When I was little, the only bad words that I knew about were "dumb," "stupid," "shut-up," "darn" and "heck". Hearing someone say any of these words were enough for me to gasp, and urgently whisper to my mother, "She said a bad word!" Once when a boy in 4th grade thought he would educate me in the REAL bad words, and I laughed at the silly sounds he made. I told him that my mom had taught me all the bad words there were and if there were other ones, she surely would have told me!

Thank goodness my mom left me in a world of innocence for as long as she could when it came to cursing, and until today I feel a bit guilty using any of those five originally "forbidden" words and rarely do, if at all. But life today is different, even in Christian homes. TV permits a lot of swearing and filthy language, even children's films boost their ratings to PG by adding a few expletives, and parents in general feel that keeping their kid's mouths clean is a losing battle, so let them say what they want. Parents can't resist letting one slip every now and then, so why should they enforce something they can't even follow?

What's wrong with filthy language, and who says it's filthy in the first place? The Bible says there should be no obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, (Eph 5:4) and that an immoral person is the same as an idolater, meaning they are worshipping what is evil. That's pretty heavy stuff considering how common these words have become. That means that if we allow ourselves, and our children to speak in this manner, we are opening them up to a very evil spiritual world.

Telling your kids not to say bad words just because they are bad or rude, is not enough. Parents first have to understand how destructive evil speech can be to their entire home. There is a spirit behind all we say and confess, and we have to be the guardians of that entryway.

I have a no-tolerance policy for my kids when it comes to profanity, and I know they will never hear me use it myself. When they first heard the words on television as toddlers and repeated them, I strongly told them that they were unacceptable and they would be spanked (I know, call CPS...) if they ever repeated them again. Of course they had to test the boundaries and did repeat them and got a swift and painful reminder that they were NEVER to say that! It didn't take long before the whole issue was settled, and I never had a problem with them again.

I can just hear the complaints, "You're so mean!" If you call aggressively protecting my family from a spirit of rebelliousness, hatred and curses as being mean, then I guess I am - mean against spiritual forces that would love to tear us apart. There are many ways that evil can infiltrate our homes and lives, and being vigilant in this area, is just one way to block the harm it wants to do.

Curses are not just medieval superstition, but are making their way into families every day, by the choices we make to ignore God's Word.

Evelyn Higginbotham

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