The words of a whisperer are like delicious morsels, they go down into the inner parts of the body.
Proverbs 18:8 (NRSV)
OK … you want to get a group’s attention, what do you do? If you have access to a bell, you might ring it. If you saw a whistle nearby, you might grab it and blow it. Without such equipment you can always resort to using our God given equipment … our hands and voices. We can clap our hands to get the attention of a group. With our voices we can shout or yell to be heard over the din of multiple conversations going on.
Most of us I suspect have succeeded at shouting or yelling to get others attention, particularly children. If your parents yelled at you, then you are more likely to yell at your children. According to a Wall Street Journal report, three out of four parents yell at their children once a month. Some of the potential effects of yelling are behavioral problems, depression and unhealthy relationships. Experts have called our attention to an overlooked means of getting the attention of children by another use of our voices.
In THE TODAY SHOW broadcast of January 30, 2014, Dr. Phil appeared. When asked about yelling, Dr. Phil stated that yelling stops communication and children go into shut down. He noted when yelling is a part of a temper tantrum, parents do well to get down on the child’s level and whisper. He acknowledged that children are intently curious and will want to hear what is being said. For the welfare of the child and the parent, whispering may be a most effective method of getting attention and subsequently diffusing the anger of the parent toward the child and the child toward the parent.
In whispering the words maybe likened to “delicious morsels’. The words may go down into the inner parts of the body. The words just might not go in one ear and out the other. The child might truly take the parents’ correction, guidance, and wisdom to heart. I believe we sell “whispering” short if it is not utilized as an attention getting method with adults as well. This use of our voices instead of shouting may diffuse people’s anger so that civil conversation can be restored.
Dear God, help us to practice whispering. Bless parents as they employ whispering as a means of getting their children’s attention. Help us to recognize its value when arguments ensue and to realize that as we whisper we may be demonstrating a valuable peacemaking skill. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.