I’m learning as an adult, right in the middle of marriage and parenting, how to speak the truth to myself. To know who God is, what he says, and how to speak these certainties over my wavering heart and mind. I wish I understood this much younger. When I was wrestling through work, pregnancy, big life decisions and difficult days as a young mom, I wish I’d known how powerful God’s Word is in holding me fast. I can’t change my story, but I can start early teaching my children how to know God’s truth and to speak it over their lives.
The Life-Giving Power of Knowing God’s Word
The truth of God’s Word positively affirms us in Christ and lovingly correct us when we’re wrong. Here are two ways we can use the truth to affirm and correct our children:
The Truth About Who We Are and Who We Aren’t
The more I study God’s Word, the better I know who God is and what he wants. In turn, I better understand who I am. I understand my spiritual gifts; both my strengths and weaknesses and the proper stewardship of these gifts. I understand there are many things I’m not good at or called to, but where I am called and enabled, I want to do my best.
The same is true for our children. We live in a culture where everyone gets a medal to avoid hurt feelings. While well-meaning, this fails to teach our children who they are and what they’re good at. Speaking the truth to our children about who they are and yes, who they aren’t, gifts them the freedom of growing into who God created them to be.
The Truth About Sin
Sin is a hard thing to talk about. There are plenty of other words I’d rather use like “struggle” or “weakness.” But calling sin what it enables my children to recognize the truth about what’s wrong and helps them weed sin out before it takes root.
James 1:15 gives this sobering reminder:
“Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.” (ESV).
While I don’t enjoy talking to my children about sin, this is far more loving than allowing it to fester and grow. Speak the truth in love and help your children grow in the habit of turning from sin early.
Three Ways to Speak the Truth Every Day
So how exactly do we get in the habit of knowing and speaking the truth to ourselves and our children? Here are three practical ways to get started:
- Study God’s Word
You won’t know for yourself what God’s Word says unless you read it. Invite your children into your quiet time and show them what it looks like to consistently get in the Word.
- Meditate on God’s Word
Store Scripture up in your heart and you will be surprised how the words come back when you need them most. Memorize Scripture as a family or work on specific passages with a child on topics they’re struggling with.
- Pray God’s Word
When doubting or discouraged, pray God’s Word right back to him. Remind him (and really, yourself) what he promises and says is true. When you’re working through something with a child, teach them to recall what God says is true and to speak it back to him.
Why the Truth Matters
Every day we’re bombarded with worldly messages about who we are, what to believe and what will give us hope. May we be parents firmly grounded in the truth, able to speak it over our own lives and teaching our children to do the same.