Raising teenagers is fun and challenging at the same time. My neighbor once told me, “teenagers are very passionate.” Boy, was she right! I remember when I was a teenager. There were many ups and downs but the challenge I remember the most was with middle school and mean girls. I cried many, many tears on my moms shoulder, and now that I'm a mom I can imagine how she felt my pain. Mom had this old saying that was so true, “you can mess with the hen but don't mess with her biddies.” I loved her old saying! 🙂
So how do we teach our teenager to use a filter and say nice words instead of hurtful ones? Or even better, to encourage their friends to be nice? I believe it starts with God and the parents.
There is so much good advice in the Bible book of Proverbs. I came across this scripture and thought it was worthy of writing on the wall or mirror, or refrigerator–wherever you keep scriptures as a reminder. “ANYONE CAN FIND THE DIRT IN SOMEONE. BE THE ONE TO FIND THE GOLD.” Proverbs 11:27
Isn't that a great scripture? Instead of looking for fault in others look for good. What a novel idea! The writer carries it even farther, saying to look for gold. Let it start with you. If you're a parent be an example by looking for gold in your spouse. Let your teenager see you saying nice things when your spouse is at home or away. My mom used to tell me how lucky I was to have a dad like I did. She was speaking gold about him when he wasn't around. I really believed her because I thought he was great!
Now there is another side to this. If you are speaking positive and uplifting words about others it makes them feel better, but it will begin to change your mood too!
I have found that if I speak gold to others then it makes me feel good too! Somehow it affects my mood in a positive way. But let me remind you that it doesn't keep the challenges away.
We still have to grow in faith, and challenges are great opportunities to grow closer to God. So don't let the clouds cover your joy. Remember who's in control, God! When the challenges come don't get caught looking for dirt. Instead, look for Gold in the person who is troubling you.
You never know what might happen next. Like it says in Jeremiah 33:3. “CALL TO ME AND I WILL ANSWER YOU AND SHOW YOU GREAT AND MIGHTY THINGS.”
P.S. Remember the old saying, “if you don't have something nice to say, don't say anything at all”. It really helps to speak Gold. If the situation I'm in is so challenging that I can't find good words to speak, or the person is just fowl or upset, then silence may be like gold too. 😉