Sticks and Stones

Our words to our children become their inner voice.

This phrase stopped me in my tracks. Lately, God has been speaking to my heart to be aware of words. Words to me, words that I speak, thoughts that I think – they are all so seemingly insignificant, but oh so important.

The words we speak have the power to bring healing and life or wounding and death to the hearts of those that we love and do life with.

Proverbs 18:21 (NLT) says, “The tongue has the power to bring life or death.”

Like most mothers, I love my children immensely and want the best for them, but sometimes I am finding that my words get in the way. I work hard building important things into them, but then I speak words that destroy.

Proverbs 14:1 (NLT) says, “A wise woman builds her home, but a foolish woman tears it down with her own hands.”

It is so easy to label our children according to how they are acting or how they are making us feel instead of according to who they are.

In the past two years, I have become very aware of the You Are So’s as I call them. They define and condemn rather than convict, heal and bring hope. Sometimes they are said in frustration and sometimes they are what we truly believe. Sometimes they aren’t even spoken, but conveyed through our body language and tone of voice. I am finding that there is a world of difference between saying, “You are acting selfishly right now,” and “You ARE so selfish.” Maybe you have a few You Are So’s in your own mind that play like a broken record and infiltrate who you believe yourself to be. Maybe you’ve never noticed them before because they are such a common voice in your mind, but these words can cause us to walk in condemnation on a daily basis.

  • You are so hard to get along with.
  • You are so stubborn.
  • You are so difficult.
  • You are so boring.
  • You are so strange.
  • You are so ugly.
  • You are such a loner.
  • You are so messy.
  • You are such a perfectionist.
  • You are so silly.
  • You are so emotional.
  • You are so bossy.
  • You are such a disappointment.
  • You are so frustrating.
  • You are such a failure at…
  • You are so…

When these words are ingrained in us, we need the Restoring God who lovingly designed us to speak His words of life to us. The truth is that we can be any of these things, but they do not define who we are or who we were made to be. Some of these are the result of broken places and wounding, some are the result of sin and some are pieces of the person God created us to be spun in a negative way. So many times, the beauty that God puts in a person gets distorted and marred by sin and negative words. God wants to heal and forgive these places in us and mature who He made us to be.

This God who understands all things will give us the wisdom to deal with our children according to what He sees and who He created them to be. Afterall, that is how God deals with us. When God gives us His view, we often begin to see that the child we labeled ‘bossy’ is actually an immature leader who needs to learn to consider others. The child we labeled ‘strong-willed’ is the one who will stand strong but needs to stand up to the right things. The child we labeled ‘emotional’ is actually very sensitive, but needs to be taught sensitivity to the right things.

I want my life and my words to align with God’s purpose for those around me. I want God’s words of life to surround my children so that they can be who He created them to be. I don’t want to join the enemy in destroying my children through words.

John 10:10 (NLT) The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.

Word of the Day: Proverbs 18:21 (NLT) The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences.

Prayer: Father, thank you that you love who you made me to be and that you desire for me to be completely free from sin and the lies that surround my life. Please show me who I really am and who You say that I am. Please heal my heart and help me to see clearly. Help me to see my children as You do and to speak life to them. When words come that aren’t who you say they are, please give me the wisdom to see that and to not speak words that will wound. Thank You that they are fearfully and wonderfully made and that You have a purpose for the things that you put in them. Amen.

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