A Soft Answer . . .

Two thoughts before I share today’s post: (1) sorry for the two week delay for the 3 of you who read my blog – life has been a bit crazy since coming home with an ‘almost-five-year-old-who-cannot-speak-English-or-understand-our-motives-and-intent-and-thinks-she-has-been-kidnapped’ girl from Ethiopia; and (2) REMINDER: the purpose of this blog is to share what’s on the HEART of this pastor.

So life has been tense at the Pearson home. No surprise there. Bringing Birtukan to a new home (for her AND the Pearson’s), pastoring a new church, making new friends, etc. etc. has been fun – BUT VERY TENSE much of the time. Add to that the fact that Katie and I are automatic ‘if-you-even-look-at-me-wierd-I-am-going-to-get-tense-at-you’ stress balls, then you have a recipe for some good old fashion fun at home.

It really hit me hard yesterday that I have been yelling at Luke and Seth alot lately. I mean ALOT. Sometimes they deserve a rebuke or correction. At other times they don’t. But since I was tense, what did I do when they so much as breathed too loud? I yelled. I glared. I gave them ‘the look.’

You know what I noticed? They yelled at each other. They glared at each other (and me!). They gave others their own version of ‘the look.’ It pains me to type this, but they are simply modeling the ONLY thing they have seen or heard from their daddy in recent days.

After Katie and I had a ‘come to Jesus meeting’ (Translation: She let me ‘have it’ – deservedly so – due to my poor attitude and spirit all weekend long) in my study at home (have I mentioned I have a study at home? No? well, I DO!), I went to my office at the church for a previously scheduled meeting with some prospective deacons. Know what passage I read to them as we started? 1 Timothy 3. You know what 1 Timothy 3:4-5 says? “He (the pastor) must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church?” Yikes.

It’s one thing to have your wife call you on a sin. That’s bad enough! But it’s another thing to have GOD do it!!!!!

Both were/are right: My spirit and attitude at home has been awful and if I don’t shape up I will be disqualified from pastoring.

THEN the Lord brought to my mind these verses from Proverbs 15:

“A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” (1)

“A gentle tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit.” (4)

The way to instruct and discipline and ‘bring along’ the boys is never to jump down their throats. It is to express self control toward them by leading them with a soft answer and a gentle tongue.

In fact, I am reminded something my own father said to me when I was getting in my car at the airport two weeks ago with my new family of five. He said, “I am so proud to be your dad.” Do you think that made me love him more or less? Do you think that motivated me to make him more proud of me or less?

In reality, that’s how our heavenly Father deals with His children isn’t it? Just before Jesus was to do battle and exert his energy on 3 years of earthly ministry He heard His Father say: “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.” (Luke 3:22)

Dads, our children need to be disciplined – YES. Our children need to be instructed and corrected and ‘brought along’ toward the right way. But barking orders and yelling demands only reveals our own laziness not to get up and direct them in the way, and our own lack of self discipline to control our tension or anger or frustration with the tone of our voice. Any man can yell at his son. It doesn’t take strength to do that – just flesh. But it takes a real man to control himself, express love toward his children, and gently lead them the way he himself is being led by the Father.


About pastormpearson

Follower of Jesus. Husband to Katie. Father to Luke, Seth, and Birtukan. Pastor of the First Baptist Church in El Dorado, Arkansas.

Posted on August 13, 2012, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 33 Comments.

  1. Wise words, friend! Will reread this many times over for a reminder to shape up and an encouragement to keep plugging at trying to be intentional parents!!!

  2. That was amazing! Our household has been a hair crazy and stressed as Kenneth starts his new job and just because life happens. I needed to hear those words. Thank you for laying it all out here!! Hope things calm down and smooth out for y’all soon. We miss your family!!

  3. (1) I ThinK there may be more than 2 other people (besides me) reading your blog!

    (2) You knew that this adoption was NOT going to be easy for your whole family!!!

    (3) The Lord will see you through this valley as he has in the past.

    (4) There will be other problems in your life and the Lord will be with you throuogh those too!!

    Love you!!!!!!

  4. Just wanted you to know we are in Alabama!!! Heading home!!

    Sent from my iPhone

  5. Ugh and ohhh/ah-ha. I needed this. Ditto for moms. Been “blaming” my shortness on lack if sleep/end of summer. That’s simply not true. Thanks for giving me what I needed today. 🙂

  6. Sounds just like the Wylie family. Encouraging. Thanks for sharing.

  7. Brett Williamson

    We have a tough week also, moving the oldest kid back to the U of A (Arkansas…not Auburn) was stressful all while trying to be a good example to Grant who was baptized yesterday. Thank you for the reminder to keep it calm.

