As Kendell and I turned down the baby food aisle, we came upon a beautiful baby boy and his mommy. I asked the baby's name and age to strike up a conversation and Kendell seemed very anxious to babble with her new found friend. This little boy had red hair which looked like it had been sun-kissed with perfectly placed blonde highlights. I had prayed for hair just like this, but as I enjoy my dirty dishwater hair; I reveled over this gorgeous little boy. I found it interesting that after complimenting his hair, the mom was quick to tell me that she had hoped he wouldn't have red hair. "Not for a boy," she kept saying. I pondered the thought that the very thing I had prayed for, she had prayed against. Not only that, but she was adamant about red hair not being for boys. My heart hurt just then because God created that little boy and counted every single little red hair on his head. He has plans for him and wants to give him good gifts. Maybe God even gave him red hair for a specific purpose! Instead of appreciating his uniqueness, she chose to dwell on what she perceived to be negative. Then it occurred to me, our words have tremendous power. Although this is a mom example, it can be applied to all our interactions. However, I will continue with my current example and speak to moms because our words have incredible influence over our children.
Often the Bible compares words to a sword. In fact, in Ephesians 6, God's Word is described as a sword. The sword is an offensive weapon. The meaning of the word sword is to wound or cut. God's Word is described as a sword because we are to take it into battle against the evil one. It's powerful and can cut through the deceptions, temptations, and the distractions because it is a sword of Truth. Go to battle for your kids! This may mean against other people who are trying to discourage them, or it could be with the world that is trying to fill our children with lies and distractions, or it could mean going to battle for them in our own minds. Luke 6:45 says that our mouths will speak what is in our hearts. That's a huge responsibility for us to carry, but also an important mission from the Lord! We need to keep our hearts pure. Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. (Philippians 4:8) When we are thinking thoughts as the ones above and spending time with our Savior, there's no room left for defeating negative thoughts! It's a process we must go through daily because as soon as we let our guard down, you know we're vulnerable for attack!
I say all of this to say, that your words have the power of life! They can set the course for your children to become all that God has called them to be! You shape their future and mold their confidence. Most importantly, you show them how God loves them by the words you speak into their lives. Choose them wisely! Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up, according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. (Ephesians 4:29) Our children are listening! Let's benefit them! :)
And even when we mess up, which often we do, we can also demonstrate God's grace by apologizing to our children and seeking their forgiveness. Fight with sword and heal with your words! Praying for you and living it with you.
Until the whole world hears,