Proverbs 31:26 KJV says, “She opens her mouth with wisdom; and on her tongue is the law of kindness.”
Proverbs 31 describes the characteristics of a virtuous woman. However, there are many principles within this chapter that are applicable to both men and women, especially for those who are in the family of God. Our speech and the way we express ourselves verbally affects all areas of our life.
Many years ago I heard a pastor’s wife, whom I highly esteemed, speak on this topic. There was a strong anointing as she spoke, and one would almost think that nothing but kindness had ever come from her lips. Strange how when we are young we can look at an individual who is ministering life to others and our lives are deeply touched by their words. Yet, at the same time, we do not realize the struggles and heartaches that person may have walked through to reach that point or place of maturity in Christ.
I, for one, am so grateful for Pastor Jim and Lori Bakker, Joyce Meyer, Kay Arthur and others who have in recent years been very transparent and have shared out of their own mistakes and painful experiences. Their testimonies have ministered renewed hope and life to all of us. Many have been encouraged to let go of the sin in their lives.
These leaders inspire us to press on to know the Lord. We are so blessed to have “real” people sharing their frailties as well as their victories. God’s Word is the same way – we can read of great men and women of God who had failures, but when they turned to God and followed Him they were restored and victorious.
I was married when I was almost 19 years of age. On my 26th birthday I gave birth to my fifth child! Those were busy days and at times I would find myself completely overwhelmed with the responsibilities facing me. I had not learned to appropriate the grace of God in my life. I was trying to do everything right, but in my own strength.
Children truly are the heritage of the Lord, (Psalm 127:3) and such a blessing to a family. However, children require a lot of love, care and attention. At times I found myself feeling very guilty and ashamed when I would raise my voice and in complete exasperation burst into tears. However, the Lord began drawing my husband and me to Himself and we began to have much more understanding. God dealt with us regarding various areas of our lives.
I remember talking with a dear woman of God and I asked her if she had ever “lost it” when she was raising her children. She replied, “Oh Betty, I remember hanging clothes on the clothesline and crying my eyes out at the same time.” Her words made me feel much better and I was relieved to know that she had experienced similar emotions.
As the years have passed, I have gained a greater understanding of how important it is to guard what comes out of my mouth. James 3 is a powerful book in the Bible. It is not a chapter to be taken lightly. The damage that is done when we speak unkind words to anyone, including our children, can be devastating.