I remember the first time I used a curse word. I was in middle school. My peers cursed, and I rapidly developed the same habit. It was a combination of social pressure and moral degradation. It became an ingrained habit that I found difficult to break.
Curse words walked with me beyond middle school and into adulthood. I have struggled with an untamed tongue for many years. And although my tongue was brushed a little cleaner the further I dove into Christianity, the struggle was still there…
And then I had a child.
If you want to know how to clean your mouth quickly, there is any easy way to do it. Have a child. Prior to having children, my husband and I discussed all of the things that we would need to stop doing for the sake our child’s well-being (and sanity). Cursing was one of the vices that definitely made the list.
We didn’t want our child to grow up thinking that it was acceptable to use such language. I think most people are a little surprised when they hear a child curse. It’s because it’s not the language that we expect a child to use. It’s “grown up” and by “grown up” I mean far less innocent and far more morally corrupt. Some people might see a cursing child as cute while others find it incredibly appalling. But even those who think it’s cute when a child uses a curse word, often cringe if they discover it’s a natural part of the child’s vocabulary and not restricted to one-time usage.
Most of us believe that cursing somehow defiles a child and taints their innocence. Why would we think that a curse word defiles a child? The answer lies in how we perceive profanity. The words are dirty. The simple idea of children and cursing together may arouse nostalgia of an angry mother forcing her child to wash his mouth out with soap. The soap symbolically cleanses the filth attached to the ‘dirty’ word that came from his mouth.
There are plenty of parents who curse in front of children. It doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re bad parents because I am quite sure that a lot of parents who love their children deeply and would die for their kid may drop an F-bomb of two. I still cringe a little when I hear people curse (especially when they are Christian) but I’m also sympathetic because I know that taming the tongue is an impossibility apart from the Holy Spirit.