On being a ninny about swearing

I learned yesterday that Linkin Park has a new album. I really enjoy their music. Very much so. I actually have their first three albums and they are really, really good. However, the last album I bought, I had to buy the edited version because they’ve suddenly decided that swearing on their albums is cool. I mean, I know they swear in their concerts and real life and whatever, and that’s fine. Their choice. But really? In the songs? On the albums? I decided that Minutes to Midnight would be the last album I purchased from them for this reason. Even though I was REEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLLLLLLYYY tempted to look at their new stuff on the recommendation of a music loving friend. I inquired about swearing and she said the words I never want to be able to repeat for myself: I guess I didn’t notice. I’m sure there are.

I guess I didn’t notice.

I grew up in a household where swearing didn’t happen. Ever. Except from my older sister. It was never part of my parent’s vocabulary. It was never part of mine. Needless to say, I’m pretty sensitive about that. I ALWAYS hear it, every word, every time, from every mouth. And every time, it makes me uncomfortable.

I like that.

I know that someday, I’m not going to have to worry about my kids repeating curse words I use under my breath or whatever at home because I don’t use them. I am not going to be embarrassed someday because they repeat some offensive stuff at church or Target or family Christmas. I want them to be sensitive to it too. I want my kids to build large enough vocabularies that swearing doesn’t even do justice to what they are trying to say in the first place.

That’s a big reason I’ve become a much bigger ninny about swearing in music. It’s not about me anymore. What I listen to, my kids listen to. My daycare kid listens to. What I say, she will repeat someday. She already repeats yelling at the dogs to stop barking or to come downstairs (needless to say, I’ve cooled down on the yelling about barking at everything in favor of calmly approaching the offending dog and quietly telling him to shush). Repeated behavior is a humbling thing. It really shows the things I do without even thinking. I have some behaviors that need some serious work. The last thing I need to worry about is my daycare kid going home and repeating garbage she hears me say or listens to on the laptop.

Someday, sooner than I want, Mae will be doing the same thing. She will follow me around doing what I do, saying what I say, imitating me. Someday, she is going to grow up into her own person. Someday, she will open her mouth and my words will come out. What words will those be? What person will she be? Will she be one who is terrified about becoming like her mom?

Yes, I’m a ninny about swearing. I don’t want to use it. I don’t want to hear it. I don’t want my kids around it (inevitable, though). My children are going to be a reflection of me, and hopefully because of that, of God. They are someday going to choose to wear the banner of Christ or not. Will I help them to wear it proudly? Will they be authentic? Will people see them and want to know Christ? Will people see them and lump them in with all the “hypocritical Christians” who go to church on Sunday and live like they don’t know Christ the rest of the week?

My life is no longer about me. If I want to raise children that reflect Christ, then I have to reflect Christ. I think that he wouldn’t swear either.

 

Instructions for Christian Living

17 So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. 18 They are darkened in their understandingand separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. 19 Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves overto sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, and they are full of greed.

20 That, however, is not the way of life you learned 21 when you heard about Christ and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. 22 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

25 Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body. 26 “In your anger do not sin”[d]: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 and do not give the devil a foothold. 28 Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need.

29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

Ephesians 4:17-32

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