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Hadley

Christian content: foul language

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I have noticed a huge upswing in our society’s tolerance of cursing as a matter of course in everyday speech patterns.  My son, who is a professing Christian, and his peers seem to view swear words as no different from any other language.  

These are good kids.  I have tried to speak with my son about the image that this language puts forth, but I feel like I’m fighting an uphill battle.  He and his peers are surrounded by the message that cursing is no big deal.  It really hurts my heart.

Am I the only momma out there fighting this problem?  Commiseration, please.  Ways to combat it??  

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I think there is some cultural disconnect between former language norms and the current norms. We are a bit on the relaxed side. I actually have bigger fish to fry, and am known to have a bit of a potty mouth from time to time, but I do think as kids mature they realize when it is super important to watch one's word choice and when it is just...well, still important but maybe not as impactful. 

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How old is your son?  
 

I differentiate between taking the Lord’s name in vain and vulgar speech. I am not fond of vulgar speech but I don’t see it as sin. My adult son knows to moderate his speech in formal settings (work, church, around his mother. 😉 ). It’s not a spiritual issue but common sense that different language is more appropriate in different settings. 
 

ETA - being around me is not a formal setting but he still moderates his speech around me and other “older” relatives so as to make us comfortable. 

Edited by Jean in Newcastle
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I don't think cursing or a lack thereof has anything to do with being a Christian or not.  And although my kids aren't old enough to use what we call "adult words" I do agree that I am generally seeing more cursing.  

Now, I do curse.  Certainly not all the time, but certainly there are times when the right word choice is a curse word (or five.)  I have also worked with and around kids my whole life so I have had a lot of time and practice in making sure my language is "kid appropriate" and "professional."

In particular though, I am really getting tired of seeing the F word, or the letters "AF" everywhere.  

I think what people don't realize is how using curse words too often makes their communication less effective.  I will never forget the first time I heard my mom say the F word.  I was like 11.  It was over something dumb, I think she had lost her keys.  But when said it, I knew she was *REALLY* mad and I made sure I was not in her way lol.  

 

On the other hand, my DH used to be a prison guard.  And in that environment, curse words pepper every sentence.  Prisoners curse a LOT and people who deal with prisoners often have to modify their speech to match in order to be understood and even respected.  DH used to curse a LOT as a result.  And then, he left that job to work in customer service, which requires the exact opposite sort of language lol.  He learned real quick lol.  

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"Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers." -Ephesians 4:29

I take that to mean swearing is a sin and maybe he would, too. No advice but I understand. Sorry.

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My view on cursing is that you don't do it at people but in everyday speech about thing I see little wrong with it. So, saying 'you're such an a'hole' wouldn't be ok. But saying ' doing such and such is an a'hole move' when talking in general not when referring to something someone just did because that would imply they are an a'hole.

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We've been having this issue a little bit when our older kids come over.   What they think is appropriate vs what I think is appropriate sometimes differs.  Ours isn't so much swearing but more word choice.  I don't consider "crap" a swear word at all but on the other hand I don't necessarily want my 10 yodd using it all the time either and when her older brothers are using it frequently in her hearing I have a problem with it.  So far we just handle it in a joking way.

Over Christmas I did forbid something that may seem silly to some.  We were using a lot of paper products with lots of family members over often for meals. My two eldest sons began singing the "red Solo cup" song at  every meal accompanied by slurring words and drunk actions.   Nobody drinks in our family (they may? But I don't think so). Anyway, when my youngers and grandkids started copying and singing along,  I put my foot down hard on it.  I think they were shocked!  I explained that I didn't want the younger generation to remember drunkenness as funny and that they learned that song at Grandma's house.

I think it is probably just a generational difference and now I feel old.  I remember shocking my mil by using the word "fart" in her presence early in my marriage 🤣.  She still loves me (I think).

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You all are making some good points.  He is seventeen, but this has been a problem for the last couple of years.  

I taught public school when dinosaurs roamed the earth, so I do get it to some extent.  It just seems so much more prevalent...especially the use of some of the words that I find much more vulgar than others. (Good ‘ol F bomb).

