The Power of Words and the Cost of Profanity

We pick and choose our words

We pick and choose our words

We love to hear those sweet, squeaky voices when children begin to talk. We write down those adorable cute phrases for posterity. A friend’s little grandson hid his piggy bank in case “robins” came into the house and tried to take it. We will never forget his innocent misinterpretation.

Then one day, almost invariably, a not so cute word bursts out of that little mouth. Profanity is all around us. It is rampant in movies, television shows, books and other media. Millions of people curse, using profanity without regard for others who are within earshot. Our grandchildren hear these words and believe it is okay to use them.

It is not okay. Profanity is the state of being profane. Being profane is to show contempt or irreverence for what is sacred. Profanity is abusive, disrespectful and shows a lack of consideration for others who are within earshot.

People who utter profanity are thought to be less educated, are less likely to be invited to social functions and may be less likely to receive promotions at work. They are thought to even be less intelligent, unable to use other words.

When caregivers use profanity, children hear and think it is okay for them to do likewise. It is not okay. Other children, teachers, parents and are offended and shocked. The child using foul language is often ostracized and punished. They make fewer friends and the ones they do have are also like them. As the child ages, he or she associates with others who also use such language. Startling and groundbreaking recent studies show these young people tend to be more aggressive, get into more fights, score lower on tests and are more likely to become bullies. The consequences are incredibly huge.

A 2011 study published in the Journal of Pediatrics suggests a strong association between profanity and violence. Some of this is a trickledown effect from exposure to video games and other entertainment media. A BYU study asked over 200 teenagers about their video game and television habits. The response was that they used more profanity and cursed more which is not surprising because the more one hears something the more likely they are to use it themselves.

The study also found those same young people reported they were more prone to hit, punch, kick, gossip and malign others after viewing profanity laden shows or games. It is a mind maggot, burrowing inside and contaminating the brain. What goes in WILL come out.

God gave us instructions about how we are to speak. Colossians 3:8 says we are to put away all anger, wrath, malice, railing and shameful (filthy) speech from our mouths. Profanity is so common nowadays that many users do not even realize they are doing so.

What can Recycled Moms do to minimize exposure to foul language? Use parental controls on the television. Refuse to allow movies and other media that use foul language and curse words. Parents are supposed to be in control and leading the household. Our kids will not have access to this type of material unless we bring it into the home for them. Outside is a different matter. What we teach inside will carry over into the lives they lead in the world. When values are instilled at a young age, they remain with the child as he or she grows, maturing into a quality adult.

We want to be proud of our kids now and in the future. Stop the plague of profanity and increase the dignity, safety and spiritual position of your child or grandchild.  Join other people who make the commitment not to curse, use foul language and profanity. The link below is to a great club your kids can join. The principal at our local elementary school is recommending for the upcoming school year. You can assist your kids at home to join the No Cussing Club.


Be Strong and of Good Courage

Every grandparent or kinship caregiver has a unique story, one that hurts and inspires at the same time. Whether we are raising one or ten children, there are challenges that no one else understands. Recently, I have seen a disturbing trend where some Recycled Moms disparage others. Please don’t give in to an urge to do such a thing.

Another grandmother recently told me that I have no idea what she goes through with her kids. I do and I don’t. She also let me know how” lucky” I am because I only have one grandchild to raise. I personally do not believe in luck however I am fully aware of my blessings. My point here is that she is married, I am not. Therefore I could tell her how difficult it is to not have that spousal support. I didn’t.

Getting into a back and forth about who has the rockiest road helps no one. It will only allow bitterness, envy, discouragement and all matter of unhealthy emotions to enter one’s heart. None of us walks a road without stones. We all carry bruises and joys within our heart. Trying to compare yours and mine is like comparing apples to broccoli. They are nothing alike yet both carry great nutrients although one is sweet and one is not.

