Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Do you bark?

Last night I slipped on shoes and went outside for a walk around the block.  I was going to go around what my son calls the “P”, which is how the neighborhood road is shaped. 

It was one of those perfect summer nights.  No wind.  No cloud in the sky.  Not too hot.  The smell of summer grass and flowers in the warmth of the air. 

It was refreshing to my soul after a long day in front of the computer. 

Until I turned the corner and heard yelling. 

There stood a mom with hands on her hips, barking at her teenage son who sat, shoulders low and head hanging, on the front porch. 

Why are you being so sensitive?  Do you really think he was telling you the truth? 

I don’t know what she meant, but I do know that from four houses away I could feel the sharp edge of her words.  Her tone robbed me of the joy of my walk. 

I think she was robbing her son, too. 

I was embarrassed for him and disappointed in her.  And then I wondered how many times I’ve barked words at my own children, my husband, and robbed them of joy. 

I skipped walking the “P” and took a detour so I wouldn’t have to pass in front of this mother and son.  Schooling myself as I walked, Remember to talk to your family –not jab at them with pointy words. 

“Reckless words pierce like a sword...”  (Proverbs 12:18  NIV) 

Reckless –to speak rashly or angrily or thoughtlessly.  Or all three at once. 

How do you speak to your family?


  1. I've been guilty of barking at my family at times; I try to be very sensitive about words, I know how hurtful they can be because, like all of us, I've been hurt by words said and I've hurt with words I've said. It is a good reminder to remember to use our words kindly and encouraging indeed