I do agree than one can be a Christian and still curse, I just have to think it really dampens their ability to be a good witness...

However, I do view swear words as sinful...

Edited by Hadley
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I should have the disclaimer that I do not encourage my children to curse even when I don't find it inappropriate. But I don't get mad either. I usually just ask them if there is a more effective way to get their point across. Usually, they think about it and change their statement. Other times they think their way was pretty effective(which I agree with sometimes. If I hit my hand with a hammer the most effective way for me to express the shock, pain, and frustration in the moment is to yell the f word

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12 minutes ago, Jean in Newcastle said:

How old is your son?  
 

I differentiate between taking the Lord’s name in vain and vulgar speech. I am not fond of vulgar speech but I don’t see it as sin. My adult son knows to moderate his speech in formal settings (work, church, around his mother. 😉 ). It’s not a spiritual issue but common sense that different language is more appropriate in different settings. 
 

ETA - being around me is not a formal setting but he still moderates his speech around me and other “older” relatives so as to make us comfortable. 

I agree with you here...these same kids would never take the Lord’s name in vain...that one gets to me much worse than swearing...don’t get me started on all the cute “OMG” clothing, etc. marketed to children!!

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 I call swear words back pocket words.  It is good to have them in your back pocket to pull out on occasion when it's warranted.  It should be the rare occassion.  At home with family we are free to speak how we like.  I don't cuss in public as it seems like it's disrespectful not only to others but to my family and myself.  I do not really consider it a sin, just sort of vulgar.  Kids go through phases and they hear a lot of it at college.  

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I was a kid in the 80s with a pastor who cursed.  Not like a sailor, lol, but still.  I continue to have great appreciation for a well placed swear.

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6 minutes ago, Hadley said:

I agree with you here...these same kids would never take the Lord’s name in vain...that one gets to me much worse than swearing...don’t get me started on all the cute “OMG” clothing, etc. marketed to children!!

I have always interpreted OMG to my kids as "Oh My Gosh"   And we don't even go to church lol.  

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And although I am a professing pearl clutcher, I DO see the humor in my post title 🤣!

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Another thing for me as a Christian, is that I differentiate between my relationship with God and my older kids' relationships with God.  So just as I have God the Holy Spirit to convict me of sin and to mold me in my spiritual walk, so do they.  So I try not to overstep and take the place of the Holy Spirit in their lives.  But when they are still under my roof and under my parental authority, I do set boundaries including things like speech to some extent. 

When I was a teen, the Christian adults in my life used a lot of spiritual manipulation and outright coercion to make me "act like a Christian".  (Not saying that you are doing this but just explaining where I am coming from.)  What that did was to encourage rebellion in some like me and a lot of legalism in those who were more compliant.  Change that doesn't come from the Holy Spirit Himself tends to do that, in my opinion. 

Edited by Jean in Newcastle
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I was shocked a couple of years ago when I saw that my oldest was using the F bomb casually in some texts with friends. She is a professing Christian, and I have never heard her swear in real life. DH and I do not swear. I do consider swearing (and all speech) to be a reflection of the heart. The Bible does include many versus about how speech reveals our hearts and the importance of controlling the tongue. Although those verses are about speech in general and not specifically about swearing, I do not believe that foul language glorifies God or builds others up. And I believe that we should try to please God in all that we do, and I do not believe he finds foul words pleasing. I talk about these things with my children. I know that I cannot control their speech, but I do hope that they will want to choose what will please the Lord.

Therefore, it was shocking to find that DD was swearing. (Shocking for her, because of her generally sweet and complaint personality and her desire to please God. I have a younger child who has a more rebellious personality and does not yet have a personal faith, and I am NOT surprised that he swears around his friends, though I don't like it, either).

Since then, I have noticed more and more that the younger generation does not consider the F word to be a particularly bad word. I think it is a generational shift. There are certain words that were not allowed on television when I was a child that became prevalent in shows when I was a young adult, and I think it reflected that those particular words were no longer considered to be crass but were now commonplace.

I don't like it. I hold to my beliefs about clean speech. I hope that my teens will consider their choice of words carefully and will not default to cultural standards but will hold God's standards high. I also know that Christians fail to uphold God's standards, and that it is actually impossible for us to meet them, and that is why we need Christ. I do think that Christians should have clean speech, but I believe in Grace when we fall short.

I will still continue to teach them what I believe is right, but they will make their own choices.

One of the things that I do remind them is that when they speak those words, or even use euphemisms for those words (or start to say the word but stop short after just the first sound, which is common), that the person who is hearing them has those words put into their mind. So that it is not just about what they choose to say and whether it is sinful for them, but how it affects others around them.

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10 minutes ago, Jean in Newcastle said:

Another thing for me as a Christian, is that I differentiate between my relationship with God and my older kids' relationships with God.  So just as I have God the Holy Spirit to convict me of sin and to mold me in my spiritual walk, so do they.  So I try not to overstep and take the place of the Holy Spirit in their lives.  But when they are still under my room and under my parental authority, I do set boundaries including things like speech to some extent. 

When I was a teen, the Christian adults in my life used a lot of spiritual manipulation and outright coercion to make me "act like a Christian".  (Not saying that you are doing this but just explaining where I am coming from.)  What that did was to encourage rebellion in some like me and a lot of legalism in those who were more compliant.  Change that doesn't come from the Holy Spirit Himself tends to do that, in my opinion. 

I think this is an excellent point. I was not raised in a legalistic environment AT ALL, but  I could easily fall into legalism myself.  I’m really working on letting go of my son and letting God work His will in his life.

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I think the Bible's warnings against unedifying speech are applicable to every country and every culture for all time, but the words that are considered unedifying by each will vary tremendously. So while as an American I think saying "bloody" is funny I would never say it in the UK because then my Christian witness would not be as genuine. I have no idea what curse words were in the early church, but maybe "Raca" was one? (I can't remember the verse exactly, but calling a fool "Raca" would put you in danger of judgement I believe) But saying "Raca" now in 2020 is not sinful or damaging to our Christian witness.

I hate the F word with a passion, but my kids are growing up in a world where perhaps in another 20 years it will no longer be considered a curse word at all. I will mourn that day, because to me it will always be a disgusting degrading term for something God created to be beautiful, but by then it might not necessarily mean that anymore. By then other words will be curse words and shocking to modern ears.

Language is a funny evolving thing, but God's precepts are eternal. 

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Not coming at this from a Christian perspective, but one thing that I see is that the words that are taboo are changing and that's a natural part of language development. I think there's always difficulty between adults and kids around this to some extent. Some of this is about changing values (I would argue that the most taboo words are now words that insult specific groups of people instead of words about sex) but some of it is just about changing slang.

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I don't know which came first, but many swear words that used to be forbidden on tv/radio are now ok. I assume the line will keep moving into a more permissible direction.

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I do think what is a curse word changes. I remember my mother being HORRIFIED when I said something "sucks". I had NO CLUE that it referred to oral sex! It was just another way to say something stinks in my mind, that I don't like it. To her it was a curse word, but not to me, if that makes sense. 

That said, i don't think there is any good to come of trying to tell your son what to say around his friends, but there is absolutely no reason you can't hold him to a higher standard around you. It offends you, and therefore he shouldn't do it around you. Plus that will be good practice for him as far as code switching goes when he gets a job, etc. 

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2 hours ago, Hadley said:

You all are making some good points.  He is seventeen, but this has been a problem for the last couple of years.  

I taught public school when dinosaurs roamed the earth, so I do get it to some extent.  It just seems so much more prevalent...especially the use of some of the words that I find much more vulgar than others. (Good ‘ol F bomb).

I do agree than one can be a Christian and still curse, I just have to think it really dampens their ability to be a good witness...

However, I do view swear words as sinful...

There are some groups that I would argue cursing increases one’s ability to witness to. 
 

Behavior modification is a pretty ineffective discipling approach. But I don’t view all “bad” language as sinful. Even Paul used the equivalent of sh*t in his letter to the Philippians. 

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Y’all are giving me a lot to ponder.  Thanks for the feedback.

I also appreciate responses from those of you who are not religious.  One of my best friends is an atheist, and I’ve never heard an ugly word from her lips.  She chooses not to curse because she finds it crass...

I think this is an interesting topic on both religious and cultural/societal levels.

Edited by Hadley
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I'm irritated that people are ruining perfectly good swear words with over usage.  We need a swear word in reserve for the most extreme situations, but now they've lost their punch because of people's short sightedness. What are we going to do when the f word is no longer The Big One that dropped like a bomb in a conversation? I remember about 20 years ago when Joanne (Yes, the Joanne that you all knew here for more than a decade) said to me as we at breakfast at McDonald's, "I've been married for 10 years. In that time I've used the F word one time. It got results." We need a new swear word, people. Somebody get on that...and then don't ruin it. I listen to a person who works in a placement agency for fostercare vent sometimes because she needs to.  There absolutely is a place for a swear word that conveys the terribleness of horrific abuse of children.

I'm also irritated with a few people in my religious circles who go on and on in person and on FB about all the profanity in movies and how it hurts their delicate hearts so much that they can't possibly bear what those godless people in Hollywood are peddling, but then send their children to ps where their kids hear it constantly all day long for their formative years. I don't buy it. I think you can tolerate it if your kids can because that's just the world we live in. No one is saying you have to participate.

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Our daughters are 26 and 30 and I’ve seldom heard them curse. I’m not saying they don’t, just not in front of DH and me. 

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Well my parents met in the Navy, so while I'm not offended by it I try not to take their example.  I agree it isn't edifying.

I don't think rough language is a sin though, any more than I think using forks is a sin.  Which words are rough and which are refined changes over time.  What is okay and what is edifying changes over time.  The important thing is to be lovingly sensitive to those it will offend.

I've been googling to find an article I read maybe a year ago about the history of swear words, and how some of the worst 150 years ago are no longer used, but some words we consider terrible today used to be common language for everyone.  I can't find it.

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Our whole family curses.  Rather a lot really.  I probably do less than anyone else, though oldest also doesn’t do it constantly.  We and my kids didn’t when they were really little, but a housemate who did moved in when they were six and seven, and that pretty much did it.  We did have a chat about situational language very early on.  They managed not to do it at Catholic school.  Interestingly, my younger one with autism is the one who curses the most at home but never slips up in inappropriate places.  I do think it diminishes the effect when it’s used so often.  But I think it’s so much a part of peer and online culture that that ship has sailed.  

Edited by Terabith
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I don't like cursing.  Well, I'm getting used to it now in the movies and such, and even among certain crowds, but as a Christian, I do feel that what comes out of our mouths ideally should be edifying.  Just like what we put into our minds should be "...Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable -- if anything is excellent or praiseworthy -- think about such things."

But, I also understand that we live in this world and we take on habits and language and such of our culture.  Often swear words are quite meaningless by the time they come out of our mouths, although I think they do give people a sense of power, in a way.  I swear on occasion (only alone or in front of my dh, but not in front of anyone else).  I don't feel good about it, but I don't beat myself up about it either.  My dh used to swear quite a bit until he came to know Christ -- and then he stopped.  I guess it didn't feel important to talk like that anymore.  We never had the rule "no swearing allowed" when our kids were young, but they never swore because we didn't.  Now that they're adults, a couple of them do swear from time to time and it always catches me off guard.  But, they're good "kids," and I bite my tongue.  There are a lot worse things.  In the end, I don't like curse words, but I guess I don't think they really matter that much compared to so many other things.

 

Edited by J-rap
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My children do not curse in front of me. I'm pretty sure my son uses vulgar or foul language when I am not around; he has worked and volunteered in environments where language is common, so he has probably picked it up.  I wouldn't want to hear it coming out of their mouths. 

I grew up with a dad and brother who used a lot of terrible language.  I have gone through periods where I have used it a lot, such as when single with no kids and in a sort of partying culture, then stopped when I had kids; now that I am working again I find I am swearing a lot at work and outside (though I still control myself around my kids). 

My husband and I were talking about this other other day: is the f-word a sin? As Jean said, it is not taking the Lord's name in vain.  Is it "corrupt communication" as someone said above? I don't know.  When I think of "corrupt" speech I think of lying, gossiping, etc., but not necessarily using random words that our culture has determined are vulgar.  Also, so many Christians just use substitute words, like "sugar" or "shoot," or "oh fudge!" which is pretty obvious.  Not sure what the real difference is there. 

I am tired of seeing thing like book titles with "f*ck" in them on the library shelves. It seems worse to me to see things like that acceptable in print than just hearing it. It makes me not want to bother reading it. 

Edited by marbel

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Our speech should set us apart, and anything meant to cheapen human dignity (F bomb, b***h, etc.) or cheapen our relationship with Christ should be off limits. Oaths should be taken seriously. 

However. The original Hebrew texts do contain some rather direct language. No mincing of words or being “delicate.” For example, in the account of Nabal refusing to aid David, David ended up wiping out his line by killing all of Nabal’s household that could, ahem, piss against a wall. 

Edited by SamanthaCarter

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1 hour ago, marbel said:

I am tired of seeing thing like book titles with "f*ck" in them on the library shelves. It seems worse to me to see things like that acceptable in print than just hearing it. It makes me not want to bother reading it. 

 

7 hours ago, happysmileylady said:

In particular though, I am really getting tired of seeing the F word, or the letters "AF" everywhere.  

 

My parents didn’t cuss when I grew up. I don’t cuss now. It’s odd, but when I visit them (they live on the other side of the continent), they cuss! And they often pause and I can tell that they’re trying to come up with a different word from the cuss word they were about to use. It’s like they’re ashamed that they cuss and are trying to hide it from me.  I’m mostly just amused by the whole thing.

Part of me doesn’t think it’s a big deal, but another part of me simply canNOT bring myself to cuss. It feels so so wrong for *me* to cuss.  

I’ve never taught my kids, “We should never cuss!”  In fact, I’ve taught them that they’ll hear it a lot outside of our home and that usually it’s just like saying, “um” to most people.  It’s only sometimes that someone is cussing and using those words as weapons.  Usually cuss words are peppered in to everyday language to provide a bit of emphasis and nothing more than that.  I’ve done my best to make it so my kids aren’t judgy about people who cuss.

And I really don’t care if people cuss a lot in front of me.  I’ve heard a lot of it in various jobs/places I’ve been and I mostly don’t even notice it.  Sometimes people will realize I don’t cuss and apologize for using a word and I have to stop and realize, ‘Oh yeah...I guess they did cuss,” because I don’t notice.

However...the one place I do NOT like to see cuss words is in the examples quote above.  I do NOT like it in the title of a book or the title of a professional article or in the content of a professional article.  I guess my judging hat comes on because when I see it in professionally published work like that, I roll my eyes and figure the person just wasn’t smart enough to come up with anything better. It seems lazy or sloppy to me or like they’re trying to hard to be “relevant” or “shocking” or who even knows.  

Edited by Garga
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Others have made excellent points. This verse also comes to mind: "Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving," Ephesians 5:4. 

@Hadley, I feel for you, but probably the best you can do right now is not allow that language in your home, pray for your son's conscience to be pricked, if it needs to be, and try not to stress about it too much. Hugs.

Edited by MercyA
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Am I the only momma out there fighting this problem?  Commiseration, please.  Ways to combat it??  

Not the only mama for sure, unfortunately. I was stunned when I found out that one of mine swears like a sailor, the F word being her personal favorite.

My husband and I try to not swear whether it be the full word or "soft swearing". We do not allow our kids to say things like "freaking" or "What the..." We speak to them about the motive behind the swear word as we feel that is something to be aware of. But at a certain point we accept that our kids will say what they say, however they all know that they are not welcome to use bad language either in the home or with their younger siblings.

As a Christian I have tried to instruct my children about what the Bible states regarding crude/coarse joking and speaking and the purpose for avoiding the same (to glorify God by the actions of His people). I believe that believers are to be set apart from what is in the world and the way we speak is a huge part of that.

One thing I did when my kids questioned us many years ago about this topic was to compare our words with something else they readily identified - excrement. At the time we had 4 in diapers so this was very familiar to them, lol! I asked if it would be OK for us to take the poop and fling it around or at others. Of course not (although my boys did get a kick out of the gross factor). Our words, we told them, can be like excrement - foul and offensive. I don't even change a soiled diaper when others are present or in a room that is heavily used. I choose to not "soil" the area with my words, either.

Now one of our more astute kiddos pointed out that poop happens in a toilet so can words happen at times that are OK? That one threw us for a loop but we did say that if I smash my hand I don't say, "Praise God, my hand just hurts so very much!!" It's more likely that a 4-letter word will be uttered...possibly shouted.

I don't want to make swearing a casual part of our language. There are so many words we have to use...what is the attraction to swear words? And are we to be at a point where we do not care what others think and so throw around such words loosely/freely?

 

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8 hours ago, happysmileylady said:

I have always interpreted OMG to my kids as "Oh My Gosh"   And we don't even go to church lol.  

 

When I was a kid, and I'd say "Gosh" or "Jeez" or "Heck" my Dad would scold me and tell me that God knew what I meant, so it still counted.

Except that apparently I wasn't a very quick child because I could not figure out what God thought I meant.  I think he'd been saying this for several years before I made the connection.  

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Well, *I’m* the one who curses and all my kids - from 18 to under 10 - are the ones who scold me. They’re quite funny when they say, “MOoooooMmmm!!!! Laaannguaaagggeee!!!!” with the accompanying heavy sighs. 

I don’t curse all the time and try to limit it to more, ah, situationally appropriate times, but I have been known to drop a curse word or ten. I will say that i’ve noticed that judiciously using curse words makes them much more effective when they are used, especially if one uses them around others who themselves curse all the time. 

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9 hours ago, Garga said:

 

 

My parents didn’t cuss when I grew up. I don’t cuss now. It’s odd, but when I visit them (they live on the other side of the continent), they cuss! And they often pause and I can tell that they’re trying to come up with a different word from the cuss word they were about to use. It’s like they’re ashamed that they cuss and are trying to hide it from me.  I’m mostly just amused by the whole thing.

Part of me doesn’t think it’s a big deal, but another part of me simply canNOT bring myself to cuss. It feels so so wrong for *me* to cuss.  

I’ve never taught my kids, “We should never cuss!”  In fact, I’ve taught them that they’ll hear it a lot outside of our home and that usually it’s just like saying, “um” to most people.  It’s only sometimes that someone is cussing and using those words as weapons.  Usually cuss words are peppered in to everyday language to provide a bit of emphasis and nothing more than that.  I’ve done my best to make it so my kids aren’t judgy about people who cuss.

And I really don’t care if people cuss a lot in front of me.  I’ve heard a lot of it in various jobs/places I’ve been and I mostly don’t even notice it.  Sometimes people will realize I don’t cuss and apologize for using a word and I have to stop and realize, ‘Oh yeah...I guess they did cuss,” because I don’t notice.

However...the one place I do NOT like to see cuss words is in the examples quote above.  I do NOT like it in the title of a book or the title of a professional article or in the content of a professional article.  I guess my judging hat comes on because when I see it in professionally published work like that, I roll my eyes and figure the person just wasn’t smart enough to come up with anything better. It seems lazy or sloppy to me or like they’re trying to hard to be “relevant” or “shocking” or who even knows.  

Those kind of titles come across the same way to me as a little kid who tries out a swear word to see if the parents are shocked.

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OP -- If your kid is a mature teen, I might sit down with him and look up the meanings of the words he and his friends are using.  If he knew what the words actually meant -- instead of random letters that form a syllable -- he might stop using them.  

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I just had a discussion with someone about curse words and profanity. I sat at a local college last year listening to a group of students talking. They were laughing and having a good time. They used the f word along with a few other words quite frequently throughout the conversation. My first thought was don't they know other adjectives, but as I listened to them, I realized they weren't "cursing" each other. They weren't being mean or spiteful or hateful. And I started wondering if maybe profane talk is more about your intent than the actual words. I've heard some Christians, who would never say those words, say some much more mean things. 

I never use curse words because they are not part of my vocabulary. Even when I'm upset or mad, I never use them. I would prefer my children not use them, but I do think that the standard for that is changing among Christian young people. I'm trying to not get too bent out of shape about it. I can't live their lives for them or convict them of how they should live. I'm trying to leave that up to the Holy Spirit now that they are grown and almost grown. 

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On 2/12/2020 at 7:14 AM, Hadley said:

I have noticed a huge upswing in our society’s tolerance of cursing as a matter of course in everyday speech patterns.  My son, who is a professing Christian, and his peers seem to view swear words as no different from any other language.  

These are good kids.  I have tried to speak with my son about the image that this language puts forth, but I feel like I’m fighting an uphill battle.  He and his peers are surrounded by the message that cursing is no big deal.  It really hurts my heart.

Am I the only momma out there fighting this problem?  Commiseration, please.  Ways to combat it??  

I definitely have noticed that kids today think they are just words. Seems like a lot of kids use the words rather casually. My DD almost never swears but has told me that it doesn't mean the same to kids today that it did when I was a teen (back when there were dinosaurs LOL). She did tell me that she hates when people use profanity when they're angry, though. Interestingly, in one of her college classes recently someone was swearing like a sailor using the f-bomb all throughout the class. She was very concerned that hearing it constantly like that would desensitize her and cause her to unknowingly add it to her vocabulary. Thankfully it seems to have stopped...she thinks someone complained and the instructor finally did something about it. 

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10 hours ago, ByeByeMartha said:

I definitely have noticed that kids today think they are just words. Seems like a lot of kids use the words rather casually. My DD almost never swears but has told me that it doesn't mean the same to kids today that it did when I was a teen (back when there were dinosaurs LOL). She did tell me that she hates when people use profanity when they're angry, though. Interestingly, in one of her college classes recently someone was swearing like a sailor using the f-bomb all throughout the class. She was very concerned that hearing it constantly like that would desensitize her and cause her to unknowingly add it to her vocabulary. Thankfully it seems to have stopped...she thinks someone complained and the instructor finally did something about it. 

I think is very insightful of your dd.  That is what does happen IMO.  There are many things that aren’t serious sins that follower of Christ would definitely want to avoid.  

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On 2/12/2020 at 9:30 PM, brehon said:

Well, *I’m* the one who curses and all my kids - from 18 to under 10 - are the ones who scold me. They’re quite funny when they say, “MOoooooMmmm!!!! Laaannguaaagggeee!!!!” with the accompanying heavy sighs. 

I don’t curse all the time and try to limit it to more, ah, situationally appropriate times, but I have been known to drop a curse word or ten. I will say that i’ve noticed that judiciously using curse words makes them much more effective when they are used, especially if one uses them around others who themselves curse all the time. 


I grew up in a household where gd and f were used in grammar like articles in every single sentence. I don’t remember a conversation without them growing up.  Vulgar language was like our dialect and accent.  So no surprise I was the kindergartner who called my teach a B when I thought she wasn’t nice and the first grader who said F when I messed up in math.  In this context I put vulgar (which means common btw) in the same category as low class/ignorant speech.  Such as saying “ain’t got no”. While it is not sinful in any way I can stretch to, it does give a negative impression that can permanently affect social life when people do not learn to modify their speech for the environment and situation. I consider my lifelong battle to filter out the “accent” of my raising to be my greatest flaw.  I’ve come a very long way and it wouldn’t be an issue at work or school or church most of the time for me now.  But I take many long pauses to avoid it. When I fail, all my kids correct me.  Few of my kids use vulgar language and none use it regularly.  We have lots of replacement words.  Popscicle.  Bleep. Farfignuggun.

Now the other aspect is when it is used for emotional effect. That’s fine to a small degree but when you hear it all the time?  One reason I dislike it is because when I hear people using vulgar language I hear lots of negative emotion, and I don’t like it. They all sound so full of anger or anxiety all the time. And that sure doesn’t convey the peace of the Holy Spirit to me. Also I think whether they know it or not, it does affect their emotions and raises their stress rather than relieve it.   It seems to do the opposite of having the stubbed toe and epithet affect. 

As for the sin aspect - not buying it. If saying “f” is a sin then so is saying “sex”.  Saying a synonym for a word doesn’t make it okay or not okay.  The bible has some very descriptive language of things like ejaculation, pee, poop, donkeys are not called donkeys and so forth. Are we saying those are not sins but the synonyms are? 

Edited by Murphy101
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18 minutes ago, Murphy101 said:


I grew up in a household where gd and f were used in grammar like articles in every single sentence. I don’t remember a conversation without them growing up.  Vulgar language was like our dialect and accent.  So no surprise I was the kindergartner who called my teach a B when I thought she wasn’t nice and the first grader who said F when I messed up in math.  In this context I put vulgar (which means common btw) in the same category as low class/ignorant speech.  Such as saying “ain’t got no”. While it is not sinful in any way I can stretch to, it does give a negative impression that can permanently affect social life when people do not learn to modify their speech for the environment and situation. I consider my lifelong battle to filter out the “accent” of my raising to be my greatest flaw.  I’ve come a very long way and it wouldn’t be an issue at work or school or church most of the time for me now.  But I take many long pauses to avoid it. When I fail, all my kids correct me.  Few of my kids use vulgar language and none use it regularly.  We have lots of replacement words.  Popscicle.  Bleep. Farfignuggun.

Now the other aspect is when it is used for emotional effect. That’s fine to a small degree but when you hear it all the time?  One reason I dislike it is because when I hear people using vulgar language I hear lots of negative emotion, and I don’t like it. They all sound so full of anger or anxiety all the time. And that sure doesn’t convey the peace of the Holy Spirit to me. Also I think whether they know it or not, it does affect their emotions and raises their stress rather than relieve it.   It seems to do the opposite of having the stubbed toe and epithet affect. 

As for the sin aspect - not buying it. If saying “f” is a sin then so is saying “sex”.  Saying a synonym for a word doesn’t make it okay or not okay.  The bible has some very descriptive language of things like ejaculation, pee, poop, donkeys are not called donkeys and so forth. Are we saying those are not sins but the synonyms are? 

For some reason everything is bolded so I can’t bold the comment I want to agree with above.....it is this

 

<<<Now the other aspect is when it is used for emotional effect. That’s fine to a small degree but when you hear it all the time?  One reason I dislike it is because when I hear people using vulgar language I hear lots of negative emotion, and I don’t like it. They all sound so full of anger or anxiety all the time. And that sure doesn’t convey the peace of the Holy Spirit to me. Also I think whether they know it or not, it does affect their emotions and raises their stress rather than relieve it.   It seems to do the opposite of having the stubbed toe and epithet affect. >>
 

So true in my experience.  

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Would some humor work with this kid?

DC: Oh, f---. I forgot to charge my phone.

YOU, with an eyebrow raised as though he has mispronounced something: You mean, 'Alas, dear mother, I forgot to charge my phone'?

 

or

 

DC: Where did the f---ng remote go???

You, disdainfully: Can we stop with the s----y language in here??

 

etc.

We don't curse in front of DS, so he hasn't heard much, but he reads it from time to time. He's likely to be shocked when he's no longer homeschooled.

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11 minutes ago, whitehawk said:

 

 

DC: Where did the f---ng remote go???

 

 

 

My parents like to say "even the regular one, right?"

My dad works in a blue collar environment and when the situation calls for it he can curse like the best of them.  But he also has a good knowledge of when it's not appropriate, and he often displays that with "even the regular thing"   He also does the absurd stuff.

Person-oh sh!#, I forgot to charge my phone."

Dad-But.....................sh!# doesn't charge a phone???????

 

 

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