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  • Mason Sherrill

Speaking to Our Children

Updated: Feb 12

As moms, we often think about what we serve our children to eat. We determine what to fix in terms of health for their little bodies, time frames so they don't go hungry, and tastiness so that they hop off boosters and high chairs with little grins because we really do delight in serving them something they can enjoy.

Likewise, we should aim to speak to our children in ways that give them sustenance and blesses them. Matthew 4:4 likens the words from the mouth of God to bread which is sustenance to the body. It's a powerful image John gives us. Words have the power to fortify the body just like bread does.

"Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God."

Since we are created in the image of God (Genesis 1:27) and the power of life and death is in the tongue (Proverbs 18:21), we too as mothers are imaging God when we speak to our household. These words will either tell the truth about our God: that His word brings life to bones (Proverbs 3:8); or it will tell a lie about Him, bringing death to our people.

Just a few Scriptural reminders for us, that we may never grow weary of doing much good to our children.

We ought not yell at our children.

Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. -James 4:31

Yelling is an expression of wrath and clamor. It's a peaked, harsh response out of frustration and desire for things to straighten up fast. Instead, bless them by putting away these things from your mouth. This is not a raising of your voice to your son, across the yard, who's about to step in an ant pile. You know when you have yelled at your children in anger and no matter their age, you need to kneel down right then, confess your sin and ask for forgiveness. You might even have to teach them how to say "I forgive" you, but you both need the practice at this habit so do it.

We ought to speak the Word to our children.

Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. -James 1:20-21
You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. -Deuteronomy 6:7

Speaking unkindly to our children can include a long list of things, but it is apparent to most Christians when we are not being kind to our kids. Obviously you should never curse or speak of foul things, but the true standard of speaking kindly to your kids is giving them the opportunity to "receive the implanted word" by verbally and continually speaking the Word of God over them, which will save them.

We ought to speak thanksgiving to our children with disciplined tongues.

A fool gives full vent to his spirit, but a wise man quietly holds it back. -Proverbs 29:11
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. -1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Do all things without grumbling or disputing -Philippians 2:14

Do not vent your feelings to your children out of the sneaky desire to be "authentic". That is a tangled web of lies which will hold you firmly in sinful patterns, all while you have really good intentions of being "real" with your kids. Prioritize the reality that King Jesus is in your home and bend your speech to His commandments first! That is only sure-fire way to honor Him and bear much fruit relationally with your children. This does not mean we will not have moments of weakness or that we will never communicate how we truly feel about something. It just means we are disciplined in how to communicate those feelings. The standard is the Philippians 2 verse, but the Proverbs and 1 Thessalonians verses are how to execute the high standard. Don't give way to venting, hold back, chose to rejoice, pray, and give thanks always.

Practically, this means you might express that you're not handling something like a true Christian in the moment, then give thanks to God out-loud in front of your children for the forgiveness and grace Jesus is giving you to continue doing whatever it is in obedience and in JOY. This will bless them immensely. You will not only be walking in continued fellowship with the Lord, but also with them, AND you will be teaching them how to do the same.

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