EDIT: I want to clarify that I do not ever condone taking the Lord’s name in vain! That, to me, doesn’t even fall into this category as it’s a completely different level of word. Thanks!
Writer’s note: While this article is about cursing, I had written that I would never curse on my blog. I will be using censored versions of words, but completely understand if those are even too much for you and you don’t want to read this. I know that this is a controversial topic, but I appreciate you taking the time to hear where I am coming from, even if you disagree. I hope you can still appreciate me for who I am after reading this. Thank you!
In high school, one of my Bible teachers told my class that he thought cussing was not a sin in and of itself. It’s when you used it in a way that made someone else stumble that it was a problem.
I liked this idea. For example, I knew I loved Jesus. I knew he died on the cross and rose again three days later. Saying the word f*** wasn’t about to change that fact for me. I’m not talking in the sexual sense – I’m talking about when you back into someone’s car after the high school basketball game, and you know your dad is going to be really mad at you, so you can’t help but let “F***!” slip out.
Now, if I were to walk up to, say, a guy who broke up with me or something, and say “F*** you!” then that would not be very nice. That’s out of anger and wrong. It’s a different context.
To give you a better perspective, here are some examples in which I would feel comfortable swearing:
- When I dominate Wes in a game of Madden and exclaim, “H*** Yeah!” (PS this doesn’t happen, but basically any type of jovial setting with close family & friends—a celebratory swear-word, if you will)
- When I stub my toe on the corner of a bed frame or side of a doorway—”F***!!!!!”
- When I’m singing along to a jam and they use a curse word, example: “This S*** is BANANAS—B-A-N-A-N-A-S!“
- When someone is driving under the speed limit in the passing lane and won’t get over, there may be an aside to myself: “I wish they would get the f*** over!” I’m a bit impatient in the car…
Here are some areas where I would not feel comfortable swearing:
- In front of Jack
- Look – when Jack is 16, I honestly wouldn’t care if he was using certain language in *certain* settings. When he’s around his guy friends, whatever. When he’s speaking to his mother, grandmother, or any other lady, he needs to be respectful and not use that kind of language or any language that isn’t appropriate. Not because women can’t handle cursing (uh, I’m living proof that this is not the case), but because I think if we allow men to “slide” in certain areas, it can be a slippery slope to them being disrespectful in other ways. I could be wrong on this, but this is how I feel currently.
- Around my in-laws
- Never cool to do that!
- Around grandparents, or anyone over the age of 60 that’s not my dad
- He’s chill
- In front of children
- It’s not my place to expose your kids to language you may have chosen from them not to hear!
- In the workplace
- Look, if my co-worker, boss, etc. wants to use the f-word or any other swear-word in the office, that’s totally their right. I just wouldn’t feel comfortable doing so.
- At church
- That’s just disrespectful
- In public
- You just never know who is around you, and I really do think that the best way to be a witness for Christ is to not curse in front of people I don’t know very well. Most non-Christians assume that cursing is a no-no, so to do so in front of them would be doing them a disservice.
The point is—if you’ve never heard me curse, there’s a reason. I want to be respectful of everyone. Lots of people are offended by that kind of language, and I completely understand that. I, however, do think that in certain situations, they have a place. Sometimes, stories are much more powerful, either dramatically or comically, with certain language, which includes curse words. Example: “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a d***.”
I can have the mouth of a sailor. The key is that I control it when I need to. And honestly, if you lose your faith in Jesus because you hear me say “s***,” there is probably a bigger problem there anyway.
Let me be clear: I don’t want to ever hear/use disrespectful language, meaning language that tears others down or is perverted. But if you stub your toe while walking down the street and a “bad word” flies out—don’t expect any judgement from me!
PS Some of you are probably reading this and thinking, “You totally use it in the “bad” way you are talking about!” You’re right, I do sometimes, and I actually pray often for the Lord to help me with that, and I think I’ve gotten a little better? Wes says I have at least in the car! I don’t like using strong language in a negative way, so I am genuinely working on it! I hate admitting it, but I’m being honest on here, right?!