Two weeks ago one of our pastors did a sermon on taming our tongue and how powerful words are.I have been at the receiving end of many hurtful words. Words have power, once spoken they do not easily heal; they stick around for a long time if not a lifetime. Bruises and scrapes can heal and disappear and the pain is forgotten, but not words. It has taken me years to deal with some things that were said to me that I had to heal from and still to this day struggle from time to time with those popping up and I am in my mid-thirties so it has been a long road of healing.
Out of all of the wounds Little R endured words for her were the worst beating she took. She was told she was not wanted, a bad kid, stupid, not as good as her other siblings and the hurtful words go on and on. She recalls vividly things that were said to her but has all but forgotten the physical hurts she has endured.
Words do hurt. I am working hard to help Little R overcome these lie’s that she has heard and believes. I have to be very careful about the words that I say to her as well. I work daily on encouraging and uplifting her and when admonishing her I remind her that we all make mistakes and she is still a great kid and dearly loved.
I have made many mistakes and have had to apologize for words I have said. One thing I realize though is that as I get closer to God and my walk is stronger I notice that when I do say something I should not have I often am immediately convicted and feel the need to think over what I said and deal with it. I love the power of the Holy Spirit that convicts me so I can right my wrong. I also realize the power of words as I watch my Little R heal from so much pain and I am so much more aware of what I say to others and to children as a result.
Words cannot be taken back. Once they have left your mouth they are spoken and heard and the damage is done, even if you apologize. Children are very impressionable and once something is said they often internalize that and believe it to be so. I have a perfect example in my Little R. A girl who struggles with self image, self esteem and believes she isn't worth anything. We have to be so careful to choose our words wisely and remember to up life our children and acknowledge there good qualities and remind them daily they are beautifully and wonderfully made in God’s image. Remind them that they can be anything they want. Tell them you love them and think they are the best. Give compliments often and minimize your criticism. Hug them and hold them and tell them you are so proud of them and the fact they are yours.
I remind Little R that the words that come out of her mouth have power the power to up lift and the power to hurt. It is a difficult job to teach a little one about holding there tongue and speaking with kindness, and not gossiping, but what a beautiful friend and confidant she will become if she can master this skill.
Now if only I can master this first so I can be a good example to her.
Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. Eph 4:29