MOMS: Words That Can Change Your Kids’ Lives
Moms, do you know how powerful your words are?
Most of the moms that I know usually don’t feel like their words mean a whole lot. After all, they’re instructing and correcting their kids throughout every day, and often those directions seem to fall on deaf ears.
As the parent of five kids myself, I can tell you that every child is born with some level of unresponsiveness to directions like, “Clean your room!” or “Make your bed!” But that doesn’t mean that your words aren’t making a difference, or that your child isn’t listening.
Your words have the power to change your kid’s future! Something incredible happens when you are able to tap into the power of words, and use that power for good in your child’s life.
I use the term ‘speaking life’ to describe the transaction that happens when you use your words to birth something new in someone else, to give life. And you can ‘speak life’ into anyone—your child, your spouse, your co-worker.
Now I’m not saying “if you wish it and dream it, it will come true.” I’m talking about something much deeper than that. Let me give you some examples.
All the way back in the book of Genesis, God spoke to Abraham, a forefather of both the Jewish and Christian faiths. Abraham and his wife Sarah were old and beyond childbearing years, but those details didn’t matter to God. Here’s what God said to Abraham:
“I’ll bless you—oh, how I’ll bless you! And I’ll make sure that your children flourish—like stars in the sky! Like sand on the beaches! And your descendants will defeat their enemies.” (Genesis 22:17 MSG)
This promise to Abraham came long before Abraham was a father or had any children at all—let alone more children than the stars in the sky! You see, God was speaking life into Abraham—He was bringing to life something that He knew was there.
Again in the book of Genesis (Genesis 32:28), God changed Jacob’s name to Israel, which means “a Prince of God” long before Jacob was acting like a prince. God was speaking life into Him!
You might be thinking, “Well, I’m not God. I can’t speak life into my kids.” But the Bible teaches that our words also have the power to bring life or death depending on how we use them.
“Words kill, words give life; they’re either poison or fruit—you choose.” (Proverbs 18:21 MSG)
For most of us, the trouble is not that we are unable to speak life into our children or those around us, it’s that we grew up only hearing others point out what was wrong in us. This is the style of language that was modeled to us, using our words to shame, bring down, or control.
Beloved mama, if that’s you—God wants to set you free! He wants to provide you with powerful words that give life to your kids.
The key to learning how to speak life is to speak to your children the same way that God the Father speaks to you.
“But God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8 ESV)
Think about it for a moment. God loved you way before you believed or followed Him, or even started cleaning up your act! He loves your children that much, too. When we begin loving our children before they ‘get their act together’, when we begin telling them what God thinks about them and who they are in Christ long before they start acting like it—we are speaking life into our kids, and using words that can change their lives.
Let me give you four ways that you can do this:
Affirm who God has made them to be
Moms, I’m not asking you to just make this stuff up. The Bible is filled with scriptures that apply to all of us, talking about who God has made us to be: chosen, loved, and holy. Look them up, and start sharing them with your kids.
As you begin sharing God’s word, and what He thinks about them with your kids, God will begin sharing with you more specifically what He thinks about your kids. Share those things too: ‘Leader’, ‘Encourager’, ‘Helper’, etc.
Answer the questions your kids are really asking
One mistake we often make as parents is answering questions our kids aren’t even asking. We can avoid this by asking questions of our kids, and giving less lectures. Asking questions requires your kids to start talking and you to start listening. This puts you in a position to answer the questions they’re really asking because you know the matters of their heart.
Two of the biggest questions your kids need to have answered are “Who am I?” and “Do I matter?”
Pray out loud for your kids while they are present
Your kids will remember the times you prayed over them long after the moment has passed. Praying specific scriptures over them is a powerful way to both pray for them and also speak life into them. Allow God to speak through you during these prayer times and use His Word, the Bible, as your main tool.
Consistently share what you love about your kids
This is an easy one to overlook, because as moms, you are usually the best at saying, “I love you” to your kids. But this isn’t just about saying “I love you.” That’s important, but what I’m talking about is sharing specific things that you love about your kids.
Be intentional. Use these moments as a time to both model speaking life into others, and also a moment to give your kids direction in their lives. Saying things like “I love the way you help others” or “I love how you care for your brothers and still lead them” can send your kids down a path of knowing who they are, and what their purpose is in life.
Moms, the gifts you give your kids every day—your time, your sacrifices, your selfless love—is changing their lives. Using your words to speak life into your kids can change their lives, too.
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Published on May 23, 2018.