Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.Psalms 19:14
My son stoops down and tells his little brother, “If you wear your new shoes and get them muddy, they won’t glow-in-the-dark anymore.” “Oh, yeah!” His little brother exclaims and promptly puts on the rain boots I’ve been trying to get him to wear the last 30 minutes.
As the older son walks past me, I give him a hug and say, “Thank you for using your gift of arguing to help him instead of yelling at him.” He beams as he walks away standing a little straighter.
As I look around, I am amazed at the power of a mother’s words. We have the power to speak life into our kids or suck it right out of them.
I have seen this power in my family, my friends, and even on TV shows. One of my favorite shows is Parenthood. On one episode, Zeak, the grandfather and father to most of the cast, was struggling to impress his mother on her birthday. He felt everything he tried to do never measured up in her eyes. This lack of acknowledgment from her had affected him throughout his whole life and even affected his relationships with his children and grandchildren.
Watching that show I realized if mothers have the power to influence their children when they are older and we are one of many voices speaking into their lives, just imagine the power and influence we have when our children are young, and we are one of a few voices speaking into their lives. Scary!
I have to remind myself daily of this influence. When I’m about ready to lose it, I need to take a step back and do what it takes to relax. That can look like practicing patience and asking God for help in the situation. At other times, it looks like taking them outside to play, and some days (let’s be honest), it looks like giving up and turning on the TV for a bit.
When I hear myself say words I regret, I need to be big enough to say, “I’m sorry. I blew it. Please forgive me.” Because where are my children going to learn to ‘fess up on their mistakes if not from me?
The key is to be aware of the power of my words over my children and not stress out about it. Will I mess up and totally blow it? Oh, yeah! Frequently. But that’s not the end!
Each day, each moment, I can decide to learn from the past and use my words differently. I can look for those opportunities to recognize the growth in my kids and speak life to them. I can spend intentional time with them one-on-one and encourage them. I can include a note with their daily snack that lets them know how much they are loved.
Today, let’s speak words of life over our kids that remind them how important and loved they are.
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