Proverbs 12:18 “Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.”
These recent times of crisis bring different issues to different people. Some have lost touch with close companions creating extreme loneliness. Others risk the danger of wounded relationships.
In the past month many individuals have been trying to find their way through an emotional haze of isolation. They desperately long for physical interaction with friends and loved ones. This loss of connection can create depression or extreme sadness. But there are others who are struggling with different obstacles.
Some family members or roommates have been cooped up together in the same house for a much longer time than they ever expected. These ones may not understand the desert of complete aloneness, but instead are hacking their way through a jungle of irritated nerves and frustration.
The first few enjoyable days of staying home from school and work quickly faded away as the weeks passed. But soon I started to notice feelings of frustration building up. All of the little irritations I normally ignore from those around me became magnified when mixed in with my personal inner struggles and disappointments. At this time I found I had to keep an extra tight grip on my tongue.
I am sure others have experienced these same types of conflicts. Brothers and sisters who normally have built-in space between them during school and other activities are now bouncing off the walls. Even husbands and wives can become testy with each other as the pressure of the times increases. Insecurity, job status, finances, crowded living spaces, and an unclear future breed an environment ripe for irritation and unkind jibes. If we are not careful, the coronavirus can create relationship dangers as emotions give way to reckless words that pierce a tender heart like a sword.
How can we manage our relationships during this intense time? With utmost patience and self-control. We must bear with one another in love and show more grace when someone is feeling a little blah. Forgiveness must flow freely and understanding must abound. These are character qualities we should always strive for, but they are harder to demonstrate when locked up together in a pressure cooker.
In our family we have found places to be alone when we need to escape from constant interaction. Taking walks and other exercise eliminates some of the emotional turmoil and boredom. We have planned fun activities to do together such as playing games and cooking new recipes together. And the other evening we even put on music and learned some new line dances.
All of these and more help to lighten the experience of social distancing and build relationships. But above all we must keep our tongue under control when irritation sets in. Reckless words pierce like a sword and do great damage to even the closest of relationships, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.
Sandra Sheridan is a midwest wife and mother of five. She shares her letters to her children with our readers. Visit her at www.VersesFromMama.com.