Are You Giving Your Family A Mud Bath?
I remember giving my children baths when they were infants. They loved to play with the bubbles and the little toys we put in the tub. Sometimes, we would come home from a hard day of play and they would be so filthy a bath just wouldn’t cut it. You know the days: days when you and your children come home covered with sweat, dust, and even mud. I recall having my daughter in a child-seat on the back of my bicycle while we rode through mud puddles…laughing as mud splashed up all over us. We had a great time, but left for home covered in mud. When we got home, we did not just plop her in clean bath water. First, we rinsed all the mud off. Then we rinsed the mud out of the tub. Only after completing both of those tasks did we fill the tub up with fresh water and allow her to bath. After all, who would wash their child in a muddy tub?
Even though we would never bathe our children in a mud puddle or a tub filled with mud, we sometimes shower our family with muddy, offensive words. Every day we bathe our children and our spouse in our spoken word. Each time we shower them with words, we pour patterns of thought into their lives that shapes how they see themselves, their family, and even the world around them. Words, like water, can gently wash away the hurt, pain, and shame of mistakes, misunderstanding, and even sin. On the other hand, words have the power to erode a person’s self-confidence and drown them in shame, disgrace, anger, and fear. So, in what kind of words do you bathe your family?
· Do you bathe your family in sensitive words of love and affection? Or, do you shower them with insensitive words and rationalize it because of your anger?
· Do you shower your family with words of gratitude and respect? Or, do you flood them with disrespect and criticism?
· Do you bathe your family in words of encouragement and appreciation? Or, do you send torrents of crass, demeaning words through your home?
· Do you bathe your family in loving words of accountability? Or, do you sprinkle derogatory, shame inducing words on family members who misbehave?
· Do you take your family to movies or places where words of purity, integrity, and value wash over their minds and hearts? Or, do you take your family to places where they find themselves submerged in words of animosity, selfishness, and impurity?
Paul, writing to the Ephesians, suggested that husbands be like Christ, who washed and cleansed His Bride in water by His word. Christ cleanses us with His word. Will we do the same? We can change our family for better or worse with the words we allow to wash over them, whether those words come from us or the environments to which we take them. Cleansing our family with loving, affectionate, and sensitive words can revolutionize a family… not just for today but for generations to come!