When my daughters were little I was terrified to use words like "stupid" or phrases like "shut up" because I had trained them not to say those words and they in turn became the word police. In fact when they'd go to bed and my husband and I had a discussion and one of those words would come up we'd both pause midsentence half expecting one of the girls to wake from a dead sleep and call us on it:)
The reason I use such "strong" language is because I am learning I am a Momma who needs to follow that advise. I talk way too much and pray too little. Some days it seems there is no time for to think let alone pray. Yet there always seems to be time for a lecture or two. When I lecture I watch as my child's eyes glaze over and even I grow tired of my many "wise" examples and my arm gets tired as I beat that poor dead horse yet again.
I may be wrong about who this spiritually fit Momma is, but I believe it was Susannah Wesley who would, at some point in the morning, toss her apron over her head signaling to her children that she was unavailable for a few moments as she communed with her Creator. In the Orthodox Church there are parents who have been made Saints because of the godly children they reared! I desire to be one of those, but get so focused on making my children understand my wisdom rather than the wisdom of our Lord.
1 Justifications 2:14 says ~ "Listen my fellow parents who rightfully rebuke your children when it suits you, be quick to get angry, quick to react and slow to listen because they're probably just trying to get away with something anyway. Even if you're wrong, saith the Pride, they probably did something they got away with in the past and all discipline evens out in the end."
In chapter 3 it goes on to say: "Children must obey parents for this is right. A parent can exasperate a child if the child has already done 2 things to exasperate the parent."
Now the BIBLE says something different Jame 1:19 says: My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry...
And in Ephesians 6:4 it says: "Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord."
Now the fact that it says "fathers" does not mean us Momma's are exempt:)
I think often of Icons. They are written in such a way as to preach God's message to us without a word. Their mouths are small to remind us to speak only when necessary. Their eyes and ears are larger than normal to remind us to listen to the Lord and to others to look for His return. If we can rearrange our thinking and listen much much more, what miracles might we be able to witness in the lives of our children that we might otherwise miss? What insight might the Lord grant us because we will have the ears to hear Him instead of ourselves? How powerful would our words be to our children if we use them sparingly? What paths might they walk if we lead the way in humility? O that the Lord grant that some day I might know.