It’s a school holiday week here, and my husband let me sleep in (8am, woo hoo!). It was a rough night with our little one, and I came downstairs groggy. I had already been pondering the day from the bed–Will the kids listen? Will I lose my temper? (People, don’t set yourself up for failure…think positive, think of all the blessings..a home, bed, covers, and the kids are all safe together with me, put all the troubles squarely at God’s Feet. Deep breath. Ok, Let’s Go!)
My 6yr. old was sitting sweetly on the carpet watching a programme. I was about to greet him when I noticed his hair: loaded with way too much hair gel–again, smelling strongly and looked dusty. I was about to say: ‘hey, don’t you remember? Use just a bit of that stuff, ok?’
But then something miraculous happened. In an instant my heart realized:
1. Hair gel is not important.
2. He is doing his best
3. Do I really want to put down my son and his abilities?
4. What’s really important in this life..?
So I swallowed my words and for the first time in a long time I didn’t comment on what “bothered” me. Instead I said: ‘Hey son, I love you, Good morning!’ What’s more, I didn’t wait to bring it up later, I threw it out all together. Victory!
I felt something like a bomb in the spirit. A good one. And at the same time I was overwhelmed by how many times I had spoken unnecessary correction to my child, which is so easily just a put down. How many children hear such things all day long?
I was so convicted: God revealed how much greater His Heart is for us, how He knows what’s really important in this life and how He speaks Goodness and Life over us when we speak criticism and death over one another….
Indeed, we put bits in horses’ mouths that they may obey us, and we turn their whole body. Look also at ships: although they are so large and are driven by fierce winds, they are turned by a very small rudder wherever the pilot desires. Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things. See how great a forest a little fire kindles! (James 3:3-5)
6 years with my children and I’m just learning this now?! How many times have I broken God’s heart by using my words to criticize and exact perfection, which I myself can never attain? How much hurt is poured on children in this world through words, meanwhile we should be building them up INTENSELY instead?
I can defend myself and say I’m being helpful, but maybe it’s just a critical or controlling spirit never satisfied, always finding fault and easily blind to the good and lovely around…
These days there is so much negativity, put downs and bullying going on. Mental health is down and suicide and depression are up–sadly, kids and adults alike. And if the outside world wasn’t bad enough, we have our own “angry birds” picking away internally. You’re a Failure. I can’t believe you did it again. What an Idiot, You’re Worthless….Just Die.
Negativity in my mind can spill out of my mouth. But I don’t want to be like that. I want to zero in on whats really important, and its not how well my son applied the hair gel. It is how awesome he is.
Especially in today’s society, kids are so bright and sensitive– with our words let’s also help make them Strong!
I want to be their greatest Supporter, not their greatest corrector.
There is one who speaks like the piercings of a sword,
But the tongue of the wise promotes health. (Proverbs 12:18)
This is part of the “Wild Kids, Wild God- 31 Days Looking into God’s Heart” series.
Want to read more about how unique and needed you are? Check this short post “Show Up“
This is such a powerful post and these words are my prayer, too: “I want to be their greatest Supporter, not their greatest corrector.” Amen 🙂
Thanks so much, Dolly! God help us!! If you feel like it, please feel free to share the post/link with others. I think it’s a good word to get out. I feel like our words are crushing our kids–especially in todays world where the little ones need to “fit” into the well formed boxes of society. Love to you, Jasmine
May we all swiftly learn and practice such wisdom.