To pontificate means to speak in a way that conveys arrogance at the depth of knowledge with which the speaker is blessing you through their words. I think it is easy for me to be this way with my children, and I got a smack in the forehead last night.
My husband and I were watching the news on PBS, and a guest was "pontificating" on the problems in the Middle East right now. He used big words that I'm not even sure were real words, things like catagoricalistically.
I was tuning him out as he droned on and on, and then it hit me--do I do this with my children? Is that why they often ignore me?
I thought of the verse in Matthew 5:37:
"But let your statement be, ‘Yes, yes’ or ‘No, no’; anything beyond these is of evil."
And also of Proverbs 16:21:
"The wise in heart will be called understanding, And sweetness of speech increases persuasiveness. "
Maybe my lecturing rants about the importance of, say, math, or of being a good worker (and cleaning up your room without grumbling), were being met with inaction because of the way I'm talking. Such as in a very parental, I've-got-this-down-pat-and-you-aren't-doing-it-right, sort of way. And what if I speak less, model things with my behavior more (like keeping my desk organized!), and talk nicely? What would happen then?