Pulling weeds

That’s my job in the ever constant battle to maintain a yard. Now I don’t always do this just after church, but yet, I do hate weeds.


All of this time in the grass gives me time to consider the need of weeding my words.


1. When I break off the top of a weed, I can know that I will see it again in the exact same place. I can either go get a tool and dig out the root system, or wait a week or so until it comes back up. Waiting necessitates a deeper dig, as now the roots are larger.


Lesson: Our speech roots to the heart. If our approach is to “keep our mouth closed”, we effectively “pull off the top” and will see those same destructive words reappear at another time. The sooner that we allow the Father to deal with the root, the smaller knife He has to use in pruning.



2. The weeds are worse along the edges of our yard. The alley weeds quickly spread into our yard, especially at the borders. 


Lesson: The more friendship I have with the world, the more apt I will be to see those thoughts and attitudes reproduced in my everyday language. 



3. Weeding is easier when Mark has just watered. Weeds come up cleaner when the soil is moist. 


Lesson: Daily doses of the Word keeps my heart (and my tongue) free from growing wild and uprooting healthy habits.



4. Weeding is not overnight work, but takes place over time


Lesson: Don’t be discouraged when “weedy words” get the best of you. This is a gradual process, but the hidden Spirit inside of us is growing steadily stronger as we daily surrender to Him. “Now there was a long war between the house of Saul and the house of David; and David grew steadily stronger, but the house of Saul grew weaker continually” (2 Samuel 3:1). As we feed His seed within us, our sin nature starves. 



What is the most significant thing that the Father has revealed to you about your words?



We are our child’s first and most influential teacher. 


But the kind of teacher we are depends on the kind of heart we have because whatever is on our heart will spill out of our mouths (Matthew 12:34).


We do well then to diligently listen to Moses:

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might…and you shall teach (these words) diligently to your sons” (Deuteronomy 6:5,7).


The Chaldean word for “teaching diligently” offers great insight. It’s just one word: “shanan” meaning to sharpen”. Regularly referring to weapons, it depicts the action of whetting and filing a weapon so that it can penetrate quickly and deeply.


In ancient warfare, there were two types of swords: a longer one used by the Celts and a shorter one used by the Romans.


The Celt’s sword looked terrifying.  They yelled and swirled it around in the air before chopping downward with it. With brute force, they hacked away at their opponents blow by blow. Because the enemy’s vital parts were protected by equipment and bone, this sword often mamed, but rarely penetrated. The effects were slow and painful.


On the other hand, the Roman legionnaires carried a small, razor-sharp sword called a gladius. Daily, they practiced thrusting these daggers in a very rapid back and forth motion. 


In combat, the Romans learned to move in close – in fact, too close for effective use of the longer sword. The gladius not only caught its opponent off-guard by its proximity, it could also make four stabs to every one swiping hack made by the longer sword.


Our tongue is the sword of our homes. With it, we can quickly penetrate to the heart of a problem or hack away on it for days without ever finding the root. It can be a close, quiet maneuver or a loud, disruptive one.


When we allow God’s Spirit to sharpen us, our teaching will be disciplined in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity. Our goal will be loving words matched by loving deeds. 


As we practice handling His Word accurately, family confrontations will be more akin to a surgeon’s scalpel than a dull sword. Conflict will result in healing, not bludgeoning. 


Yes, we are to discipline our children just as the Father disciplines us. Disciple trains them in endurance and the “peaceful fruit of righteousness”. Yet, our final purpose must be for building up, rather than tearing down .


During His final hours, Jesus spoke of having a sword ready. “Let him who has no sword sell his robe and buy one,” He instructed (Luke 22:36). Yet, it was the sword of the Spirit that proved powerful during His arrest, not Peter’s sword. “When therefore He said to them, ‘I am He,’ they drew back and fell to the ground….Simon Peter therefore having a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s slave; and cut off his right ear….Jesus therefore said to Peter, ‘Put the sword into the sheath; the cup which the Father has given Me, shall I not drink it?'” (John 18:6,10-11).


So, tell me – does your home training program look more like the Celts or the Romans? Is your sword filled with the Word of Christ or of the violence of the tongue?