Our Words

  It's not so much what you say As the manner in which you say it; It's not so much the language you use As the tone in which you convey it. "Come here!" I sharply said, And the child cowered and wept. "Come here," I said - He looked and smiled And straight to my lap he crept. Words may be mild and fair And the tone may pierce like a dart; Words may be soft as the summer air But the tone may break my heart. For words come from the mind Grow by study and art - But tone leaps from the inner self Revealing the state of the heart. Whether you know it or not, Whether you mean or care, Gentleness, kindness, love, and hate, Envy, anger, are there. Then, would you quarrels avoid And peace and love rejoice? Keep anger not only out of your words - Keep it out of your voice. ~Author Unknown

7 thoughts on “Our Words

  1. R. B.

    I love this poem and the message it conveys. Nevertheless, it touches on something I am wrestling with as a Christian mom trying to raise my children in a Biblical way. Do you think there is ever an appropriate way of using a harsh/raised tone of voice in order to convey the severity of a child’s rebellion. I do not think any amount of yelling/shouting/raised tones flowing from an angry, selfish heart is justified, but do you think a harsh tone (done in a very self-controlled way) is ever appropriate and Biblical for a severe disobedience? What do you think?

    1. Janet Post author

      I understand the wrestling on this issue and it is my plan to write my thoughts on it more fully soon. However, I’ll share my thoughts briefly here. For me, from my own examination of scriptures and my own convictions, my goal to to NEVER yell at my children. I’m not there yet, but I am very close. Raising my voice at my children that rarely happens and when it does I am filled with grief and sorrow at my own heart. “A gentle answer turns away wrath but a harsh word stirs up anger.” (Proverbs 15:1) If my goal in discipline is transform hearts (not just behavior) then I do NOT want to stir up anger in my children. I want to draw tenderness out of them. In addition, I see no benefit of yelling. What does it accomplish? What good comes out of it? Most often, yelling comes from a person’s own selfish and angry heart, not out of any true desire to see hearts conformed to Christ.

      That said, there is a BIG difference between yelling and speaking sternly. I often speak sternly to my children. I want them to know that what I am saying is important and that necessitates a change of tone. But my hope is that the tone while stern, is also loving. I need to speak the truth IN LOVE. I want them to know that sin is serious, obedience is serious, and being attentive is serious and yet I want them to know that I love them and their hearts in spite of any sin they have (the way the Father loves me).

      I hope that makes sense. I have been trying to write about this for days because it weighs so heavy on my heart but the words haven’t come out properly yet. I hope this is helpful for now.

  2. R. B.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I agree there is a difference between yelling and speaking sternly. And so true–our goal is to draw tenderness out of our childrens’ hearts–not stir up anger. I will look forward to hearing more thoughts whenever you write on the topic more. Blessings.

  3. Allyson

    Hi Janet,
    Did you decide to discontinue your blog? I miss it so much! I keep checking back and wondering what happened.


  4. Jennifer

    Hope you and your family are okay!!!??? I had been following your blog(s) since right before Caleb was born and miss reading about your family’s adventures! In case you decided to stop blogging the best of luck to all of you!


  5. Nancy

    I hope you and your family are well! I’ve followed your blogs for several years and have always enjoyed reading about your experiences overseas and all of your homeschooling activities! Hope you enjoyed some snow this Christmas!

    Happy New Year!


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