Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Power of Words--Guest Post by Becky Eanes of Positive Parenting: Toddlers and Beyond

Image credit: edenpictures on Flickr
The Bible has much to say about the power of our tongues. As parents, we have an incredible opportunity to build our children up and to speak blessings into their lives, but so often we fall into the habit of constantly correcting our children or having sharp tongues when we speak to them. When we nitpick, find fault, and criticize our children, we destroy their self–image, and with our negative words, we will open a door, allowing the enemy to bring all sorts of insecurity and inferiority into our child's life.  Such negative words will cause our children to lose the sense of value God has placed within them.

There are many verses in Proverbs relating to the power of our words.  Here are a few.

Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.  Proverbs 18:21

There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. Proverbs 12:18

Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body. Proverbs 16:24

A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. Proverbs 15:1

A gentle tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit. Proverbs 15:4

Whoever restrains his words has knowledge, and he who has a cool spirit is a man of understanding.  Proverbs 17:27

It’s interesting that Romans 12:14 tells us: Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them.

If we are to bless those who persecute us, how much more so should we bless our children? I believe our parenting will be profoundly impacted if we study on these scriptures as it relates to how we talk to those whom God has entrusted us with.

Ephesians 4:29 (ESV) tells us: Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.

Let us be reminded to encourage and build up our children, to intentionally look for and point out their good qualities. Let us be reminded to guard the words that come out of our mouths, that they may only be used to build them up and give them grace.

Psychology is catching up with what the Bible has already taught us, that if we continually speak negative words to our children, their self-concept will be adversely affected.  They see themselves as they believe we see them, and they behave according to that self-concept. 

If we choose to discourage our children, to speak negativity and destruction into their lives, we will give an account to the Lord.

I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak. Matthew 12:36 (ESV)

With authority comes responsibility, and we have the responsibility as the spiritual authority over our children to make sure that they feel loved, accepted, and approved.  Speak blessings over your children daily. Words are powerful both for the one who speaks them and the one who receives them.

Saying a blessing out loud empowers our children to step into their calling. This intentional act has the power to transform their lives and set them on the right path.  Ask God to give you the exact words to share with each of your children, and make time each day to speak this blessing over them. The blessing may look like this:

I bless your life as I know you will become a wonderful woman/man of God. I bless your mind to remain sound and for you to have wisdom and discernment in all decisions. I bless your mouth where words of truth and encouragement will flow. I bless your heart to remain loyal to God’s will for your life. I love everything about you, and I am proud to be your mother. You bless our family and your friends in so many ways.

When we start speaking this over our children, I believe we set them up for success.  No matter how young or old your children are, you can bless them with your words. You can bless them in the crib or bless them when they bring their families to visit you at Christmas.  As their parent, your words are powerful regardless of their age.


Becky Eanes is the founder of positive-parents.org and Positive Parenting: Toddlers and Beyond on Facebook. She lives with her husband and 2 young sons. She is also one of my heroes.  My family and I have been incredibly blessed by the grace and truth in her writings, and I am so very honored to have her share this post.  <3

1 comment:

Bry said...

beautiful. Thank you.