7.01.2011

I Swear


No, really. I do.

But, when I made covenants and decided to try and live the gospel, I jumped in feet first. I agreed to make permanent changes so that I could better myself and be a worthy representative of Christ.

I gave up the booze.

I walked away from drugs no problem.

Coffee? Meh. Piece of cake.

I even gave up sex. (Much to my husband's chagrin.)

But the cussing? Oh dudes. I can't stop. It's like a separate life force inside of me that wants to be heard. LOUDLY.

Any of you who've spent more than 27 seconds with me know this to be true. The words just tumble out before I can clamp my lips shut.

I cuss more in casual conversation than when I'm mad. If I get to the point of angry cussing, it's likely to come to blows. (You two stop laughing right now. You know who you are too.)

My favorite cuss word is ass. Asstastic! See, isn't it freakin' hilarious?!? I'm doubled over laughing right now.

Ass.

Unfortunately, just because it's funny doesn't mean it's appropriate or has a place in life.

I learned to cuss as a kid. It was the norm. Everyone cussed. Sometimes it was the "mild" stuff, sometimes it was the "taboo" cussing. Either way, it was accepted by everyone I knew to throw some language into every conversation.

But, I'm hoping for better for my kids, right? I'm hoping to spare them the generational tradition that I'm trying so desperately to escape. I'm lucky in that my kids haven't yet picked up the habit. They haven't even so much as parroted me in my sin. I know that won't last forever. And then, in 20 years, they too will be trying to overcome a personal weakness that can be traced back directly to me.

The For the Strength of Youth pamphlet says this about foul language:

"How you speak says much about who you are. Clean and intelligent language is evidence of a bright and wholesome mind. Profane, vulgar or crude language (or gestures), as well as jokes about immoral actions, are offensive to the Lord and others. Foul language harms you and degrades you."

And from the Big Guy himself:

Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man, but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man. (Matthew 15:11)

and

But I say unto you that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account there of in the day of judgement. (Matthew 12:36-37)

and lastly,

The words of the talebearer are as wounds, and they go down in the innermost parts of the belly. (Proverbs 26:22)

They do go down into the innermost parts of the belly. Hurtful words do go down into the core of a person and there they fester, seeding doubts and insecurities that remain with a person throughout life.

Not only do corrupt words weaken those they are targeted at, but they weaken the speaker. As a poison to the soul, those words, spilled so easily change the user. The heart becomes calloused and the spirit dulls in order to protect itself from the abuse of foul language. One cannot habitually choose to employ inappropriate language and simultaneously gain all of the blessings of the spirit. It is not physically or spiritually possible.

It's interesting to note (as a good friend of mine did so for me when she explained the dangers of cussing and why she raised her family to never utter such words), that every cuss word used refers either to a part of the human body or an act of the human body. And what being would have us further defile our sacred bodies? Satan; for he is so jealous at his own lack of a physical body that he would do anything for us to degrade ours. When we describe ourselves or others in those terms, we are playing right into the hands of the Adversary.

I'm up against years of habit and generations of language tradition. Acknowledging the weakness is the first step with any addictive behavior. Then comes the hard part: applying the change. As with changes of the eternal sort, the Lord has to be part of the process. Humble prayer combined with determination can break the cycle. Therein lies the means to truly grow; to truly effect your own life, the lives of others and even generations to come.

It's damn hard though.

2 comments:

Brittany said...

It might be easier to move to Idaho where damn, hell, and the s one aren't considered swear words. At least that's how I justify my own cursing--even though I haven't lived there for 20 years. But that doesn't really matter, does it?

JRoberts said...

Oh man, followed your link from MMB and so glad I did. This was so great.

I struggled for many years to get that pesky language controled, and am happy to report it is do-able. :) Not to say it is easy, but I somehow managed to somewhat control my tongue.

Your quotes were great. All in all, really enjoyed the post, and look forward to exploring a little more.

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What started as a way to communicate with far away friends and family has become a place for this horse trainer/HR manager turned stay at home mom of 3 girls to hold on to a bit of her own identity. It's my take on the ins and outs, the ups and downs, the thoughts and feelings, the mistakes and triumphs of this family as we bumble our way to eternity.