I have heard young people comment that swear words are offensive only if we assign importance to them. I understand what they are saying: words, after all, are nothing more than combinations of letters strung together to form expressions. Combine that with the relativistic thinking so prevalent in today’s society, and the idea actually makes sense.
But there is another aspect to this topic: what we say is a reflection of our hearts and minds. Jesus said, “The words you speak come from the heart—that’s what defiles you” (Matthew 15:18, NLT).
The words that come out of our mouths reflect what we allow to permeate our minds. If we justify speaking not only swear words, but careless, crude, or hurtful words, we are not submitting to God in this area. We are arguing with Him!
As Christians, we need to surrender to God our “right” to carelessly speak anything that comes to mind. But first, we have to desire close relationship with God more than we value our right to say whatever we want. When we desire to please God and seek a Spirit-filled life, we will be able to choose to honor Him with our speech.
Enjoying the freedom of living a Spirit-controlled life means accepting and embracing the Spirit’s control in all areas, including language. We do this by deliberately filling our minds with wholesome, good things; then He gives us the desire to speak in ways that please Him.
When you consciously allow the Holy Spirit to act as a filter, the words that pour forth from your mouth will serve as evidence of the Spirit’s fruit in you: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, and self-control. Isn’t that what you want your children to see?