Peace of My Heart

An encouraging voice to drown out the noise

~Watch Your Mouth!~ January 9, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — Valerie Rutledge @ 8:43 am
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I was at the gym earlier this week and I overheard a conversation that had me hanging my head.

I’ll paint you a picture.

Two young boys were working out beside of me and talking loud enough that eavesdropping wasn’t necessary. I noticed them because I recognized one as being a talented athlete from a local high school. I was thinking, “how nice to see some kids are motivated to continue to push themselves during their offseason.” Then they opened their mouths. I was so disappointed to hear such ugly words coming out of their handsome faces.

These guys are obviously gifted in their sport of choice. They were good looking kids, (side note: if you are under the age of 25, you are a kid to me so this is not a reference to a small child.) Knowing what I do of the one, I am certain that younger athletes look up to him. That’s why I was hanging my head.

My kids are younger athletes who spend considerable amounts of practice & conditioning time with guys just like these two. I can safely say that this is not the kind of example I had hoped my kids would see from upper classmen.

Granted, there are some older kids that have been phenomenal at setting a shining example for the younger generation and for them I am so very thankful. I can only pray that my kids will be pulled to them and not the aforementioned group.

What I don’t understand is why they felt the need to talk that way in the first place. It was an everyday conversation they were having, about nothing of real significance, and yet they couldn’t communicate without dropping the “f-bomb every other word. It used to be that swear words were reserved for when you were highly emotional, aggravated or so angered over something that “normal” words couldn’t effectively convey your feelings.

I can’t really say why this bothered me as much as it did other than seeing just one more way that kids are growing more and more desensitized to things that used to be frowned upon in our society.

For those who may think I am overreacting, “their just kids being kids,” allow me to point out one very important Scripture.

But the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart. Those are the things that make someone ‘unclean.’ Evil thoughts come out of a person’s heart. So do murder, adultery, and other sexual sins. And so do stealing, false witness, and telling lies about others. Those are the things that make you ‘unclean.’” (Matt 15:18-20 NIRV)

There is way too much careless speech being tossed around. People of all ages no longer take the time to process their thoughts before opening their mouths. There is a reason why the Bible warns us of the power of the tongue. Words can be an encouragement to the hearer or they can bring devastation. We need to get back to the practice of giving careful thought to the words we allow to pass our lips. May I exhort you to lead by example today? Speak life, refrain from useless words that add nothing to the conversation and prove that you can adequately express your emotions without cursing like sailor…as my maw-maw used to say!

 

~When Did RAPE Become Funny…And Other Middle School Shockers~ December 10, 2014

For the last week or so, our oldest daughter hasn’t really been herself. She’s been moody and quiet and has pretty much stayed holed up in her room. We’ve continually asked her what was up and were met with the typical teenager response,  “Nothing.” We figured it was the hormones raging again and tried to give her some space. That is until yesterday.

A little backstory about our girl for those who don’t have the pleasure of knowing her personally. She is madly in love with Jesus. She talks about her faith anywhere, anytime to anyone who will listen. We often joke and call her our little missionary who’s trying to save the world one middle-schooler at a time! It breaks her heart into pieces when her peers are struggling which has led to many talks about the struggles kids are facing and why sometimes there’s nothing we can do but pray for them.

Now, for the current horror that’s got this momma fit to be tied.

Autumn was terribly upset when she got in the car yesterday but refused to talk about it in front of her little sisters stating she couldn’t repeat a word that was said. I didn’t think too much of it knowing full well that kids curse in school. However, color me shocked when the story unraveled. Apparently the word “rape” is being used as an alternative to many other, far less offensive words. Some examples “OHHH, he raped you!” Someone bumps into you in the hall or gym class, so you scream “RAPE!” at the top of your lungs. They even have a storage room they refer to as “the rape closet.” Yesterday, a GIRL friend of Autumn’s used it this way, “Like how she raped you in your sleep.” (the ‘she’ mentioned being my girl)

Autumn was mortified and told her “friend” that what she said was inappropriate. This young lady told my daughter she needed to learn how to take a joke! Are you kidding me?! What in the world is funny about a word that implies sexual violence?! Before the arguments come, I am well aware that is has another meaning, that point is moot in my opinion so I won’t even argue it with you. These kids are so desensitized that they will throw around words that have horrific meanings like they are saying the word “hello.” When Autumn wouldn’t back down, this young lady proceeded to find backup to verbally attack my girl, accusing of her being a bully instead of a Christian. Perhaps what made this hurt the most…this little girl is a church-goer.

