“The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences.” -Proverbs 18:21
The Power of the Tongue
One particularly stressful day, I firmly plopped my little guy down on the bathroom counter, looked into his eyes, and said, “Why do you have to be such a bad boy?”
I had no idea of the power of my words. As I lay on my bed that night, I talked to God:
Father, show me what it means to bless, and teach me how to speak life into my babies’ hearts.
What words have been spoken over me by others that I have received deep into my heart? Father, please show me your truth instead so I can replace these curses with the truth of your Word. Heal my heart so I can live well.
Depression hounded my family lineage for as long as I can remember. As a little girl, I knelt next to my bed, praying, begging God for healing and answers to our family curse. Years later, God answered me on that stressful day.
The answer came in the wilted face of my 3-year-old son as God whispered deeply into my heart, “Kara, the root of depression stems from verbal abuse. It traps both the one speaking and the one listening.”
My world stood still in the darkness that night as I inclined my heart to understand what God had spoken to me. For days, my heart repented. I grieved and mourned the damaging words I had spoken throughout the years. I searched Scripture to see if this was true, if I really was causing damage with my words, and here is what I found:
“Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.” (Ephesians 6:4)
“Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be.” (James 3:10)
Dear mama, I’m writing you today to refresh your weary soul! I’m here to tell you what I wish someone would have shared with me years ago: there is a better way! Words shape and form your child’s identity. When you bless your child with words of love and encouragement, it will empower her or him to become what you speak!
Love needs no defense, not even words of defense. Be patient and kind; your child does not have power over evil, but you do! Show your child the way! Look beyond the behavior and see the pain of the child. Many people react because of hurt in their hearts. For example, if children feel left out, they may respond by destroying the tower they could not help build. Ask the Holy Spirit to show you what caused the behavior in the first place. Actions begin to change when children’s hearts feel ministered to and when the truth is spoken.
Rescue your children from themselves. Children are like adults in that, after we’ve had a bad day, isolation— like timeout for a child—may not help us feel better. What helps us moms rather than condemnation is for our husbands to hold us for a while or take us out for a treat. Apply this principle to your children. Sit down, open your arms toward them, and hold them close. Sometimes this may be enough, but other times you may want to add a change of scenery and go for a milkshake date. Reassure them of your love! Mom, let me tell you, this works!
Father God wants to speak even more to you today, so take a few minutes, step into His presence, and let Him hold you. He knows your innermost pain and struggles. Let Him speak peace over your storms. He will tell you exactly what your babies need, but let Him fill your cup first. You get to choose life today. You get to love and be loved by the most forgiving and unconditional love a mom could ever know, the love of your Heavenly Father and your dear babies!
Don’t push away the moment; embrace it.
Scripture References: Deuteronomy 30:19; Matthew 12:37; 1 Peter 3:9; and Proverbs 11:25.
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