Yesterday we were reading the Bible reading while we were riding in the car. My wife was reading from Lamentations. I didn’t even realize that our youngest daughter was awake because she often falls asleep when were riding in the car. She has been looking at the animal cards from apologetics press and when she sees the bear or the lion she growls. As my wife was reading the Bible reading she came across the word lion. As soon as she said "lion" little Julia growled.
I can also recall many times when my son or daughter would ask me a question after a sermon about something I didn’t realize they had even heard. I thought they were coloring or drawing, but they were listening.
When I was a teenager we didn’t have many children in the church where I grew up, and one of my friends was several years younger than me. He was using certain euphemisms that his father clearly did not approve of him using. One day after church his father was talking to my father about it, and his father said, "I just don’t know where he gets it." I had heard the father say those same words on many occasions. I boldly jumped into the conversation and told the father that his son had gotten it from him. He certainly wasn’t happy to hear that, and it probably wasn’t the best way for me to handle the situation. The fact of the matter is, however, that children often learn the things they say from their parents. Even as parents and adults we often hear our parents words coming out of our mouths. We need to be sure that the things we say are good and wholesome.
Colossians 4:6 Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.
Proverbs 16:24 Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.
Proverbs 29:20 Seest thou a man that is hasty in his words? there is more hope of a fool than of him.
Another mistake that we often make is talking about others and the problems that we have with them in front of our children. The things we may say that shouldn’t have been said or that should have been said to the person we had the problem with are often repeated by our children. Feelings can be hurt, and children can learn to gossip.
Proverbs 25:9-12 Debate thy cause with thy neighbour himself; and discover not a secret to another: (10) Lest he that heareth it put thee to shame, and thine infamy turn not away. (11) A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver. (12) As an earring of gold, and an ornament of fine gold, so is a wise reprover upon an obedient ear.
Just in case you think this is a subject of little importance, take careful note of what Jesus said about our speech.
Matthew 12:34-37 O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. (35) A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things. (36) But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. (37) For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.