The “S” word was not allowed in our home during my child raising years. That – along with the “B’ word.
I did not allow my children to ever suggest that they were “B-O-R-E-D” – especially since I had provided them with all manner of imagination play and the good “B” word: – BOOKS!!
Children with plenty of art supplies, Legos, dress-up costumes and props, in addition to books in the library have no cause to ever be bored. Not to mention – backyard playground, friends and chores to do. So, rarely would I hear the “B” word.
However, it was the “S” word that, if uttered, I’d discipline swiftly and decidedly! Never were my children to tell each other to “Shut-up!”
I never used the expression. It was inappropriate behavior to do so. A harsh and demeaning thing to say one to another. Worse – for parent to ever say to child. Not only would it be a harsh and learned behavior modeled by a parent tasked with loving the child to obedience and quality character traits – in short, a bad example set; but, it is simply unattractive language.
That being said – there were two other “B-S” words that I chose to use instead.
Children chattering or arguing in the car – Be Silent!
Children complaining of one thing or another – Be Silent!
Children melting down over a perceived wrong when they didn’t get their way – Be Silent!
Children speaking out of turn through their arrogance, disobedience or lack of manners – Be Silent!
Children prattling on and on when adult stress levels were at a breaking point – Be Silent!
Being . . . children.
So, too am I a child – chattering, prattling, arguing, complaining, melting down, arrogant, disobedient, lacking in reverence – of my Heavenly Father – more times than I would like to admit.
I really need to shut-up.
Most of the negative noise children create that make you want to shout “shut-up” is due to a LACK OF TRUST.
In our CHILDISHness, we chatter and prattle on about how we know better. We argue and complain about circumstances we don’t like. We melt-down in fear and despair wailing and moaning our discord. We posture and fight through arrogance and disobedience showing a complete lack of manners and reverence for others as we hog the spotlight with our wants and desires – whether we speak from a position of knowledge or ignorance.
In such a case, the parenting model of our Heavenly Father elicits a firm, loving rebuke in a simple instruction, “Be Silent!”
In CHILDLIKE TRUST – we best Be Silent.
I just spent the last two months “shut-up” – in my house. A cold winter keeping me tied to my home January and February turned into an even chillier March when our furnace died and we spent the bulk of that month “shut-up” in one or two rooms with space heaters, closing off some of the rooms to keep what heat we had till the gas conversion could be accomplished. To that end, my living room was truly that – a LIVING room. Moved my office there and all my work. Stayed tight in a quiet place. Silent. Still. Solitude.
It has turned out to be, delightedly, a time of growth. And trust.
No complaints. Only contentment.
Inconvenient, perhaps. But, not intolerable.
Yesterday – after three weeks of workmen and waiting – we have a warm home. Just in time for 60 degree weather and daffodils blooming in the backyard!
Just in time for spring! That time of year when all of creation that had been “shut-up” and “silent” through the hard winter months – after their noisy summer and fall seasons of color and revelry – are springing back into life – with all manner of newness and growth.
There are always seasons in our lives when we are “shut-up” like the winter. It is harsh. It tempts us to lose hope. We become cold. We bundle-up in stillness – holed up in a corner den like a hibernating rodent.
Then, comes the spring. And suddenly there is meaning and reward to our winter exercises of “shutting-up” – of “being silent” . . . and still.
Our children eventually learn the rewards of silence. Hot tempers cool and have strength for renewal and measured thought. Silence teaches the child within to cope with disappointment after a negative outburst. Strangely – there is comfort there.
I have been looking forward to spring this year. But, I admit – I leave my “shut-up” state of “being silent” with mixed feelings. I kind of liked the silence and solitude.
In its season.
But, having the time to be silent and work through some harsh circumstances that have tempted me to lose hope in the cold, I put away childish noises and take hold of the lessons learned in “being silent” – the only “B-S” word worth embracing.
I don’t think I’ll miss the months of being “shut-up” so very much. The season of “Be Silent” should be a portion of every day – not just certain months of the year.
Like, when I was raising my kids. Not a day went by that I didn’t have to use the “B-S” word. Sometimes it was firmly demanded within the realm of disciplining unruly behavior. But, everyday we had “Be Silent” time – quiet play – slowing down. Learning to listen to the lessons learned in silence and stillness.
Where parent and child, both, could perfect CHILDLIKE TRUST – a virtue that FEEDS HOPE, and is best honed in what feels sometimes to be the harsh discipline of just shutting-up.
Sharing “Shut-up!” this week with:
Thought Provoking Thursday at 3D Life Lessons
Laura on Faith Filled Friday at Missional Women
Essential Things Friday Devotions
Fellowship Fridays at Christian Mommy Blogger
Still Saturday with Sandra Heska King
Charlotte at Spiritual Sundays
Hear it on Sunday – Use it on Monday with Michelle DeRusha
Whole-Hearted Wednesday at Whole-Hearted Home
Tell His Story with Jennifer Dukes Lee