This conversation opened up to other topics as well. Kids with social media names like “MyHeartBelongsToJesus” are defending their beliefs with a string of curse words….uhm, no. Babies are having babies. Young ladies are cutting their beautiful bodies and talking about it over lunch. Serious issues….casual conversations. Wow.

I am bringing this up, not to be a gossip, but to open the eyes of parents who may not have a clue that their kids are using these phrases so flippantly. But maybe they don’t realize the horror of rape. Maybe they haven’t considered that a classmate within earshot has actually experienced the word and their casual use of the expression makes them feel that much more ashamed and isolated.

My advice, be proactive.

“Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” (Prov 22:6 ESV)

After talking with Autumn, I went into the boys room to discus it with them. Peyton said, “Why are yelling at us?” Oops, I was pretty upset when I approached them. “I just want you boys to know how I feel about this that way you won’t inadvertently repeat a phrase your friends use that is highly offensive and claim you didn’t know.” taste words

“I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak” (Matt 12:36 ESV) 

Friends, we are living in a world that we must deal with these issues on a daily basis. It is our job to teach our kids the power of the words they speak. If we allow ourselves or our kids to become lax in our speech, we may find ourselves on a very slippery slope. It is true that “death and life are in the power of the tongue” and “what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person.” (Prov 18:21 & Matt 15:18 ESV) So let us take care to guard our hearts, minds and mouths from what is detrimental to the soul.

 

~Parents Need to PARENT~ March 10, 2014

I have determined that middle school is where sweet little kids turn into 3-headed dragons.  The chatter that has been circulating among parents and what little I can drag out of my own children would even make unsavory characters blush.  These kids are 11-14 years old and getting away with things that I didn’t even think about until college!

  •  Foul language is considered part of normal conversation.
  • “Twerking,” is the new craze at the dances…thank you, Miley Cyrus for your contribution to society.
  • CHILDREN are making out during school and some have already engaged in sexual activities.

Are you kidding me?!

So what’s a freaked out momma supposed to do when her kids have no other option than public school?!  How can I ensure that my kids can be stuck in the middle of these atrocious environments and come out unscathed & still living for Jesus?

Proverbs 28 is riddled with verses that we parents can pour into and pray over our children.

When your child is surrounded by a group doing all kinds of wrong and is unsure what to do:

“The wicked run away when no one is chasing them, but the godly are as bold as lions.” (vs 1)

During school, when they see everybody getting by with doing whatever they want as opposed to what they should be doing:

“Blessed are those who fear to do wrong, but the stubborn are headed for serious trouble.” (vs 14)

“The blameless will be rescued from harm, but the crooked will be suddenly destroyed.” (vs 18)

If you have little disciples like we do, anxious to share the Word of God but fearful of rejection, who may be tempted to join the masses:

“Those who lead good people along an evil path will fall into their own trap, but the honest will inherit good things.” (vs 10)

What happens when their closest friends turn from their church-upbringin’ roots and decide to embrace the false teaching that is attacking them from every direction:

“Young people who obey the law are wise; those with wild friends bring shame to their parents.” (vs 7)

“It makes good sense to obey the Law of God, but you disgrace your parents if you make friends with worthless nobodies.” (same verse, CEV translation)

I am so utterly disappointed in the job that parents are doing these days.  They are succumbing to the pressures of this world by allowing their children to set the standards and the rules instead of demanding a certain level of respect and personal integrity.  These children that are acting out in public are belittling themselves.  God created us all to be spectacular and by behaving with so little self-respect and absolutely no dignity they are falling well below their potential for greatness.

I’m sorry about the soap box, I am just horrified at the downward spiral that are young people are falling into.  We can only expect so much from their educators and Sunday school teachers, at some point, Mom & Dad need to step it up a notch.  For those of you who may be living inside a bubble, oblivious to the hell your kids are raising when they walk out your door, I pray that the Lord would thump you on the head and open your eyes!  I can only pray that we are doing a decent enough job with ours because I know they are just as susceptible to temptation as the next kid and boy have my kids messed up at times.  So I am seeking the Lord on my behalf too.  I want my kids to be part of the solution, not part of the problem.  Mom & Dad, Nana & Grandad…it is time to hit your knees to protect your babies.steering

That is all.