It’s been over a week since the “great discovery” and still it is just as fresh (or rather sour) as it was from that first moment of truth. My son walked into our shared family bathroom as I was brushing my teeth late one night and stared at me in the mirror before managing to slowly ask that disturbing question, “Mmmmom, why are you using my toothbrush?” Yes, since Christmas we have been using the same green spin brush while the blue one sat unused in the cabinet above the sink.
Moms, there are many things we are often called upon to share. I’ve willingly given up my coat to a child who forgot hers despite being reminded eighteen times (at least) before going out the door. I’ve shared my bed with a sick or scared toddler on countless occasions being relegated to a three inch edge all night. And I have even been content to share body parts at ungodly hours of the day and night for feeding and comforting purposes, but I draw the line at sharing my toothbrush.
Mind you, it’s not solely out of a sense of selfishness. After all, over the course of 19 years and four children, I have been pulled on, puked on, and pooped on countless times, so what’s a little saliva to me? However, it isn’t exactly healthy and it reminded me that the mouth can pour forth a whole host of unhealthy junk that our children need to be protected from, germs being the least of these. If I’m intentional about not sharing germs with them that will make them physically sick (okay, aside from the toothbrush), how much more determined should I be to not share those things from my mouth that make them emotionally sick?
Oh, I wish I could say this is easy for me, but taming my unruly mouth has always been a struggle and I fail often. However, I have found that as I learn what not to speak, replace it with what I should speak, and pray for God’s grace to cover my failures, help me change, and give my children the ability to forgive when I blow it, somehow I get better. So, here’s my plan. It’s not an overnight fix, but I promise with a little time and a lot of consistency, change will come.
1) Understand what not to share from our mouths:
- foul or abusive language–Ephesians 4:29
- cutting remarks–Proverbs 12:18
- anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language–Colossians 3:8 (NIV)
- harsh words–Proverbs 15:1
2) Know and practice what we should share:
- kind words–Proverbs 16:24
- encouragement–Ephesians 4:29
- gentle words–Proverbs 15:4
- timely advice–Proverbs 25:11
- words of wisdom and kind instruction–Proverbs 31:26
3) Pray. Pray. Pray. Trust. Trust. Trust. God really will use even our weaknesses to work great things in our lives and our children’s lives when we submit them to Him and His grace.
Well there you have it! I pray you have a great day that begins by not sharing your toothbrush and continues with sharing only what brings life and health to those around you.