Tuesday, January 26, 2010


This is probably a post you'd expect a middle schooler to write.

But it's really about parenting in a non-King James English world and the quandary Christian parents find themselves in.

My kids are memorizing Exodus 20 in the King James Version (KJV) of the Bible. It's a long story why they're doing it in the KJV, but that's not the point of this.

Leatha was going through it with the kids when I heard from the kitchen, "You shall not covet your neighbor's...ass." It's a natural reflex to laugh when you hear that from your 7 year old child. But I quickly got my composure and decided to interrupt the verse with a conversation about this vocabulary word "ass."

"What's an ass?" I asked.
"I don't know." Cameron said.
"It's a donkey, but in our day, it... [cut off by Leatha]"
"It's a donkey" Leatha interjected.

I pressed the issue because our homeschool kids need to know what they might be missing on the playground.

"It's a word that's inappropriate for kids," I said. "It's a mean word to call somebody."
Cameron jumped in, "Yeah, it would be bad to call someone a donkey because donkeys are kind of stupid."

Leatha clarified that it's also an inappropriate word for adults, too.

Well, I wouldn't say it that strongly.

If there's one word I would take off the Christian contraband list, this would be the one. It's such a handy and versatile word. (I've already written briefly on this topic- click here)

We should never do something stupid, and yet we all do. What's wrong with referring to yourself as a stupid donkey every once in awhile? Sometimes other people are stupid donkeys, too.

You tend to see a lot of them in traffic.


clarkitect said...

From Abraham Piper's blog, 22 Words:
To believe that all swearing is wrong, you also have to believe that our culture is right.

Social customs define what’s taboo. Therefore, saying taboo language is uniformly sinful implies that our social customs uniformly align with God’s will.


Nick&Abby Flies said...

haha...I'm so with you.

Ed Noble said...

It's such a useful word - you can be a dumb one, a smart one, a big one, a candy one, and if you want to express incredulity you can simply refer to your own with a "MY..." You can even request the presence of the entire person, but a "get your __ over here" or out of here.

Of course you knew I'd love this post. I'd probably take a few more off the banned words list.

Praying for You & I city.

Emily said...

Love Ed's comment! We talked this over with our team here and decided that this was our favorite contraband word as well. When it comes to traffic there are plenty of "donkeys" around here! - Mike

Donnie Rea said...

Funny you should mention the word ass. I was at Bible study last week and after the study I was talking about the time I went to see Jerry Seinfeld in Omaha. He had a great bit on that word.(See Ed Noble's comment for the content) Well, your sister (my wife) had to hush me becuase I was saying the word ass. Is an adult Christian not allowed to say that or was it that we just got done studying the Word of God and we were at Bible study?
On another note, I want to give you props for your blog. I tried to get on it today at work and you were filtered out. You must be doing something right if the California public education system has banned your blog. Keep up the good work. :)

Anonymous said...

I have generally noticed that the word ass usually means the butt. If it only meant fool, well then it bears the same weight as the word fool does. In this sense it's more about what is edifying and such by calling yourself or others fools...which could totally be ok. But talking about the butt like it was nothing is what makes me think the most about using the word. I'm not sure if I would want my kids to start thinking the butt was just another body part. But I don't know...the main thing for me is for too many people it's a shocking word that because of their own culture disqualifies it from being any encouragement. So I personally refrain from saying it. But what about Hell, or Damn, or Shit? If you don't respect the butt why not talk about what comes out of it? lol sorry...just my thoughts. :)
and I'm sure you know this verse very well but it bears mentioning:
Eph. 5:4
Anyways hope my thoughts aren't really confusing and maybe some of you could help correct my thinking if I'm wrong. :)

Barbie said...

This is a message from Cassidy:
Not all middle schoolers use that word! (ok almost all do, but I don't) It was funny though!