When was the last time you caught yourself using one of the phrases your parents used to say? You know the ones I’m talking about, the very things you swore you would NEVER say when you became a parent!
‘If you don’t stop making that face it’s going to freeze that way!”
“If so-n-so jumped off a bridge, would you do that too?”
“Because I said so, that’s why!!”
“Do as I say, not as I do.”
“When I was your age…..”
I believe that Proverbs 6 gives us some Biblical insight to explain this phenom:
“My son, keep your father’s command and do not forsake your mother’s teaching. Bind them always on your heart; fasten them around your neck. When you walk, they will guide you; when you sleep, they will watch over you; when you awake, they will speak to you. For this command is a lamp, this teaching is a light, and correction and instruction are the way to life” (vs. 20-23)
The words that we speak in any relationship stick, but especially those that we speak to and about our children. I can remember many encouraging words that my parents spoke into my life….I can also remember the not so good words. I’ll never forget a time when someone had said something that absolutely devastated me and when I sought counsel the response I got shocked me, “They’re just words. Let it go.”
No. They are not just words. Matthew 12:36 says “But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken.” Perhaps if we took that into account before we opened our mouths, we’d be a bit more careful in our choice of words. The tongue is tiny but holds the power of life and death. There is no such thing as “just words.”
I’d like to give us a little visual to aid us in our language towards our loved ones, more specifically, the little ones left in our charge. Imagine that every person on earth has an empty cup in their hearts. We should be pouring crystal clear water into every empty cup we encounter. Our children’s cups should be filled to overflowing so that when the world attempts to dump it’s contaminated sewer water into them, there will be no room in their cup.
The crystal clear water is encouragement, biblically sound teaching and words of praise.
The sewage water represents the culture that we live in that offers up words that go against every teaching of the Word of God.