Did You THINK?
We were leaving a picnic, deciding which kids would go in which car. My daughter chimed in, “I want to go with Grandma.” I piped up, “Ah, but does Grandma want you to go with her?”
That’s when my firstborn turned the tables on me and asked, “Mom, did you THINK about what you said?”
In my house, the phrase “Did you THINK?” comes up again and again.
My house is, for the most part, full of laughter. Honestly, though, with five people in the same home, squabbles are bound to pop up. At some point we each get tired, have short tempers, or just want to annoy someone. Family members are the first targets.
So we had this sign posted on our whiteboard for quite a while:
Did you THINK? Is what you say . . .
There’s a minute chance that my family is prone to hyperbole. So, do we exaggerate the grievances we have against each other? Do we look clearly at the issue, or are we tainted by previous grievances?
Do your words support the people around you? Do they offer solutions to problems? Do you bring comfort in sadness? Teasing can be fine; sarcasm, not so much.
Do our words encourage the ones around us to be their best? Or do we squelch their dreams by putting down their ideas?
Does it have to be said? If a child is having a disciplinary conversation, do the others add fuel to the fire? Do we speak when silence would be best?
Nice doesn’t mean kind. Sometimes kindness means saying hard things because someone needs to be called to account. It’s looking out for their best interests. But do you speak the truth in love? Or do you intentionally cut someone down?
We THINK about our words because we know this world is cruel enough. Our homes are a great place to practice words that “encourage one another and build each other up” (1 Thessalonians 5:11). It’s a place where my daughters learn how to speak respectfully to men. A place for our son to practice complimenting women and being kind.
Though we say THINK all the time, don’t think we do it perfectly. That’s the beauty of knowing that God’s mercies are new every morning. Each day is another chance to THINK.