Combustion | Devotion #2: Reviling for Reviling
James Mann | Children’s Director
Dictionary.com defines revile: “to assail with contemptuous or opprobrious language; address or speak abusively.” The sad truth about our society is that we live in a world where verbal abuse is everywhere. It is at school, work, and even at home. Studies tell us that for many children, their first bully was one of their parents. This is the honest to God sad truth. I see this all the time in my position. Then, once they get older, parents get mad at their children for doing this to other children, that the parent was doing to their child just the previous night. God created parents to guide and love their children. The family is like a team. We are supposed to be working together. The Bible even goes far enough to say, “Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever” (1 Timothy 5:8).
I see parents demanding respect from their children, but they are saying such harsh and uncalled for things. Children look to their parents for spiritual guidance. If a parent is talking about how amazing God is in one sentence and the following sentence tells their child how worthless they are, do you think they will want to follow Christ when they get older? Proverbs 22:6 says, “Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.” I truly believe that part of the reason we see a huge drop off rate in people following Jesus right after high school comes down to the parenting that was done before that point. If we are showing our children the true love of God through our speech, that child will want to grow closer to God in years to come.
“The thoughts of the wicked are an abomination to the Lord: but the words of the pure are pleasant words” Proverbs 15:26. As believers, everything we say should be pointing directly to our Lord. I believe that there is no such thing as a list of “bad words.” That is a general list created by society throughout time to try and guide children verbally. The truth is that anything we say that is not pleasant to God is a “bad word.” If we cannot say these things to God directly, then we should not be saying them to anyone at all, especially our family. If we do not stay strong together as a family, our household will crumble to the enemy. All our enemy needs is one crack in the foundation to take control. The things we say to one another out of anger creates these tiny cracks. They keep building up and building up until there is a hole large enough to take down the entire house. I urge families to consider what they are saying to their children and to think about the impact they are creating in their lives. Make sure the impact is positive and points your children towards a life of loving and honoring God.