Speak words of life

Good morning everyone,
Our theme for this month: “The influence of a mentor”
Our Bible verse for today: “Death and life are in the power of the tongue …” Proverbs 18:21 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “Speak words of life”
Before we leave the subject of parents as mentors for their children and move on to considering other types of mentoring relationships, I would be remiss if I didn’t comment on the power of the words a parent speaks.
Words are powerful. Words penetrate, and words stick. Forever. Once words are spoken, they can never be unspoken. If they were angry or unkind words then after the fact you can apologize for them and you can attempt to explain them away; you can try to minimize them, and claim they meant something other than what they seemed to mean, but you cannot unsay them. Once they have been spoken and heard, those words are in the child’s memory and will remain there forever. And that being the case, it’s essential that we choose our words carefully – prayerfully.
That’s true in general, regardless of who we’re speaking to, but it’s especially true with respect to the words a parent speaks to a child. Children tend to believe their parents. They especially believe what the parent tells them to be true about themselves. If you tell a child enough times that he’s a bad boy, soon he will become convinced that he is indeed a bad boy. He won’t just believe that a particular behavior is bad, but that “he” is bad. There’s a difference. (You can correct a wrong behavior while still affirming your love for him and his worth as an individual. It’s all in the delivery).
Even worse than repeated criticism are the angry and mean words some parents say to their children: “You’re so stupid!” “You’ll never amount to anything!” “You are a rotten kid!” Etc. Statements like that set a child up for a lifetime of insecurities and self-esteem issues. Over time, children will believe what their parents say is true about them.
But the opposite is also true. You can speak words of life into your children. You can speak Biblical truth to them. “God loves you and so do I.” “God has a great plan for your life.” “You can do all things through Christ who strengthens you.” “God has not given you a spirit of fear but one of courage.” “You are a wonderful boy/girl and I’m so glad God gave you to me.”
You get the point. As a parent your influence upon your children is huge – for good or for bad. I encourage you to make sure your influence is good. The words you speak to them will go a long way in determining whether it is or not. So, speak words of life.
God bless,
Pastor Jim
Copyright © 2022 Oak Hill Baptist Church, All rights reserved.

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