by Beth Johnson
Oh, what joy to see young girls—no matter the ages—showing affection and care for each other! Because of more than one unfortunate experience I know that this kindness between girls is not always reality, nor is it always the case between young ladies or older women! It is all too common to witness women of all ages acting in ways that are unkind to each other and unbecoming of the Lord. Here are some ideas on how to nip gossip and “fair-weather” friendships in the bud—before they bloom.
Unfortunately little girls learn to be tattlers, whisperers, talebearers, backbiters and busybodies early in life. You can see them huddled together on playgrounds and other places while the boys race up and down with a ball or play tag. It could be that boys have more natural physical energy while the girls are taught to be sedate and quiet. The problem is not that boys cannot be guilty of the same sins, but little girls seem more prone. Should mothers sit idly by and watch this happen? What must we do?
TEACH YOUR CHILDREN WELL
It is the tendency to talk behind another person’s back that causes hurt feelings and depression in those who are ostracized. First and foremost we as mothers and grandmothers must be Titus 2 women to any female younger than we are.
The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things.
As mothers, it can be easy to see the sweetness in our children at home, but not to see the reality of their behavior in public. It can also be easy to accept the explanation and excuse a child gives rather than getting to the heart of the matter. This unfortunately fosters and perpetuates a negative tendency in our children.
Third, and most important, we women must be steeped in the Word and what the Lord says about such behavior. We should desire to have behavior that glorifies the Lord and shows that we love Him above all. Most likely, all of us have made mistakes in this area. But the plumb line of our behavior is to be the Word of God. How can we teach our daughters if we do not know the will of the Father ourselves?
IT IS WRITTEN….
The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly.
He that covereth a transgression seeketh love; but he that repeateth a matter separateth very friends.
1 Samuel 24:9
And David said to Saul, Wherefore hearest thou men’s words, saying, Behold, David seeketh thy hurt?
All that hate me whisper together against me: against me do they devise my hurt.
A froward man soweth strife: and a whisperer separateth chief friends.
Genesis 3:1, 4-5
Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?
4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:
5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.
And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;
29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,
30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,
31 Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:
2 Corinthians 12:20
For I fear, lest, when I come, I shall not find you such as I would, and that I shall be found unto you such as ye would not: lest there be debates, envyings, wraths, strifes, backbitings, whisperings, swellings, tumults:
Whoso privily slandereth his neighbour, him will I cut off: him that hath an high look and a proud heart will not I suffer.
1 Timothy 5:13
And withal they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house;
and not only idle, but tattlers also and busybodies, speaking things which
they ought not.
Are you a busybody: Αλλοτριοεπισκοπος [ Strong’s GK # 244 ] an inspector of another? Are you meddling with other people’s concerns?
1 Peter 4:15
But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men’s matters.
2 Thessalonians 3:11
For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies.
1 Timothy 5:13
and withal they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house; and not only idle, but tattlers also and busybodies, speaking things which they ought not.
How do we handle those who would come to us with these tales?
The north wind driveth away rain: so doth an angry countenance a backbiting tongue.
Where no wood is, there the fire goeth out: so where there is no talebearer, the strife ceaseth.
A PSALM OF DAVID
Finally, can we aspire to be like the Psalmist who carefully chooses his friends? Do we see the need to teach our daughters the same principles?
Lord, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill? He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart. He that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbour, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbour.