The Bates Family


by Kelly on August 2, 2011


We spent the week in Michigan at a tent meeting, where the family sang and enjoyed preaching from Tom Harmon. At the end of the week we visited the Keilen family and were able to sing in their church service on Sunday morning. More about both of these encouraging times coming up, but I especially wanted to share thoughts from the convicting and challenging message we heard preached at the Keilen’s church.

The message focused on our words of communication. Pastor Ron reminded that our conversations are either constructive or destructive! The Bible has so many warnings and exhortations about how we use our tongue: Ephesians 4:29-30, Psalm 141:3, Psalm 19:14, James 1: 26, and many others!! In fact, it would be an interesting study to count and search for all of the references to the tongue, our conversation, and the words of our mouth!

The pastor reminded us of several pitfalls of our speech: for some it may be profanity or vain words, for some it may be gossip or hurtful words, for some it may be manipulative or dishonest words, for some it may be tactless or thoughtless words, for some it may be angry or harsh words, for some it may be divisive or harmful words…. whatever our struggle may be, let’s remember the following poem their pastor closed with (author unknown)

“Be careful for the words you say;

Keep them soft and sweet.

You never know from day to day,

Which ones you’ll have to eat!”

How sad, but true!… We spend much time wishing we could take back things said carelessly! How many times have our words caused division and hurt instead of edification?

 May God give us wisdom to guard our tongues and to use them for His glory!

Let us pray for Him to help us have victory in this often neglected area!!!  


{ 35 comments… read them below or add one }

Kate August 2, 2011 at 6:01 am

So true Kelly something that I work on everyday. God Bless xxx


brittani August 2, 2011 at 8:08 am

at least your family had fun in the great state of michigan or people call it the great lakes state hope your family can come back to michigan will soon


Nicole-Elizabeth August 2, 2011 at 12:24 pm

Michigan is so beautiful in the summer! Especially the UP and the Mackinac Bridge. Nothing quite like it.

Your words are SO true.
Our souls spend much time hurting with the guilt of our sometimes short and thoughtless words.
This is something as a new wife I have struggled with.
I’m blessed God has given me a Godly husband who is a bit older and never loses paitence with me in helping me to the road Jesus wants me to travel on.

Best wishes, God’s blessings and thanks for sharing this encouragement.


cecile August 2, 2011 at 12:38 pm

I so needed that reminder thank you. Looking forward to seeing your family this weekend.
Bless you


Selina August 2, 2011 at 12:48 pm

How true this is ! Thanks so much for this post. I surely needed the reminder. While going thru some tough times recently, I have found out just how “destructive” a tongue can be when not used in the right manner and I’ve felt its awful long lasting sting. When you are hurt by someones words, it sometimes takes awhile to get over it and put it behind you. I have faith in a Great God that He alone is the one that heals ALL wounds.His name be praised!!! Blessings to you and your family.


Emma August 2, 2011 at 12:53 pm

That is so true. It was great meeting you and your family in Michigan. I hope you enjoy the recipe and was able to make a stop at the local bakery while there.
Take care!


amber landers August 2, 2011 at 1:17 pm

We had a great time and were so glad that we got to see you when you were here in Michigan! Can not wait till next time. Glad to hear that you made it home safe.


Emma Culverhouse (England) August 2, 2011 at 1:55 pm

Dear Kelly,
I hope this finds you all well and blessed. I just had to comment on this post as this is something I have been struggling with,being a new Christian,it’s certainly a challenge to change old habits. I hope that going to services, studying the bible and reading your posts,will be all the encouragement I need.
Thanks again for your wise words,
love Emma xx


Carrie August 2, 2011 at 2:58 pm

Thanks for the reminder. It’s one of the hardest things for me as a mama. Especially when I’m tired or irritated. I have to continually remind myself that my children are blessings, and sometimes the littlest things your own child says to you can straighten you right up!


Kay W August 2, 2011 at 3:02 pm

Lord,keep your arm around my shoulder and your hand over my mouth. There is good news, though. Somewhere in our 50′s we learn that we aren’t obligated to inject our opinion into every subject.


Brandi C. August 2, 2011 at 4:01 pm

Amen! I really needed that reminder this morning. I have been praying that the Lord would get the victory over this (and the glory for it, too) for the past couple weeks. Thank you for the reminder and encouragement. Praying for your new blessing on the way, we are due with our 3rd any day now.



tammy lynn August 2, 2011 at 9:10 pm

Wow, such a meaningful sermon you had heard. I agree, words can be filled with such hurt. but, yet, can be so nice and sweet. We have to gaurd our tongues, if we dont it can tear a person right into. Thank you for sharing this, I have been studying on the tongue and man you just hit it right on the dot. :) Thanks!!