  8. Ouch! I think you stepped on my toes! As a teacher, I have to be SO careful not to take out the stresses of my day with other people’s children on my own child. I hate to say I fail more often than not at this. Thanks for the encouraging words! It’s nice to know I’m not alone in this struggle!

  9. LMHO (Laughed My Head Off) (used the Baptist version for your post…lol) on the first half of your post (and by the way, thank you for returning to the blogging world…by my count your blog followers are now up to 7 plus your Mom…way more than 3…but then again you never have been great with numbers…:) ). Anyway…bless you brother…you have bitten off a GOD size task…glad you are remembering that HE is there to help you!.

    • LOVE the Lottie Moon acrostic thing you have going on here, Tim. You are truly Baptist to the core (and I guess it takes one like you to even recognize that, huh?). I guess since you got your family subscribed to my blog, it is up to 7! Thanks!

  10. Thanks for reminding me that a soft voice takes less strength than a shout! I appreciate your thoughts and I continue to pray for you and your family during this transition time. Your family is precious to us also.

  11. Richard cooper

    I didn’t know I was one of three that reads your blog. Great words brother! Needed to hear that. My kids are grown and I still catch myself yelling. I’ll have to read this again and again especially when we get our foster children. Love and miss you guys.

  12. Praying for you all and I, too, am one of the three that reads your blog!

  13. Thanks for sharing these encouraging words. Even as an “older” parent (and grandparent) I need to be reminded that a soft voice is always best. Praying for you and your family.

  14. Yes brother, this is K.D. on your blog. Another first for me. I did not read this by chance. It came at the appropriate time. Last Saturday, I found myself jumping all over Carson, ( our 9 yr. old ) for spilling his drink in the back seat of my truck. I had just told him to be careful with it. My tone of voice and utter disappointment in him was uncalled for, I really blew it. The next day, out of the blue, he tells me that he doesn’t want to make me mad at him any more and that he was sorry. Man, did I have a big lump in my throat to swallow. I tried to think back to when I was that age and how upset he must have felt. To make matters worse, his big sister, ( 11 yrs. old ) was in the front seat and heard all of it as well. I told both of them that I was wrong, but I can’t take it back now. But, I will do better. Thanks for sharing bro. We all need some encouragement from each other. You can do it, and so can I. Love ya man.

    • I cannot believe it. Simply cannot believe Kelly Dallas, not only read my blog – BUT ACTUALLY KNOWS HOW TO COMMENT!!!!! Wow. Amazing.
      Great to hear from you, bro. Love you too.

  15. Richard McClendon


  16. HELLO, HELLO! I Heard Pastor Matt was in here.

  17. Hey Matt! First off, I have loved keeping up with ya’ll through your blog. Secondly, congratulations! Lastly, I sooooo needed to be reminded of this today. I choose the lazy way so many times. Thanks for opening your heart. God is using you in mighty ways!

  18. oh my…that other post was from stephen…. not me, anyway thanks for this, i needed it.

  19. Matt, that was just what I needed! Having Remington home all summer with the other two is just craziness all the time!! I am more prone to yell and lose my cool before Steve….I guess because I am with them more! Amberlee has started telling me not to yell at her! Really made me realize that yea I seem to do that more than just calmly talking with her/him! Thanks so much for posting that! Hope things get better soon! Thinking about ya’ll!

  20. Ashley Boeckmann King

    Stumbled upon your blog and read this post. A much needed reminder at this crazy (and tense time for us too) time of year! Thank you. Hope you and your family are doing well. Caroline is going to miss Seth this year!

  21. David and Connie Weaver

    I am also 1 of the 3! It is not easy being a parent, even if you are a pastor ( I think satan attacks even more). We have been praying for your family and continue to pray. Love and miss you all!

  22. Debbie Callahan

    Bro. Matt, though I don’t have any of these problems at home with kids (unless you count Morgan the dog and Lucky the cat 🙂 I read this and could visualize you in the pulpit preaching and sharing about your life. It’s what I love about you the most–you don’t pretent to be perfect. You let us know and see the human side of yourself. Praying for you as you all go through these struggles. Always remember the end result is a life you, Katie and the boys will change forever by bringing into your home to love. But the most important of all these struggles will be the fact that she will come to know the Lord through what you have given her. Miss ya’ll so much!!!

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