No, this isn’t a lecture on forbidding cursing or potty talk in your home. (Although, I’m all for it!) There are three phrases though, that are often allowed in most Christian homes. While one could debate whether or not the words themselves are sinful, speaking them is laying the ground for a heart that believes some of Satan’s favorite lies.
So what are the three phrases you need to ban? What heart issues do they allow to creep into the lives of your children?
- “I hate you!” We banned this one from day one in our house. No, little children don’t really mean they hate you, but it sets a bad pattern. Encourage your children to express their true emotion instead. They need to realize just because they are angry, hurt or frustrated with someone, God doesn’t give them permission to stop loving the person or to treat them in hateful ways.
- “…made me do it!” It doesn’t really matter if it’s a person or a more complex excuse. The problem is your child is beginning to refuse to take personal responsibility for the choices he or she made. No matter what, your child had a choice and he or she chose incorrectly. Your kids need to own their choices and the consequences of those choices. (Word of Warning: Children who probably grow up to be lawyers, may come back with “What if he had a gun?” Quietly remind your child about early Christian martyrs fed to the lions because they refused to lie and say they weren’t Christians.)
- “…everyone else…” It doesn’t really matter what “everyone” else is or isn’t doing. A Christian is rarely well served by doing what everyone else is or isn’t doing. Following God usually means doing the opposite of the rest of the world. A child who uses these words is showing a heart that wants to be popular more than it wants to be godly.
While all of these statements are probably said at some point by even the most godly children, quickly stopping them and discouraging the attitudes they can foster, will help point your child to God’s path. Allowing them to continue can eventually convince your kids they are true and allow the attitudes to pull them away from God. It’s not politically correct, but mom and dad “Ban these words in your house!”