Wednesday, May 31, 2017
The Importance of Speech in Preserving Innocence
Oh, the innocence of babes! As a mother at home, I have been privileged to witness the many sweet little things my children say or do. It warms the heart and brings a smile to one's face!
I am so very grateful my children have always been home with me. I do believe this one factor has made a tremendous difference in keeping their hearts pure. Although my sons are still quite young, I've noticed they have a wholesomeness about them that children of working mothers do not seem to possess. It is very difficult to keep a vigilant watch over one's children when one is not home with them.
Before I became a married woman, I worked as a childcare provider. In this setting, I was able to observe children from many different homes. Sadly, the children of single or even married working mothers were already highly sexualized in their speech and behavior, even at the tender age of four.
In her excellent book entitled, Immodesty: Satan's Virtue, author Rita Davidson writes, quoting Fr. Tanquerey, "How many souls have been turned from their Godly ways by giving ear to impure conversations or words against their neighbor? Obscene words induce a morbid curiosity, excite the passions, kindle desire, and incite to sin; whilst unkind words stir up strife and divisions even in the home, give rise to suspicion, enmity and rancour."
This is why it is so important to be modest even in our speech. Little Bear, my oldest, had not even heard of the word "pregnant" until very recently and he will be five in a few months. My mother, who was visiting our home the other day, asked Little Bear if the penguin he had drawn was pregnant because of her large belly. "Pregnant? What is that?" he asked. I smiled and explained to him that "pregnant" means having a baby in one's belly. That is how I always refer to pregnancy in the presence of my children. Therefore, they understand that when a woman is expecting a child, she "has a baby in her belly." I believe using this terminology also helps to instill a pro-life mindset in the hearts of our little ones.
Perhaps some might say that this degree of modesty is unnecessary, but I beg to differ. When the pendulum of indecency and impurity swings too far to the wrong side, we must take action. Sometimes, that means living in such a way that might seem extreme to those who are perishing (1 Cor. 1:18). As Christians, the Lord holds us to a very high standard!
I pray we would be ever diligent in our vocation as wives and mothers, and may we never be found guilty of causing a precious little soul to stumble through either word or deed.