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Have you ever looked at your kids and thought about how your words can help them develop? We are trained to track how much food they eat, how they grow and reach various developmental milestones. However, we aren’t trained on how to speak to our children. I noticed when my children were babies how they responded to words, and I made the decision to speak life over my kids everyday. There is no doubt in my mind that Psalm 127:3 isn’t true, “Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him.”
When my children were babies, I had several Mom friends who had shared with me how they had spoken to their boys to help develop their character. We are not trained to speak words of encouragement or words of life over our children. In my own home, I am learning and watching my boys grow and they embrace words I have spoken over them since they were babies.
Let’s be honest, if we’re talking about children, we all know that sometimes patients runs thin. They can be the most adorable little people ever, until that moment they decide they aren’t going to do what you have instructed them to do. Those are the moments where I have to try and decide how I am going to react to my child. I am so glad they don’t know what I said to them in my head!
I grew up in a home where speaking encouraging words was far and few between. My Father was extremely critical. My Mom did the best she could to protect us and encourage us. In the late 70’s and 80’s people didn’t know what we know now. It’s a miracle I made it out alive! In fact, the amount of yelling that happened in my house was down right scary.
There is a phrase in the Christian communities that is rising. It is “Speak Life” about the situations you are in or the people you are with. To speak life, you have to speak the opposite of what you think or are doing.This concept can be challenging for some because our first instinct is to speak what we see or to be critical.
The attitude to be critical defeats the spirit and it is life killing. I am sure you have experienced it! Here is a quick example, you come home excited about something you accomplished and the person you tell shrugs it off. They say it wasn’t that great and anyone could have done that too. Within 5 minutes all your happiness and excitement is gone. You feel lifeless and you are hurt and sad.
Choosing to embrace life and to encourage the people around you is deciding you are going to live a different way. The people in your life are going to hear a different message from you. They are going to trust you more when they want to share something with you.
Speaking Life over your Children
I have 2 boys and when my first child was barely a year old, I decided I wasn’t going to demean him or speak poorly to him. I wanted to encourage him right where he was. In the evening while I was putting him to bed I would remind him that he is strong, that he is smart and that he is wise (Yes, I know I sound like The Help, but I swear I was doing this before the book!).
I also do this with my second child. They both know they are created to worship, conquer and fight. Since they have grown, they hear more words like, smart, wise, happy, faithful, peaceful, gentle, strong, brave, courageous, worshiper and overcomer.
The words we speak over our children are so powerful. They walk through their days with the enemy rising up against them. When we give them words of life, they can cling to those words and decide they are going to conquer what is in front of them. The words help to build confidence in themselves.
Results of Life Giving Words
My second son is extremely spontaneous. Sometimes he moves so fast that he doesn’t see that he may step on something or knock something off the table. A few years ago I started telling him he is gentle. After a few months, I started to see his spirit and body slow down and now he is gentle. He has his moments, but he is gentle and loving and giving.
When we watch our children become the courageous, strong, loving people they are created to be. It brings so much joy, to both the children and me. My boys look forward to me praying over them and telling them who they are because it speaks directly to their spirit.
I also have a couple books that i have read that support this as well. The books talk about creating a respect with the child and the adult so that each can communicate to each other. My first recommendation is How to Talk so Kids Will Listen, and Listen so Kids Will Talk. This book is fabulous! It gives you diagrams and examples of poor communication and what good communication should look like. My second recommendation, is a book by Danny Silk, Loving Your Kids on Purpose. This book almost mimics the other book except it has a Biblical application to it. These books helped to solidify my thoughts on speaking LIFE to my children.
Don’t get me wrong, there are days where my kids are not angels. Despite their behavior, in the evening when I am putting them to bed I speak over them the characteristics I hope they will display and live by for their entire life.
The goal is for them to be leaders when they grow up. Who have compassion for others and who are confident in what they are capable of doing. As the old saying goes, today’s children are tomorrow’s leaders. Let’s raise leaders together.
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