Rachel August 3, 2011 at 1:19 am

Thank you for sharing the Bible verses. I look forward to reading them.


Alexis August 3, 2011 at 5:18 pm

Dear Mrs. Bates,

Until I was saved, repented for my sins, and gave my life to Christ; I came from a religious Jewish family. Your posts are always such an encouragement to me because I am able to connect things I read in the Bible (Old Testament included) that I know are true, just, and important and am able to use the concepts positively as a Christian.

In Hebrew, speaking ill of others is called loshon hara. According to Wikipedia (since I had trouble putting it in my own words), it is: “Lashon hara (or Loshon hora) (Hebrew לשון הרע; “evil language/tongue”) is the prohibition in Jewish Law of telling gossip. Lashon hara differs from defamation in that its focus is on the use of true speech for a wrongful purpose, rather than falsehood and harm arising. By contrast, Motzi shem ra (“spreading a bad name”) consists of untrue remarks, and is akin to slander or defamation. Speech is considered to be lashon hara if it says something negative about a person or party, is not previously known to the public, is not seriously intended to correct or improve a negative situation, and most importantly, is true. Statements that fit this description are considered to be lashon hara, regardless of the method of communication that is used, whether it is through face-to-face conversation, a written letter, telephone, or email. Lashon hara is considered to be a most serious sin.”

Keeping a true control over our words is something I have always struggled with… My grandfather always said: “Guard your lips and tongue and your soul will always be at peace” (from Spanish so not a perfect translation).

I am an engaged woman who is thankful for the Lord’s blessing and for Him shinning His light upon my life and showing me the way. My future husband is a wonderful Christian man who knows me for who I am. But I feel un-supported as he found Christ at a young age which made his Muslim family disinherit him, and my family is Jewish. I want you to know how much your blog means to me and how it is a source of great encouragement. My hope is that with God’s Grace I will be able to be a good, godly Wife and rear a new generation for Christ with love. Any advice I would really appreciate!

Our marriage is in December and I am struggling so much with keeping my words sweet, my frustrations at bay, planning my wedding, alone, in a foreign country. You are such a wonderful woman and your family is such an inspiration it would mean the world to me to have you as a “cyber support fellowship”. I realize you are VERY busy and that it may not be possible and if it is not I understand.
I find encouragement in your updates and regardless will continue to find great encouragement in them.

I pray Erin is healing well, Zach and Ms Reith follow the Lord’s will in their courtship, that this pregnancy is safe and uneventful, and that all your families blessing be answered quickly.


Gil August 3, 2011 at 8:25 pm

Dear Alexis,
I’m so happy to hear about your upcoming marriage and the testimony of what God has been doing in your life. May God continue to give you strength and grace! About marriage advice… Read every good Christian book on the subject that you can. I love to read and have found so much help through the wisdom of others! I listed some books under our links tab, but will try to make a post on more good ones for strong marriages! Love, Kelly


Emily S. August 3, 2011 at 10:32 pm


Thank you for sharing the wonderful encouraging words! I can’t wait to share your post with my husband when he comes home from work. Using kind words and a soft voice is something we are always working on around here! God Bless! I hope you are feeling well :-)


brittani August 3, 2011 at 11:13 pm

dear bates family is your family at home now at least your family had fun in the great state of michigan or people call it the great lakes state hope your family can come back to michigan will soon


Sara August 4, 2011 at 1:32 am

Interesting you should post this today. I felt bad because I had an encounter with a customer service representative for a large company today. I was having a phone conversation and I was not as nice as I could have been. After all, I know this poor representative did not write the completely inane policy that is unfair to customers. I do customer service myself so I know all about how people can become on the phone. I have to say one thing phone customer service teaches you is patience at a whole new level. People can become incredibly rude since they do not have to see you. Of course some days it helps so you can do hand gestures and keep a smile in your voice. I think what it really boils down to is trying to stop and think how would I respond if someone said this to me. Now mind you I do have my struggles with trying to keep my words in line with being a steward of kindness and grace. I figure though like in all things it is the effort you put in and the mindset you have.


Pamela August 4, 2011 at 10:31 pm

Beautiful photos. Beautiful posts. Please keep them coming. All your words are so encouraging.


brittani August 5, 2011 at 1:57 pm

i wish i can meet your family person summer is almost over where iam because the school year will starting in september


Alexis August 5, 2011 at 4:06 pm

Dear Mrs. Bates,

Thank your for your kind words and encuragement. I have already begun buying the books you recommend. Thanks again for everything!

