Proverbs 18:21 sums it up, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.” Think of the how you felt when someone made a rude comment to you vs. how you felt after a compliment or an encouraging comment. Even supposed teasing can have a sharp barb to it that leaves the receiver with bruised feelings. I am as guilty as anyone of not always thinking before I speak, but sometimes you have to wonder if people lay awake at night thinking of inconsiderate and downright mean things to say. Connie at SmockityFrocks posted today about things she has heard from complete strangers regarding her large family.
Here is part of her list with my responses which are not always kept to myself:
- I would slit my wrists.
- My Response: Who would clean up the mess?
- Are you going to get your tubes tied?
- My Response: You first.
- Better you than me.
- My Response: Yep.
- I hated every day at home in my large family.
- My Response: I bet they felt the same way about you.
- WHY do you have so many children?!
- My Response: To keep your Social Securty check coming in a few decades.
- When are you going to stop?
- My Response: I’m not.
- Don’t you know what causes that?
- My Response: Of course. Don’t you?
- I hope you are done!
- My Response: Only if God says so.
With “only 5”, I have heard many of these, as well. My favorite is when a lady asked if they were my grandchildren and when I responded no, she told me I should have started earlier. So, call me Sarah because it apparently is a miracle that you can and want to have babies into your 40s. It’s also a mindblower that they all have the same father and that we like each other after 15 years of marriage, thus the 5 children (really 8 because I had 3 miscarriages). Finally, many ask if we’re trying for a boy, since we have all girls. No, we cherish girls, unlike the general population of most third world countries.
Nobody would turn down one more blessing if it were a pay raise or a better job or something that made them look good. Why turn down the ultimate blessing of children? And even if you don’t agree with the more the merrier, why rag on the people who have more? Because, honestly, you might think you sound hip and funny by degrading a person in front of their children, but you just sound and look like an idiot.
So, next time you think you have a new and brilliant zinger for someone, think again. Will it bring life (praise and encouragement) or death (hurt feelings and anger)?