Words have power. The power resides not only in what we say, but also in how we say it.
Parenthood has caused me to become more aware of my words and the impact they have on my children. These gifts from God watch us and listen to every spoken word, even the ones we think they don’t hear. They emulate all that we lay before them, good and bad.
God has tasked us with the great responsibility of training them up in the way they should go, and as they take a front row seat watching our lives, they instinctively begin to practice what they see and hear. But what about when our children witness the “not so beautiful” moments of our lives? What do we do when we fall short and blow it before their very eyes?
The answer is Jesus — we show them and point them to Jesus.
I will never forget the day I really lost it. While it was more than five years ago now, I still remember it like it was yesterday. My level of exhaustion and my motherly responsibilities collided when my son was 3 years old and my daughter was just a baby.
As exhausted as I was, my son, on the other hand, was on the very opposite end of the spectrum. He had more energy than his little body could contain. Not only had I been up throughout the night with our baby, my son’s endless supply of energy kicked in and he decided to pay us several loud, happy visits throughout the night, making our sleep nearly nonexistent. After all of this, my son was still ready to be up and at ‘em at 6 a.m. sharp the next morning.
I started the day drained, my patience thin, irritable, and my words were harsh. With each passing hour, I could feel God’s steady conviction. God finally worked through the walls of pride in my heart that sought to justify my actions, and He led me to confess my sin, apologize and seek forgiveness from my son for how I had spoken to him.
I was completely broken and the only thing I knew to do at that point was to share with my son my constant need for Jesus and His grace. My son happily forgave me and I prayed that, in spite of his age, he understood what I had shared with him. Although that moment of reconciliation with my son was very sweet, I was still grieved over my words, but as the day progressed, God’s hope and grace began to shine brightly in our home.
Later that day, my son needed correction for something he had done, and on his own he came to me to confess, apologize and ask for forgiveness. My 3-year-old son came and asked for my forgiveness. I was overwhelmed with great joy to see God working in the heart of my son. God showed me that when our words are not “sweet like honey,” there is still great power in our words when we confess and share Jesus. The example of brokenness we show to our children when we fall short is just as important, and there is tremendous power in that, too.
In every moment, good or bad, always point your children to Jesus, because there is power in His name.