Holiday Tips for Stepfamilies #9 – Tame Your Tongue
With Christmas Day upon us, it may be inevitable that we see people we don’t like or want to spend time with over the next few days. If we are exchanging our children with the other household, we may see ex-in-laws or grandparents we don’t see often. Healthy exchange gives us the opportunity to show our children how mature adults interact and get along, even in stressful situations.
Stepchildren often have fragile egos and sensitive spirits from losses they have endured. When we talk to other members of their family with kind words, it gives our children the freedom to love their other family without guilt. Healing can occur as they watch their parents in healthy conversation with each other.
Taming our tongue requires us to exercise self-control with our speech. It means we think about what we’re going to say first and then decide if it’s helpful and necessary to be said. We choose our words carefully so we don’t offend those we’re talking to. It requires a conscious effort on our part as we communicate with those around us.
When my children were younger and could never seem to get along, I made them memorize a Scripture verse that can be applied to each of us as we seek to tame our tongue:
“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” Ephesians 4:29