Yours, Alexis


Cindy August 5, 2011 at 6:36 pm

Dear Kelly, interesting week at our house and then you put this post. I have written down the scriptures and plan to memorize them.
Reminds me of that verse to be “slow to speak”; after praying and fasting over them, I hope to speak again by 2012! oh joy… :)


Izzy August 6, 2011 at 4:48 am

Amen, Mrs. Bates. Thanks so much for sharing!
This is definitely a problem in the Church today!
You and the baby remain in our prayers.


Jennifer August 6, 2011 at 2:57 pm

There is another one I remember from a Bible study I did about speaking peacefully. I can’t remember the verse or citation but I’m pretty sure it’s one of Paul’s letters and it talks about how the tongue is like the rudder of a ship and whichever direction we turn it (towards evil or towards good) so do we also turn. We had a great talk about how staying on the right and holy path began with controlling the words that come out of our mouth.


Gil August 7, 2011 at 1:57 am

Dear Jennifer,
Great verse… It’s found in James 3:4. The whole chapter is a great reminder! Thanks for your input! Love. Kelly


Sarah August 6, 2011 at 5:55 pm

Dear Mrs. Bates,
I just wanted to ask you how Alyssa and the crew are doing?! You guys remain in my prayers! God Bless Sarah!


Gil August 7, 2011 at 1:50 am

Thanks for asking, Sarah! We’re doing great… We just finished speaking and singing at a homeschool conference in Indianapolis, and it was very refreshing! Love, Kelly


tina August 6, 2011 at 7:17 pm

Kelly, I know you are as amazed as I am at how the Lord is using your family to further His Kingdom! When I read these posts from all over the world, I think about how a (then!) small family from S Knoxville, who wanted to do the Lord’s work, started on a small scale with faith alone! I also wanted to address Alexis and all other women who are searching and asking the Lord for wisdom as they begin their marriages. You are so blessed Alexis to be led to the Bates! How I wish I had started my married life with such inspirational and Godly advice! You are wise to reach out and find Godly influences and direction! Don’t let this world and worldly influences pull you away or influence your decisions, because they ARE THERE and THEY WILL TRY! I will be praying for you too Alexis! Thanks again Kelly for your ministry and faithfulness! Love you all!


Juanita August 6, 2011 at 9:35 pm

I appreciate that saying. I am in a very difficult work situation where I have nasty words and threats thrown at me when things go wrong and a mistake is made; even when I know my weaknesses and try to work with them! I try to practice that, and often find myself speechless because nothing I say could change that person’s anger; even an apology! Please pray for me that I can share this well with people I work for and with, and for the truth to come out and set me free. You and your family remain in my prayers. Hope you and baby are well.


Jennifer August 8, 2011 at 2:43 pm

Haha! Well, he’s not Paul LOL! Thanks for finding that. James is one of my favorite books; I think I will reread it tonight.


Jennifer August 8, 2011 at 2:48 pm

@Juanita, I struggle with something similar in my family, most of whom are nonbelievers and are not as respectful of my beliefs as I would like. It is so hard to find that balance between the desire to defend myself and the desire to be a respectful example of Christ’s love for all. I don’t have any advice since I blunder this often but I will pray for your situation.


Anita August 11, 2011 at 10:52 pm

Dear Brother Bates: I am writing from Buenos Aires and I want to comment JOINING our way of speaking and the damage the tongue can do to other people, unfortunately, gossip, and slander and filthy language has been installed in some congregations, and this is a lack of love and respect our brothers, the tongue cause division, discord and even makes some believers that the best are weak in faith, move away from the Lord’s way. We’ve suffered in nuesra congregation when some brothers away and left the house of God. We really just know that this happens in many places, God help us to restrain the tongue from evil, that brings blessing and our father is displeased. Dear Kelly make our lives godly in all shapes and gracious, pleasing to our Savior Jesus Christ, who paid a high price on the cross for us all. I hope I can answer my mail as soon as possible and you have some time, a house full of children does not leave much free time, I greet you with the love of God and want to share with you Psalm 15 is my preferred. Blessings.


Betsy August 26, 2011 at 2:19 am

Thank you for this reminder. We just had a sermon on the same topic a few weeks ago and I think we can never be reminded of the power of the tongue often enough. So many lives and families are destroyed by the damage of the tongue.

If you have the time, please see my blog regarding the hats, mittens, and scarves that I’m deliveriing to the shelters in Japan in September. Just trying to do the Lord’s work in a country where He is desperately needed. Our son has lived and taught in the earthquake/tsunami area for three years now and I’m honored to go with him to work in the shelters. May all of the glory go to God!




Tiffany August 26, 2011 at 4:46 pm

Thank you for sharing this. I have been struggling lately with conviction about not only the things I say, but the “tone” I may use to say them. God bless.


Julieanne Stock November 8, 2013 at 2:09 am

Thank you so much for sharing those thoughts and the poem. So true and encouraging.


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