Sticks and Stones

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Have you ever heard the saying “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me”? If only this were actually true. Our words can be so powerful. They are powerful even when no one is around to hear them.

Often times the words we say to others can be so painful. Words can stab right to our very core. But aren’t they just that words?

“The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat it’s fruit.” (Proverbs 18:21)

I’m sure all of us when we were a child had someone say something to us that stuck with us forever.

When I was a child in choir I had a teacher tell me that I sounded like a goat when I sang. I have never forgotten those words, they hurt, they stung, and caused me to doubt my ability to sing for a long time.

People don’t realize that what we say can either make someone or break someone. This is the same for our children. When you talk to your children do you say things like “you will never be able to…. or that was stupid….. what about don’t be such an idiot.” These are all such hurtful things to say not just to a child but to anyone.

I am pretty sure that when Jesus gave us the gift of speech He did not intend for us to misuse it.

Speaking life (saying good things) about and over your children is so critically important to their development. You as their parent are writing on the blank slate of who they will become. Speaking life over your child can change bad behavior, it can give them a sense of value, and even shows them the heart of Jesus. It makes them think “Wow if my mom and dad love me and care about me this much, then God must really love me, I am important, and I am worth something!”

Because my daughter has Down syndrome a lot of tasks that come naturally to most children are more difficult for her to achieve. I have to constantly remind myself to speak life about her, around her, and to her. Telling her she can, and she will instead of she can’t or she won’t is so important. Even if I am not speaking directly to her but talking about her she still hears me.

With all this being said I would like to re-write the phrase we started with:

“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but WORDS can DEFINITELY HURT me.”

Choose to speak life into and over your child at all times, you will be amazed at how much it impacts them for the better.

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About ChristineWelker

Christine Welker is the Children's Pastor at Lake Stevens Assembly of God in Lake Stevens Washington. Together with her husband, she ministers to children and their parents. They have three daughters and believe in the spiritual health of the whole family in addition to fostering the spiritual growth of children.
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One Response to Sticks and Stones

  1. This is beautiful. We have a writer at CBN who has Down Syndrome and she talks about how her parents always spoke life onto her. Her words just drip with purpose and confidence! Her articles ALWAYS change hearts.

    Our Jack has always been different so in some ways I can relate. We aren’t sure if it’s ADHD or just how he is wired, his sleep patterns and emotional outbursts have always been challenging. We had tried every discipline we could think of… until one day God brought me to a verse I know very well… speak life! In ministry, I should have known that speaking positive, affirmative words would do far more than time in the corner or taking a bean out of jar. Kudos for this delightful read!

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