Words kill, words give life;
they’re either poison or fruit—you choose.
A few months ago we decided to put bunk beds in the girl’s room. Paige, 1 years old, isn’t quite ready for the bunk beds yet so Sophie, 2.5years old, is sleeping at the bottom of the double bunk pair. The top bunk is now being used for storage space – teddy bears, toys etc.
Last night as I was tucking Sophie into bed, I climbed in next to her and moved some of the toys out of the way on the top bunk so that she could see the ceiling. We have glow in the dark stickers on the ceiling – a few stars and a moon. The first thing she said to me when she saw the stickers was, “Jesus loves me” – I was speechless for a moment.
When we first moved Sophie into her room, it has been almost a year now, she lay underneath her glow in the dark starry sky, and I said to her, “Whenever you see those stars and the moon, you must always remember that Jesus loves you and that He is with you wherever you are”. What shocked me the most was the nearly a year down the line, my 2.5-year-old daughter still remembers what I said to her many months ago. I had one massive revelation as my heart began to crumble. She hears me. She hears everything I say. My words impact her life massively. No word goes unnoticed. She’s watching me – so, WHAT am I teaching her?
I often find myself yelling at Sophie, I’m ashamed to say. She’s in that typical frustrating toddler phase where she often doesn’t listen to me and I have to repeat myself one hundred times. By the tenth time I’ve said the same thing, I say it a lot louder and a lot sterner. I realize that my words have such a huge impact on her. She stores them in her memory, she believes them, she listens and she carries them with her. I would hate to think that the resounding voice she hears in her head is that of her Mom yelling at her because she messed cereal on the floor.
So, I’m taking stock of how I choose to speak to my kids – my tone of voice, my words, my attitude – all of it. I’m praying earnestly for a bigger dose of patience and a deeper understanding of my girls. It’s so important, that we meet our kids at their level and not expect them to meet us at ours. I’ve only recently learned this very valuable lesson. Sophie is all of 2 years old – I cant expect ‘better’ of her – she’s doing all she knows how to do. I need to expect better of ME. I need to learn to be gentler, to be more patient, to be kind even when I’m frustrated and to just shower her with my unconditional love. In that environment, she will grow up to learn the very things I have shown her in love.
My words can either destroy her self-confidence or they can build her up. I pray that my words would encourage her, motivate her, empower her, embolden her and fortify her understanding of Gods love.
So the next time she messes cereal on the floor, I’m going to teach her to clean up after herself with a tissue and a cloth and not with a yell and a shout.
We are our children’s only example of Jesus – lets represent Him well!!