What we choose to feed on nurtures our body, mind and spirit. In the Old Testament of the Holy Bible, Joshua was chosen by God to lead his people after Moses died. This was an awesome appointment. Moses had been brave, true and strong. But God told Joshua to be strong and of good courage. So Joshua put his fear and failings aside and led the people into victory as a united group of fighters. (Joshua Chapter 1)

That is us, Recycled Moms. We absolutely MUST remain united and never rip each other apart. There are already too many people in the world more than willing to tear us apart and spread news of our fears, failures, weaknesses and choices.

Is your life harder than mine? Maybe. Is mine harder than yours? Maybe. Does it matter whose is more difficult? Not at all. Together we can pass through unscathed and raise successful, happy, healthy children. We choose not to focus on the bitterness. We will seek out the joys and the sweetness that we constantly discover in the faces of the innocent children we put to bed each night.

So grab my hand and we shall sit together as parents united by love while we watch our grandchildren play in the sun. We will support one another and refuse to speak negative words about anyone else. Instead, we will pour out blessings that fall from our tongues like songs.

Recycled Mom, you are loved by Jesus and by me. Tell me your story and I will hold you up with strong arms and look at you with soft eyes. Cry if you need to weep, then we will wipe our eyes and walk on with a spring in our steps! The end of the journey is beautiful.


Copyright Brenda Barnes

Who Are We Raising? Husbands and Wives of Course!

Every day we watch our grandchildren grow physically, emotionally and spiritually. As toddlers they make messes and leave them; as young boys and girls, they learn to clean up after themselves. This occurs because we Recycled Moms teach them to do the right thing.

I was thinking about how helpful and polite my own little boy is. He opens doors for people (a shocking number never acknowledge or thank him), carries the heaviest shopping bag for me, loves God and is a witness for Christ. He is all of this at only ten years of age. He is so tender yet so strong already.

Lately I have been envisioning him as a grown man. That caused me to think about the woman who will become his wife. Will she thank me for shaping his character, morals and values? Will she be blessed to be his helpmate?

Recycled Moms, we are raising someone’s husband or wife. The child we hug today will hold their own babies in the not too distant future. The girl that leaves her clothing on the floor because she knows “Mom” will pick up after her will be a steward over her own home. She will keep a neat, organized, Godly home or one where chaos and frustration rule.

The boy that never is allowed to learn respect for women is going to meet many. The way we teach him now is how he will treat them as an adult. His wife will need our little boy-her grown up husband-to support her. He has to know how to be head of his family, to work hard but leave time for people. He must be brave and strong yet gentle enough to weep when his child is sick.

Men and women, husbands and wives, will be so different than the boys and girls that are so familiar to us now. They will be recognizable though because the foundation of the heart will be the same. It will just grow bigger as their bodies grow because instilled habits and values do not abandon us as we age. They just become honed. We become wiser and smoothly walk this path God has placed before us. The same applies for our grandchildren.

So Recycled Moms, look toward the future as you discipline, train and love these little ones we have been given responsibility for. We are raising some woman’s husband, someone’s father, someone’s wife, someone’s mother. It is an awesome task and reward!

wedding rings

Somewhere in the World lyrics by Wayne Watson.

Somewhere in the world today A little girl will go out to play All dressed up in mama’s clothes At least the way that I suppose it goes
Somewhere in the world tonight Before she reaches to turn out the light She’ll be prayin’ from a tender heart A simple prayer that’s a work of art
And I don’t even know her name But I’m prayin’ for her just the same That the Lord will write His name upon her heart
‘Cause somewhere in the course of this life A little boy will need a godly wife So hold on to Jesus, baby wherever you are
Somewhere in the world out there That little girl’s learnin’ how to care She’s pickin’ up her mama’s charms Or maybe swingin’ around in her daddy’s arms
Somewhere in the world to be Though the future’s not really clear to me Theirs could be a tender love Grounded in eternal love above
And I don’t even know her name But I’m prayin’ for her just the same That the Lord will write His name upon her heart
‘Cause somewhere in the course of this life My little boy will need a godly wife Oh, so hold on to Jesus, baby wherever you are Oh, hold on to Jesus, baby wherever you are