. It hit the wall in the back. I mean shattered the phone into a thousand pieces. And my husband was like, okay, good lesson. I’m glad we’ve had this little talk. Wow. That was, yes, I affirm you expensive. Why did you do that? And I am at this point, I am just like—you get out there and mow the grass—and I’m yelling at my kid. And I think that we could argue that it was actually appropriate in that situation to react the way I did—because I’m trying to correct something in my child that was wrong. And parents, your kid should not be condescending to you, or rude to you, or disrespectful to you. And when they are, we have opportunities to correct it. Maybe not by throwing a phone across the room. That is a little expensive. Fortunately, it wasn’t a phone than anyone was using. We have our, our phones here and we, we pass them down as a lot of you do so it was an older phone. But I have noticed that it’s easier for me to let something go until I’m angry, than deal with it in the moment. That takes consistency. That’s hard to do. Your tone matters and it matters how your kids are speaking to you.
Also, the next thing is delivery. So what we mean by that is what is accompanying the nonverbal? Does your body language say something about you? Does it say I’m standing defensively or does it say that my arms are open? Can I say it with a smile on my face? Maybe not. Maybe we can’t do that. But you know what you can do?—you can say it in a way that your body language says—I’m going to listen to you, we’re going to, I’m going to work this out. Right? We’ve all had moments where we just felt like we wanted to drop this, this word bomb and then walk away, but it doesn’t please the Lord. And the next thing is this timing. So whatever you say, note when you’re saying it. So when you say whatever it is that needs saying, say it with tact and timing—and good communication really does come down to those two things.
It’s all about tact and timing. So not only is it truthful to say the car’s making a funny noise, it’s also important. However, it’s poor timing to tell your husband about it with stress in your face as he’s coming up the stairs from fixing the furnace, right? Tact and timing. So think about it this way—not only is it truthful, but it’s also necessary to let your teenager know that he forgot to take the trash out for the third week in the row, but probably not right in front of his friends at the kitchen table. Instead, you want to have a private conversation with your teen, and it may include, it may include a disciplinary action. You want to explain the car noise to your husband when he’s had time to clean up from his repair work. And when we do that, the message will not only be better received, but the timing will be appreciated.
So we want to be careful. And the reason that we’re doing this is because we want our lives to bring glory and honor to the Lord. And part of the way we do that is by gaining command of the things in our speech and training our children in them. And you guys, if we can do this, it literally will revolutionize the way that we talk in our home, right? We can memorize all the Bible verses that we like, but if we don’t employ good practices in our communication, the fruit of those Scriptures are not going to grow. So in the study this month, we’ve, we have given you a ton of scripture to look up. You can look these things up with your kids. Can I just encourage you—if your kids are, say, 13 years of age or older or 12 years of age or older, they can do these studies with you. And is important for you to bring your kids into the conversation because your kids are also learning how their speech affects other people, right?
And it, the truth is original sin—we don’t often talk about this—but original sin started with words, right? We read in Genesis 3:1—this is the serpent—indeed has, God said, you may not eat from any tree of the garden? Wow! And this set off a chain of events that we are still reeling from today. And so when we take you to James 3, we’re going to have you underlining things. We’re gonna point out some themes and some metaphors for you. We want you to really engage with your children in this topic because it’s so important. It’s important that we learn at first in our homes, but then also equally as important because we’re going to be talking with people on social media. And we need to understand that, wow, not only can we have self control in our lives, but it’s actually a requirement for the children of God.
So this is an important study. I hope you guys are going to be digging deeper with us. And remember, as you’re doing this, it’s okay if you’re struggling in this area. I struggle in it. I think a lot of us do. It’s not okay to stay in it. And so that’s what we want to do. We want to grow and come out of a place of feeling like we don’t have control over either the things that we say, or the things that we eat, or the places we go, or the things that we watch on television,or the things we allow ourselves to listen to. This comes down to that fruit of the Spirit that we call self-control. So if you want more information on the study, Deep Waters, you can find it at MomStrongInternational.com. We also have Spanish now for you, for the Scripture Writing.
So if you haven’t downloaded it yet, check it out at MomStrongInternational.com. You can create a free account there. You can get the Scripture Writing Challenge and the copy work for free. It is also available in a Spanish edition right now. So if those of you who have friends who are Spanish speaking, we’re going to start reaching out to the Spanish speaking community, starting with the Scripture Writing Challenge. So check it out at MomStrongInternational.com.
I will be speaking this weekend if you guys think about it. I’m going to be speaking for the Lincoln Day Dinner coming up this weekend, here in my ed city of Vancouver, Washington. I’ve chosen to speak there partly because I really want to speak about the fight for faith and family and the fight for freedom. This is an opportunity for us to get off the bench and onto the battlefield.
So many of you asked me questions about whether or not Christian should be in the public square, should we be speaking about political things, and what I have noticed in recent years is, things that are really moral issues, we’ve made them into political issues because then if it’s a political issue, the culture has learned that they can shut the church up. And I want to stand against that in the name of Jesus and say—no, you have a voice. Not only do you have a voice, but you have been given an opportunity to use that voice in a way that brings other people to the Truth. And whenever we remove Truth from the conversation, evil always fills the vacuum. And we’re seeing that more and more and more. You heard me talk about comprehensive sex education the other day—what’s happening in California. This is happening all over the United States. If you haven’t yet watched the war on children, Google it. This is the, I think one of the most important documentaries. It’s only about 20 minutes long. Might be one of the most important documentaries ever made for parents in this day and age. So check it out. The war on children.
And you guys, I’m going to encourage you as I always do, get off the bench and onto the battlefield. You can join us as we study to show ourselves approved as workman unto God, who do not need to be ashamed, and who rightly divide the Word of truth. So come and join the study at MomStrongInternational.com and I will see you back here on Friday.
Write to Heidi:
c/o Firmly Planted Family
11100 NE 34th Cir, Vancouver, WA 98682