Bighearted and Courteous


My heart wants to love the unlovely.  Always has.  Always will.

You see, I don’t think of myself as lovely.
I’m not the popular one.
I’m the goon from elementary and junior high.
The kid all the other kids teased.

What was cute for old people in the nursing home was reason enough for bullying in my younger years.

Bullying may be too harsh a word.
It could have just been “good fun” in their minds, but not mine.
In my mind it was hatred and I felt less than them.
That’s what happens when one is bullied…in good fun.

It happens in homes, too.  I’ve heard mothers say they don’t stop their kids from calling each other names because it happens in the real world and they need to get used to it.  “It’s just part of growing up.”

Homes need to be safety zones.
Homes need to be places where every one belongs.
Homes need to be nurturing.

“Good fun” isn’t good if someone is hurting.

No insults, no fights. God’s people should be bighearted and courteous. For in the past we were foolish, hard in heart, turned from the true way, servants of evil desires and pleasures, living in bad feeling and envy, hated and hating one another.

But when God, our kind and loving Savior God, stepped in, He saved us from all that. It was all His doing; we had nothing to do with it. He gave us a good bath, and we came out of it new people, washed inside and out by the Holy Spirit. Our Savior Jesus poured out new life so generously. God’s gift has restored our relationship with Him and given us back our lives. And there’s more life to come–an eternity of life! You can count on this. I want you to put your foot down. Take a firm stand on these matters so that those who have put their trust in God will concentrate on the essentials that are good for everyone.  ~Titus 3 (MSG)

Feeling a bit like putting my foot down today.
Those type behaviors in “good fun” truly come from an evil source.
You may think it’s cute, funny, charming.
Nope. It’s not. It hurts.

We are to show the kindness of our God.

Am I being too sensitive?  Do you see hurtful words said in a teasing manner as just “good fun”???  Is your home safe for every one?


12 responses »

  1. Good points. I’ve actually only met one person I knew allowed this sort of thing in her home, and in this case it was kind of extreme. She wanted her kids to be tough. They are, I guess. Both boys have now been to jail at least once and her girl is not on a happy path. I feel sad about this but she was adamant and angry with any suggestions however careful.

    Not that you’re guaranteed happiness with your children no matter what you do–but allowing them to bully one another at home doesn’t help, I think.

  2. Thanks, Michelle. I love your straightforwardness in the matter. It can’t break any bones, we reason but it breaks heart…the words that are said carelessly or with unguarded lips can cause one to stumble for a long time to come.

    I need to be reminded of that…always.



  3. Amen, Cindy. It is a very painful thing. I’ve seen it over and over again…so hurtful.

    Thank you, Gladwell (I love your name). I spent some time on your site today. You have so many good words to share.

    It does break hearts…if we would only understand the tenderness of a child’s heart…and many adults, too. Thank you for stopping by.

  4. i love your tenderheartedness, michelle.

    you’re not being overly sensitive. so many think that slapping a “just kidding” at the end of a hurtful statement makes it better. it doesn’t.

    hurtful words hurt.

    even when the one saying them tries to mask them with humor.

  5. Thank Michelle for stopping by my blog too. I have a daughter too, so I know first hands…words are powerful in a child’s mind.


  6. It’s actually something I’ve been dealing with lately. A dear friend who is ‘oversensitive’ and that is how the other party justifies their behaviour. It’s never ok to tear someone down (jokingly or otherwise), we shouldn’t have to grow ‘thick’ skins. In fact when we realise someone is oversensitive we should be extra careful to be gentle with them. Good on you for putting your foot down Michelle 🙂

  7. “hurtful words hurt”

    Amen, Alece. Simply, and perfectly stated.

    Hi, Gladwell. It is amazing what raising kids can help us to see…we learn so much through our children.

    I’d say sorry, Burt, but I’m not. 😛 😆

    Oh wow, Rain. I remember hearing throughout my growing up years, “you need to grow thicker skin…you just need to learn to let some things roll off your back…” I always wondered why they didn’t need to learn to be kind.

    I’m learning about finding a safe place…

  8. It has always amazed me how callous people can be to one another and especially to those we are closest to. I remember my older sister constantly calling me names for the sole reason to watch me cry. This was constant until we both realized in Jr High I was bigger than she was. Then the “teasing” stopped. What I never understood was why my parents never stopped it.

    The problem for me was I stuffed all that anger and turned it into sarcasm. I can be funny, but sometimes my humor hurts those I love too.

    God is working on me even more these days and I am seeing the preciousness of my family and those outside my family. Jesus died for them all and considers them worthy of His blood.

    Now I need to see them through His eyes.

    Thanks for your thoughtful prose.

  9. “We are to show the kindness of our God…”

    Although many parents & classroom teachers work hard to keep children from speaking hurtful words to other children, still, there are occasionally people who have adult bodies, but who are still like young children in their words and attitudes toward others. God has called believers everywhere to “grow up” (lit. “to become mature”) in Christ Jesus. Sometimes we “grow” in our knowledge of JESUS, but not in the *grace* of JESUS! (2 Peter 3:18) Oh, that God would touch *our* lips with a coal from off His fiery altar, purging our lips, and our hearts! May our words “always be with grace, seasoned, as it were, with salt, that [we] may know how [we] should respond to each person.” (Col. 4.6, NASB)

    Whatever a person’s motivation in speaking hurtful, unkind words (“I’m just telling it as I see it”; “Someone *needs* to say this…”, etc.), every thing we speak or share needs to be “poured” through the sieve of Scripture and of Biblical principles — hopefully before it is spoken or shared.

    God calls us to be people who not only speak words of truth, but who also speak words of healing, of grace, and of comfort. “Seasoning” our words with salt (cf Col. 4.6) is NOT about pouring verbal “salt” into others’ deep wounds and painful places, but rather, is about allowing God’s Holy Spirit to so “season” the words we speak with His “flavor” ~ thus bringing others a soul-satisfaction upon “tasting” them. Oh, that others would “taste” JESUS, and sample the “flavor” of God, by being with us, and by hearing/reading our words! THANKS, Michelle, for writing this post!

  10. Thank you for commenting, Patience. Your openness is refreshing.

    I love your point, Gracie, about not pouring salt on wounds. Learning to season our words with grace isn’t an easy thing in this world of cynicism. But thankfully, we have people like you coming around to show us how! Thank you for being such a bright spot on my blog these days. 😉

  11. Right you are. The Lord is SO concerned about the safety and nurturing of the human soul. And the little foxes run among the vineyards …

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