Only in recent years have WMD’s or the term WMD’s become a commonly known or commonly used term. I think about the devastation of weapons of mass destruction and as I often do, I think of how ‘weapons of mass destruction’ might correlate to the home or motherhood. It’s a term of war or arsenal of the enemy.
So, I was walking through the store and I heard a tired, exasperated and foolish mother unloading her WMD’s on her children. WMD’s are what I’ve come to think of in recent years when I hear a mother’s angry outburst or some tirade against her children. She warns them they’re not getting anything. She threatens to take them out to the car. She tells them they’re naughty little brats. She tells them she’s tired of them making noise. She tells them she’s going to leave them at the store. She tells them they’re bad.
WMD’s. Mama’s Words of Mass Destruction.
Every mama’s got ‘em: words of mass destruction. Every mama’s used ‘em at one time or another or… sadly, many times. Furious anger against the little one who spills yet another glass of milk. Rage over another mess. Another ranting and raving over the messy room, the unfinished chore or incomplete schoolwork. We’ve all done it at one time or another –or many times. WMDs. And they are massively destructive. O, they don’t seem like it at the time. Noooo. They seem righteous at the time. After all, we’re telling them the truth –someone’s got to! And we’re justified! They’ve broken the rules, caused a mess, disobeyed! They deserve what’s coming to them! Really? Do they really deserve our WMDs? Are WMD’s really the answer?
O, in a saner moment we’d say, surely not. We’d say, in a rational moment, that what they need are sweet, understanding words – they don’t need WMD’s. Nobody needs/deserves WMD’s. WMD’s really don’t help anyone –in fact, just the opposite. WMD’s truly are words of mass destruction.
As mama’s, we have an arsenal of weapons at our disposal. We have bitter words, grievous words, biting words, sarcastic words, caustic words, destructive and humiliating words. We can, at once, reduce a child to tears or worse, to great shame. Words. Simple words. Ugly words that we would never dream of saying aloud in the presence of our acquaintances but freely fling at the precious gifts the LORD has entrusted into our care and training.
It’s a lie… that saying: sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me. That’s a lie. We know that some of our deepest personal wounds are word wounds. Wounds that perhaps were sustained decades ago are instantly painful at the remembrance of words we once heard.
So, the mother walked through the store. Occasionally, the child would say an inappropriate word or beg once again for some forbidden item. And once again, the tirade would be repeated… the WMD’s once again flung at the child. And the cycle of mixed shame and anger repeated once again. This would likely be done many times over throughout that, and every day as that mama didn’t grasp the magnitude, significance or consequence of her words. Little did she know that she was really launching an attack with her cache of WMD’s.
WMD’s don’t have to be that overt to cause damage. Little sarcasms and snide remarks can do as much or more damage. Sarcasm and coarse talk is quite the common and acceptable form of communication these days. I’ll write on that shortly.
But for now… I want to contrast the WMD’s… Mama’s Words of Mass Destruction with sweet words. Sweet words are those words a mama says that are soothing… calming… reassuring… encouraging… affirming. They’re quite the opposite of the WMD’s. And a mama has to work hard at stocking and storing another sort of WMD … Words that Minister Delight. And we do have a choice. We can be like the impatient, ignorant, loud and foolish mothers who bark and bite at their children or we can be sweet, understanding and loving mothers who minister sweet words to our children… words that build them up; not words that tear them down and foster anger. We can strive to be women who don’t stoop to the lesser ways of parenting but who strive for the higher, better, lovely manner of mothering children: mothers who convey they are glad they’re where they’re at and glad they’re with who they’re with and glad they’re doing what they’re doing.
Decide today…. No more WMD’s… Be done with lesser things. Choose to work at lavishing Words that Minister Delight. And may the LORD bless us all as we seek to serve and honour Him in all that we do.