“Intelligent children listen to their parents; foolish children do their own thing. The good acquire a taste for helpful conversation; bullies push and shove their way through life. Careful words make for a careful life; careless talk may ruin everything.” Proverbs 13:1-3 (MSG)
“Do you want to fail third grade and have to do it over again? Because that is what will happen if you don’t start paying attention. How could you not turn in your homework after we spent 3 hours on it last night!” These horrid words seeped from my mouth before my brain could stop them. My sweet son, sat hunched over the table, with tears streaming from his eyes. I was saying the exact words that I advise parents never to say to their child.
In my frustration of a long day at work, coming home to a messy house, and no idea of what I would make for dinner, I carelessly allowed my words to flow. These words had the power of tearing my child down. All day, I speak words that build up other people’s children. My students are spoken to in an uplifting and careful manner. My purpose is to build them up and help them see that success is within reach. In this moment, I did not listen to my Father, and allowed my foolish tongue to do its own thing. It tore down my child’s self-esteem.
God blessed me with a sweet precious son that learns differently. He struggles with ADD and dyslexia. School has always been hard for him. I see so much of myself in him because I too have dyslexia and struggled through school. If I understood his challenges, then why did I say cutting words instead of helpful words to give him hope and a plan to get organized? The answer is Satan. He wants to use our words to belittle and tear down our relationships.
In James 1:19 we are told to, “…be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger.” As a Christian, I need to remind myself of this in every interaction with others. My emotions have a way of blocking my ears from the truth, my mouth to speak before thinking, and igniting a flame of anger that is not true to who God created me to be.
I not only had to repent, but also spend much time healing the cuts that my words caused in my son. Those words can not be taken back, but can be made a distant memory. Their pain can hopefully fade with time, as I speak truth, love, and most importantly God’s plan for his life to build him up and never tear him down again.
Heavenly Father, Thank you for the gift of being a mother. I ask for your forgiveness. My words were toxic and harmful to my son. I did not intend to speak them, but allowed my flesh to take hold of my tongue. Please guide me and give me pause in every interaction with him. Allow me opportunities to speak life into him and help grow my son’s faith in you. In Jesus name, Amen.
Truth for Today:
Proverbs 25:11, “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.” (NKJV)
Reflect and Respond:
What words can you speak to your child today to build them up?
Today, pick something to praise about your child like a character trait, school assignment, kind word given, or action that will build your child up. Tell them how much they are loved and that God created them exactly the way they are.