There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
a time to be silent and a time to speak…
(Ecclesiastes 3:1, 7b)
A time to be silent…
I’m not very good at keeping silent. When I have something to say, well, I’m going to say it! The book of James does such a great job at reminding us how hard it is to restrain the tongue. It’s especially not easy when your child is making poor choices or living an ungodly lifestyle. Yet a lot of talk—especially loud talking—doesn’t tend to steer our children back onto the right track. In fact, it can have the opposite effect!
Sometimes, no matter how much it hurts or how frustrated you may feel, it’s a time for silence. Our words may cause more damage to the relationship. They can push our children further away. I’ve come to learn that my prodigal child already knows about my disappointment, anger or whatever the emotion is without me saying anything. In fact, I think the silence oftentimes causes that child to suffer more.
A time to speak…
Yet there is a time to speak. A time to voice your thoughts…to express your feelings…to remind…to encourage…to correct. The only way to know when it’s the time and how you should speak is to seek the Lord’s wisdom and direction. Done in accordance with His guidance, the words will make a greater positive impact.
Speech that is demanding, condescending, biting or sarcastic isn’t helpful. It’s hurtful. It has no place in a conversation with your prodigal child. I say that out of experience. Times the wedge has been the greatest between me and my prodigal has been in these types of conversations. So season your speech with salt.