Watching Our Words

A number of threats were made to encourage Angus to stay seated, but nothing seemed to be working.

Judges 21:1-25

Reference:  v.18 We can’t give them our daughters as wives, since we Israelites have taken this oath: ‘Cursed be anyone who gives a wife to a Benjamite.’ (TNIV Bible)

Explore: A friend of mine has a two-year-old son, Angus, who is very cute.  He’s just started speaking, but he has been able to understand what his parents have been saying to him for quite a while.  The other day Angus was not keen to sit down at the table, even though it was tea time and he needed to be seated to eat his meal.  A number of threats were made to encourage Angus to stay seated, but nothing seemed to be working.  In the end, my friend got so frustrated he went to say, “Angus, if you don’t sit down then you’ll never be allowed to sit in a big person’s chair again!”  My friend did happen to stop himself before blurting out this whole sentence, which is just as well.  As parents, we are told not to make hollow threats and I’m just not sure my friend would have been able to follow through on never allowing his son to sit on a chair ever again!

Application:  While consequences are an important part of parenting, it is important that we are able to follow through with them.  It’s easy to spurt out a consequence, however, the challenge often comes when you need to administer the discipline.  There were 12 tribes within the Israelite nation and when they discovered that one of the tribes, the Benjaminites, had done evil, they set a consequence that none of the other eleven would allow them to marry their women.  The challenge came when the eleven tribes saw that the Benjaminites did not have enough women for their men to marry, and yet they had to follow through with the oath they had taken.  While an oath before God is more crucial than a consequence levelled at a two year-old, we always need to be careful with what comes out of our mouths.  We need to be true to our word and willing to follow through with what we say we will do.

Prayer:  Lord, forgive us when we speak before thinking.  May our words reflect your heart for others. Amen.

Make a note to watch what you say today.  Do you speak the truth in every statement?

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This article was written by Linda Bailey

Linda started theological studies in 1999 in Australia. After working for ten years in various church ministries, she now works as the breakfast producer at 89.9 LightFM - the Christian radio station in Melbourne, Australia. She writes blogs every day about passages she is currently reading in the Bible. Follow her on Google Plus +Linda Bailey or Facebook by clicking the like button on the right of this page.