Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Building Up or Tearing Down

"Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen." Ephesians 4:29

My daughter is having some friendship issues at school. It is hard as a parent to stay on the sidelines and let them work it out, but I know that she can handle it.

Last night when she was talking to her dad and I about the situation she had this attitude of I am never talking to her again. We had a long talk about not causing division within her friends. All we accomplished last night was causing a lot of tears. Not exactly a teachable moment. (My husband didn't ever go through years with girl drama. . .I had my fair share. He doesn't quite understand girl dynamics)

This morning I read her the verse above from Ephesians. She looked at me and said, "What does it mean?" I told her that we are supposed to focus on building others up and not tearing them down. She needs to focus on being kind and forgiving. No matter what. Even if someone else is saying words that hurt, she needs to say words that build that person up.

I said, really you need to kill her with kindness. That is her goal today. We'll see how it goes. Luckily girl drama doesn't last long. What is amazing is how hurtful just a few words can be and they so easily slip from our mouths.

The remainder of this verse is this, "And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you." Ephesians 5:30-32

When I think about the tears that fell last night with my daughter and how hurt she was from words that were said, it makes me think of grieving the Holy Spirit. The words that come from my mouth at times must grieve the Holy Spirit deeply. Today I am focusing on building up not tearing down.

May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer. Psalm 19:14


Southern Gal said...

It was so hard for me to raise my daughter and be objective. Lots of times I ran to her rescue only to regret it in the end. You're doing a great job!

Tracey said...

Love how you handled this with Scripture!!

My older daughter and I were discussing a situation from school last night as well and, in this case, I was trying to help her see how it might look from the other girl's point of view. Since she's only nine, I see years of drama ahead! Much as you did, I hope to view these times as teachable moments.

Wendy @ All in a Day's Thought said...

I love how you built scripture into this particular situation. I will say a prayer for your daughter too today.

My daughter opened up at bedtime about a girl that was intentionally trying to make her jealous. It made me sad, but I prayed with her.

Sheesh. This is going to be difficult to watch my children go through. You gave such wise council. Be encouraged!
~ Wendy

Amanda said...

I just did a Bible study where that verse is the theme... I think it is SO ingrained in my brain I will never forget it! (thank God!)


Cherie said...

Amy, thanks for sharing. We have just had this very same situation with our 9 year old in 4th grade. She tends to be very dramatic sometimes, so it is hard to discern real problems with friends from "incidents" with friends. But aren't you glad that they feel safe enough to talk with us about it? I pray for that open communication to continue!

tracie said...

i really, really love this! i go through lots of girl drama with my oldest and while your heart breaks ... these teachable moments are SO important! i'm so happy she was open to receiving the verse & giving it a try! can't wait to hear how it goes. keep us posted.

Sandy said...

My nephew is having trouble like that right now, too, though!
I will pray for your daughter. You did an excellent job with her! I will pray for you, too. I know it is difficult. Parenting is difficult.