Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Overflow

The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks. (Luke 6:45)


I am continually amazed at the junk that seeps into our hearts and minds.  After having children I became even more aware of the impurity in the world.  Things that I had become desensitized to suddenly revived their shock value.  Sadly, I had become so aware of these words and phrases that they had lost their sting.  I will never forget the day I was sitting in the doctor's office with my daughter who was four at the time.  The office would get quite full with restless children and the receptionist would put on a movie to pass the time.  Children's movies are safe, right?  One would think.  We really had no choice whether or not we wanted to watch the movie.  It was on.  It was loud.  So unless we waited outside we were stuck.  As the rated G movie progressed, the cartoon character began using a word and phrase that we hear often and some people choose to use often.   I hate words and phrases like these, and personally choose not to use them, as well as teach my girls not to use them.  I remember cringing to think that my four year old was hearing this word/phrase being repeated over and over again.  


I did a little research on the word today because of another incident.  My girls were upstairs playing and I was downstairs fixing their lunch.  One of my children appeared at my side with tears in her eyes.  She came down to confess that she had "unintentionally" said this short phrase including this word I absolutely abhor.  She looked terribly upset and made a full confession.  This opened up a great conversation about how we hear things and allow them to penetrate our hearts and minds without even knowing it because we listen to movies or TV shows that continually use these seemingly innocent expressions---though they are almost always used as an insult or putdown.    


I don't know exactly what propelled her confession.  Of course, I would hope that it was true guilt.  But there is always the "I'm gonna tell!" influence.  I don't know which it was, but it still opened up a great conversation.  We talked about trying to find out where she had been hearing it and be reminded that allowing ourselves to continually hear those words or phrases makes it much easier to pepper our own language with them.  I found it interesting that the incident occurred while they were role playing.  The story they were playing out was actually a negative one and therefore the insults seeped in.  We decided that insulting one another as part of their role playing story wasn't such a good idea.  


After this incident, I did a little research on the word/phrase in question.  Every place I looked said the same thing.  This phrase is indeed a vulgar one.  But...and I quote...."but its meaning has generalized........so that it no longer strikes the average American as obscene."   It has, however, not lost it's sting.  It is still used in a derogatory way, and some still use it with its original intent and meaning.  I see other phrases and words on Facebook every day.  Teens use these as if they are commonplace and acceptable.  I know they are aware of the meaning. I am also aware that it makes them feel accepted.  The more they use them, the easier it becomes.  When I was younger, girls usually (but not always) did not use questionable language.  That is no longer true.  Girls and women alike are peppering their speak with words that make the hair on the back of my neck stand up.  It cheapens their beauty.  Boys and men are not excluded.  I think it cheapens their influence and their dignity as well.  


I have had this conversation with my girls before, and I am sure to have it many times over the years to come.  We will continue to talk about what we are filling up our heart and minds with.  I will continue to impress on them that what comes out of our mouths first came from our hearts.  I will also continue to tell them that they should always think about a conversation with Jesus.  Would He be honored by their words?  If not, they ought to think twice.


Lord, help me honor You in my heart and mind.....that my mouth may praise You and honor you all the days of my life.





1 comment:

Matt Church said...

good ole case of frog boiling here. I know what you mean, not sure what word you are refering to, but I am sure it is one of those words that no one is really enriched by it having been said.