First of all, let me just say that the word “tongue” is hilarious. It has always looked to me like it ought to be pronounced “tawn-gway” or “ton-goo-ee.” And it sounds kind of campy-creepy to me, like the Thugee pagan worshipers in the Temple of Doom ought to be chanting it while they slowly close in on you.
But moving on, today I’m talking about not using your tongue. I’m talking about actively passive parenting. Maybe there’s some other word for it, but what I mean is, intentionally saying nothing, even when you’ve got something obviously helpful to say. I’m still learning to wield this powerfully stealthy parenting weapon, but every year it becomes even more valuable to me.
Sin is not ended by multiplying words,
but the prudent hold their tongues. Proverbs 10:19
One of the hardest things to do is withhold helpful information from your kids. That said, especially as they get older, my children’s ears are not always open. Sometimes, when I “multiply words” it seems like I’m teaching my kids to tune me out. Lately I’ve started storing up topics to talk with them about – even writing them down – and saving them for late night conversations or just watching for doors the Lord opens, rather than just wedging my foot through any door that is cracked.