A couple of weeks ago, I heard a speaker say the next time their kid started the “mom, mom, mom… MOM!” thing that they were going to tell their child they had changed their name. That it is no longer Mom.
Well, I tried that on my own boys after one irritating afternoon. And following only a brief 3-second pause, my son said, “Okay, Alisha…”
All I could do was laugh. And that is what probably caused the greatest surprise to my son… because that is not momma’s typical reaction.
“A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” Proverbs 15:1
I wish I could tell you that whenever my children called me, I answered with a smile and a pleasant tone. I wish I could tell you that I didn’t speak with irritation or yelling. I wish I could tell you that my words were always kind.
But that’s just not true.
Parenting can be an overwhelming mission. I have never loved so hard as I have since becoming a mom. I have also never known such depths of anger. I have never hurt so much as when my children are hurting. I have also never felt so much guilt in response to my reactions and my words.
Our words are powerful.
“Kind words heal and help; cutting words wound and maim.” Proverbs 15:4
Words can be life-giving. They can speak wisdom, encouragement, and love. Words can also tear down, destroy, and cause dissension and dissatisfaction.
Oh, it hurts my heart to think of some of the words that have thoughtlessly left my mouth. I want my children to know how loved they are by me and more importantly, by their Heavenly Father. I want to yell less. I want to love more. I want to make calmness a habit. I want to honor Christ in all my actions.
“And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” Col 3:17
And that is my prayer for us both. That in whatever we do… whatever we do… by our words and our actions, we would honor Christ.
Ask the Lord to help guard your tongue, to give you words of wisdom and discernment. Ask Him to show you where you can honor him more in your parenting. And as you seek Him daily, challenge yourself to reflect on and put these points into action:
- Are there any changes you need to make in your communication with your family? Write them down. Put them in your Bible and pray over them daily as you do your devotions.
- Write out a couple of verses that remind you just how weighty your words are and tape them up throughout your house as a visual reminder to choose calm, choose love.
- Proverbs 10:19 “When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise.”
- Proverbs 15:1 “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”
- Proverbs 15:4 “Kind words heal and help; cutting words wound and maim.”
- Proverbs 21:23 “He who guards his mouth and his tongue keeps himself from calamity.”
- Colossians 3:17 “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”
- Ecclesiastes 10:12 “Words from the mouth of the wise are gracious, but fools are consumed by their own lips.”
- Discipline with firm yet gentle words. Remember that the most effective discipline is not done through yelling, but rather through loving instruction.
- Make it a goal to go an entire day without criticizing or saying anything negative. Do it again tomorrow… and the next day!
Let’s not forget the grace, the kindness and the love God has shown us. And let’s love our children the same way!
Join Alisha on a journey to Yell Less & Love More.