I come across the cussing students issue quite a bit. I’ve got a couple of responses and reasons behind them.
– Sold out students can be held to a higher standard and will be less likely to have this issue
I’ll get on the case of a student in private who should be further along in his actions. I find that a quick correction is often all it takes to get him back in line. I’ll also address the group if I feel it’s needed. There was a time when I addressed the student in front of the group as part of a lesson on the importance of presenting ourselves as ambassadors for Christ to people who need to know Him.
– Spiritually struggling or disinterested students are dealt with in a much different way
In the image below, you’ll see how I dealt with cussing recently when it’s done by a student new to Christian living. In this instance, I didn’t address the cussing directly. However, based on his comment, you can tell that the student got the message just based on the fact I saw it. He apologized for the language. I might make a follow up comment at small group to affirm him and give him a nudge in the right direction. The more important goal for me in this situation is to help him grow spiritually. He won’t act like a Christian until he is sold out to Christ. I’ve got to help him get to that point before I can hold him accountable to higher standards in his actions. After all, we already have enough shallow Christians (people who pretend to be Christians, but aren’t on the inside).