MAY 2015

I think back to when I first became a mother many years ago, I was so scared of my little bundle, not knowing if I was going to be a good mom at the age of 20, or drop and break him on the very first day I took him home. I had no one to instruct me in what to do.  It was just my husband and I alone in a foreign country and I was terrified!

I can only imagine some of these new moms now a days, looking at their fresh little bundles, wondering what to do next.  Their little bundles did not come with a book of instructions.  There, however, are a number of books written that can help, but these books can only help so much.

No matter the instructions of care you read, study or listen to it can help, but after the bundle grows up and starts listening to the words that comes from you, the troubling fact is you are the only book your child will grow up reading, studying and listening to.  Ask yourself what it is your child is seeing or hearing from you, and what impact are you having on them?

One area of impact I see that affect our children today is our WORDS.  Words can bless and words can break our kids.  I found this article regarding “The Impact of Words in Your Child’s Life”.  I wanted to share it with you in hopes that it will be of great help to you.  A useful tool.

We all can probably recall hearing as a child the phrase, “Sticks and stones can break my bones, but words can never hurt me.”  However, it is unlikely a person has ever lived who was not hurt by the words spoken by someone during a lifetime.  Words can build up, direct, heal, inspire and do all manner of good.  But words also can break down, distort, discourage, mislead, damage and destroy.

Words that Bless

Parents have the opportunity to bless their children day in and day out with the words they speak.  This means saying important words of love, praise and encouragement.  Your children needs to know you love them and God loves them.  For most parents, that is a very easy truth to talk about and present.

Speaking words that bless also means forthrightly addressing your child’s wrongdoing and not glossing over his/her sins.  Using appropriate constructive words to guide and reprimand children is a proper application of “speaking the truth in love” (Ephesians 4:15).  Every child must learn he/she needs a Savior.   If, by failing to speak words of correction, a parent allows your child to grow up falsely believing he/she is a perfect child, that child may have greater difficulty understanding why he/she needs Jesus.  Of course, this does not mean the parent daily harangues a child for being a sinner, but the parent who is honest in speaking about sin will appropriately bless their child.

How fortunate parents are to have repeated opportunities to say good things to their children, to impact their lives with true, worthwhile statements that will encourage their souls, direct their thinking, establish lifetime principles and point them to God each day.

Words About a Child

A new, young children’s leader was asked after a few months in the Preschool Program what guidance, if any, she would give to the mothers of children in her room.  After a momentary pause, she responded, “If I could tell them only one thing, it would be to guard their lips when they are around their children.  It shocks me to hear some of the harsh statements mothers make about their children as if those little ones who are standing there had no ears or would not be impacted by such critical words!

Words addressed to others about your child, but within his/her range of hearing, can have as powerful an effect as words spoken directly to the child – and perhaps more so.  An impact is made on the child whether the words are praiseworthy or critical.  Perhaps you can recall the personal commendation spoken by your teacher to your mother, not intended to be overheard by your childish ears, but forever implanted as inspiration in your mind.  Or perhaps there is some impatient condemnation of your, muttered by a loved one to someone else long ago, that cannot be forgotten.  Even comments by a complete stranger can linger long in a person’s mind, but most often it is the words spoken by people who matter most in our lies that have the greatest impact.  Parents, relatives, teachers, role models and best friends have the potential of helping and hurting the most with their words.

It is also important that parents be congenial and supportive in the words spoken to others about their children. Of course, parents should be honest and admit when a child’s behavior is unacceptable and requires change or improvement, but a child’s character and reputation should not to be diminished by the parent’s careless words.  Parents can use appropriate words to identify problems without being defensive or leaving a tarnished image of their child in the minds of others.

Words that Discourage

God specifically warns parents, “do not exasperate” and “do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged” (Ephesians 6:5 and Colossians 3:21).  Because of these words of admonishment, parents sometimes avoid dealing with sin in their child; they only want to say “nice things.”  The challenge for parents is to correct and guide in a constructive way that states the truth but does not diminish love.  Discouragement comes for a child, not when he/she is corrected or punished, but when it occurs with rash, dogmatic, demeaning or ridiculing words of criticism instead of with clear, firm and consistent words of guidance.  In speaking to children, especially when disciplining, parents must, therefore, be careful their words are true and appropriate, not leading to discouragement.

Words of Reminder

The impact of speech is no surprise to our heavenly Father.  He has clearly charged parents to talk to their children (Deuteronomy 6:7).  He expects blessing to come from their words, but He gives warning of the potential for damage (James (3:1-12).  So the continual challenge for parents is to submit the use of their tongues to God’s control.  He can help us discipline our words to make them accomplish blessing whether speaking cheerful words of love or strict admonitions of correction.

Use these daily reminders to aid you in this endeavor to bless:

  • Pray each day for God to give you ways to speak love to and about your child.
  • Start the day with an “I love you” spoken to each person in your household.
  • Determine to reprimand your child for wrong behavior but to do so without using unnecessary criticism.
  • Resolve that when your child’s wrong behavior must be discussed with another individual never to do so in your child’s hearing, (not even when talking on the telephone). The only time this is appropriate is when the child is a part of the conversation as parents and other caring adults talk through the situation with him.
  • Think through occasions in which you may have left an incorrect impression of your child by words you spoke. Retrace your steps and, if possible, remedy or soften the opinion with a clarification or reaffirmation of your child.
  • Listen to your child’s play conversations. If you hear him using rash, demeaning or critical words, evaluate where he learned them and eliminate the possibility of that continuing influence. If you or a family member is the source, seek God’s provision of repentance.
  • Search out and memorize a blessing from Scripture to offer to your child. Regularly lay your hands on his head and repeat the words with sincerity and love.
  • At each day’s end, ask God to help you recall the careless, hurtful words you may have spoken, as well as the words you should have spoken, but failed to speak; confess to Him, and listen to His directions for how you might remedy the wrong.

God has written an excellent petition that can be used by parents concerned about the impact of their words in the life of their child, “May these words of my mouth…be pleasing in your sight”(Psalm 19:14).  As you ask and depend on God, may He fill your mouth with pleasing words, words for good and for blessing in the life of your child.

After reading this blog and understanding the power our words have on our little ones will you make the right decision today?  I must say this to you, always remember they do not come with a book of instructions, but there is a book that will instruct you today! That book is the Bible.

May God bless and keep on this MOTHER’S DAY!!!!