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More Than Lip Service: Authenticity Starts at Home

Let's give our families the best part of us.

Proverbs 25:11 says, “Right words spoken in the right time are like apples of gold in a silver setting.”

Have you ever struggled with controlling your tongue? I have. There are times when I think to myself, “I can’t believe I just said that out loud.” In fact, I’ve been on a personal journey of asking the Lord to really help me in this area for the past several years. Why? I hate to admit it, but I cringe when I think of all the thoughtless, and even unkind things I’ve said to my husband and my children over the years. I’ve corrected my husband, interrupted him, spoken over him… (yup, I’m can be just that amazing as a wife and mom.)

But, praise God! His mercies are new to me every single morning! (And, come to think of it, my husband’s mercies have been new to me every morning as well.) God has given me an opportunity learn from my mistakes and a husband who patiently walks beside me and trusts that I love him, even when I don’t communicate with him as I should.

You see, the Bible tells us that out of the heart, the mouth speaks. Let me say that again. Nevermind. I’ll just share the verse here, as it’s so powerful, we should have it memorized:

A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. – Luke 6:45

It’s easy to talk a good talk when we want to, but the Bible is clear: we will be known by the words that we speak. This was so powerful to me because I want to be known for speaking good things—even when I’m frustrated and even when I see the kids didn’t do what I asked them to. The mouth speaks what the heart is full of.

I don’t know about you, but I’m so weary of finding out that the person I looked up to really is a not who he or she says she is. It’s easy to be kind and sweet to other moms while our own marriages suffer neglect or worse—fall apart at the seams. It’s easy to be kind to other people’s kids while we show the uglier side of ourselves to our own children.

Let’s commit to being the real thing. Let’s communicate good things to those who are closest to us first. If we’re not authentic at home, then all we’re really giving God with our lives is lip service. I don’t know about you, but I want to give Him more than lip service. I want to live and communicate in a way that shows my heart is full of Him, not me.

If you’re struggling in this area, remember, the bottom line of communication is not just using the right style; to get style down and miss the heart of communication is literally giving your marriage and family nothing more than lip service. Our husbands and kids deserve more than this!

Do you realize that your words provide an opportunity for you and for those around you to grow in their walk with God?

Authenticity starts at home. When we realize that our willingness to minister unconditionally to our family is part of successful family life, then we have found the best place to start.

Let’s give our families the best part of us—and then reach out to a world who is desperately in need of the real thing. It’s more than lip service. Always start at home. Out of the overflow of the heart—the mouth speaks … at home.

Start there,

Heidi St. John
The Busy Mom

6 Comments

  • BJ

    Oh I so need to work on this. I use a lot of sarcasm – not something I used to do. And my husband, poor guy, isn’t great with details and I’m always correcting him. Praying for a heart-change on this issue. Thanks for the post.

  • Dara Harvey

    This resonates with me. Laziness is a big part of the problem (for me, anyway). Why am I kinder to other people’s kids than my own? Or to other people more than my husband? Because my family is my comfort zone – I don’t try as hard to be polite with them, and my guard is down. I expect them to treat me with the same politeness I would expect from any other person. But I don’t treat them the same as I would treat any other person. You hurt the ones you love the most. For me, the key is remembering to not be lazy in how I interact with them.

    • DK

      Why am I kinder to other people’s kids than my own? Or to other people more than my husband? Because my family is my comfort zone – I don’t try as hard to be polite with them, and my guard is down. I expect them to treat me with the same politeness I would expect from any other person. But I don’t treat them the same as I would treat any other person. You hurt the ones you love the most.

      Love this Dara!!! Same with me. Why do I expect it if I sometimes dont give it?! Well said!

  • Sherri

    Thank you…thank you..thank you!!! I needed this more than ever this morning. Thank you Lord for reminders through other Godly women that are struggling with this same thing. May we submit all of ourselves..especially the hardest part of our body to tame (THE TONGUE) to you Father. For your glory..for the the good of our families and for our own good. The peace to be had by allowing you to work in our lives this way will produce gentleness of speech, patience, love and understanding is worth it’s weight far beyond gold. Thank you Jesus! Now, let us go and be doers as well as hearers. God bless all the moms who read this lesson.

  • Sharon Mavis

    In Cloud and Townsend’s wonderful book, Boundaries in Marriage, they discuss conflict and name one kind of conflict as “the sin of one spouse.” Of those illustrations of spousal sin, many of them are verbal: angry outbursts, impatience, critical attitudes, deception, controlling behavior, and emotionally injurious behavior such as name calling or belittling.

    In a recent email to my followers, I wrote about a time when I simply spoke up when I should have let my husband finish a conversation without having me butt in. In private he told me that I had made him feel emasculated which horrified me.

    Yes, our words are so important, as is their tone, their timing, their audience, and so on.

    Thank you for the post.

  • DK

    I as well as most everyone I suspect Thank you for this article and agree it is appreciated and needed in more of our lives!! The tongue is hard to tame but with Jesus..it is possible!! Our families deserve the best from us if not equal to how we treat others! <3

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