Anyone who knows me, knows that I love to talk. I will be the first to admit though, that sometimes I speak too quickly. I certainly have had to apologize many times in my life for words rashly spoken. I am not writing this post because I have arrived in this area of my life, rather I am writing to share with you an area of weakness that I daily try to work on with God and those around me.
The Bible says, “The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” Proverbs 18:21 (NIV)
In my early 20’s, I heard a teaching about how our words have the power to impact our lives, way deeper than I ever imagined.
For example, if someone says to a child,
“You are stupid.”
“You are ugly.”
“You are naughty.”
that child, no matter how smart, beautiful, or well behaved at times begins to believe that they are stupid, ugly, and naughty. If others in that child’s life speak these harsh words to them, this again reinforces this lie in their life. I think this is part of what Proverbs 18:21 is trying to address. Our words can bring a figurative “life” or “death” to ourselves and to others. Listening to encouragement can bring life to a person. On the other hand, agreeing with lies goes against the truth of who God made you.
Psalm 139 says, “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”
In Christ, we are WONDERFUL!
In Christ, we are not stupid, ugly, or naughty.
Learning more about the power of our words caused me to be more thoughtful about my words as a person in general, but especially as a wife and mother.
Recently a sweet, younger mom asked me for parenting advice for her strong-willed 4 year old daughter. I gave her some suggestions, but one of the main things I mentioned was to be intentional with her words.
When my kids were younger, if they were acting out, instead of saying to them, “You are bad” or “You are naughty,” I would try to say to them, “Hey, I know you are a good boy/girl…so why are you acting naughty? Are you trying to be naughty? How do you think your behavior makes God feel?”
By asking my kids these questions, it often made them actually stop and think about their behavior.
As a parent, I never want my kids to define themselves by their behavior, a mistake they have made, or by lies from the enemy. I want them each to be confident in who God made them. This is why, when I correct them, I also try to affirm them about how important they are to me and to God.
Stay tuned for more…Part 2 of this series will be about how I try to apply this verse as a wife 😊