I am so affected by the words spoken over me, and I’ve always been this way.
I still vividly remember words thrown at me in fights with my siblings when we were in elementary school. I remember being reprimanded by my 6th grade English teacher when my handwriting was messy. I recall my dad telling me he was proud of me for my attempted cross country endeavors in middle school, and I totally still “hear” the words my friends spoke over me when we encouraged each other late into the night our sophomore year of high school.
I’m a words girl. Honestly, they can make me or break me some days. (This is not always a good thing.) It’s important for ALL of us to use our words as a way to build into people, into our children; it’s important that we don’t wield our words as weapons.
Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them (Ephesians 4:29 NLT).
Here is what I am challenged by on a daily basis: not only do words matter to me, tremendously, but they matter to my kids.
Have you ever seen your daughter’s face change when you tell her that you noticed and admired the sacrifice you saw her make? Or have you watched your son walk away with his head held high after you’ve told him how proud of him you are?
On the other hand, have you had to apologize to your child because you saw her face drop as you responded harshly in anger at her, ummmm….child-like-ness…?
I am a gal who wants to be encouraged and praised and thanked, but I forget that my children NEED my tongue to be controlled and precise and helpful, EVEN in those moments of discipline.
There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing (Proverbs 12:18 ESV).
That’s it! Our kids need us to have a WISE TONGUE. They absolutely need us to direct them, discipline them, and correct them. Yes, indeed this is truth. But they need the directing and disciplining and correcting to be carefully done, as our words can either be helpful or completely, 100% destructive, which in turn does NOT ultimately benefit our goal of wanting to discipline. It only causes our kids to shut down and fear us, our responses, and our anger…
So, it comes back to needing Jesus. (Doesn’t everything come back to needing Jesus?) Let’s dig deep, practice self control and put our words on the altar. Let’s ask Him for wisdom in this area because Jesus himself had many, many opportunities to choose his words carefully in difficult conversations.
Oh Father we want to build INTO people, especially the little ones you’ve entrusted to us. We need you, O God to help us! May our words not be weapons unleashed on tender hearts but wisdom poured out to build up your people.
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer (Psalm 19:14 ESV).