General Self-Management

Child Profanity

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No parent in their right mind would ever want their kid to use profanity, but the truth of the matter is our broken world is saturated with four-letter words.  You can hardly watch a TV show anymore without there being some form of vulgarity.  The F-word is now prevalent almost anywhere.  Recently, while on vacation in California, a restaurant customer wore a T-shirt that gave the definition of the F-word, there in broad daylight. And, his language matched his shirt.

We all sin in many ways. Yes, Jesus-loving folks often struggle with profanity.  The proverbial response when you hit your thumb with a hammer!  Or you fell short of a goal. @#*!  My father-in-law had a ball cap that said. “Profanity proves nothing”.  What it proves is you aren’t in control of anything.

How can it be that out of our mouths comes praise and worship and cursing and profanity?  As we read in James “brothers, this should not be!”

Whether you use profanity or not, at some point your kids will hear it and may use it. What will be your response when you hear little Johnny use the F-word?

What girlfriend would want your son to use profanity around her? When will his crude words be directed towards her, derogatory and disgusting?

God desires to live his life through us. It’s a spiritual, supernatural phenomenon; to the point where it says in Galatians 2:20 that the life we now live in the flesh, that is our body, we live by faith in the son of God who loved us and gave himself up for us.

If you and I are Jesus’ followers, then the question is what kind of words should be coming out of our mouths?

Ephesians chapter 4 talks about the fact that no corrupting talk should come out of our mouths but only such as is good for building up that fits the occasion.

Your conversation with a friend turns tense. Disagreements arise. Next thing you know profanity slips in. 

While on a summer jeeping trip to Colorado, my wife and I stumbled on an alpine lake. A father and his adult son were fishing. Dad was on the other side of the pond, while the adult son was 40 feet from us. All seemed fine until the dad came back to our side of the lake without a fish. Profanity between the two of them flowed like Niagara Falls. Such talk was so ingrained into them, that they didn’t give such a second thought. 

That’s when I realized the real issue beyond the words is the heart. Where is my heart when less-than-kind words want to come out? What is so unsettled in me that I think profanity will fix the issue?

As young warrior guys become adults learning life, figuring things out, falling in love, getting married, and having and raising kids, there will come a day when that little version of you will start speaking words. English words, or perhaps another language. And in that, the question will become, will their heart be attuned to Jesus, or will the frustrations that normally come with an emerging humanity cause him to use profane words?

You can influence your kids, but you can’t control what they say. You can pray for your kids to have a heart for Jesus and then release them as they mature, including the words that they say.

So Jesus, check my own heart for what is profane in it. And, by your word, penetrate deep into my soul and cleanse me of anything that is corrupting or is otherwise not pleasing to you.

Warrior On!

David Riffel is the Founder and Executive Director of www.Mentoring-Warriors.com. Having gone through his warrior years (18-30) essentially without a mentor, God has placed in him a heart for warriors, to come alongside them in various ways as they figure out life. David’s newly released book, Mentoring Warriors: Coming Alongside Young Men 18-30, outlines principles for mentoring and gives advice for warriors in six key areas of life: self-management, life skills, education/career, relationships, faith, and identity.

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