“You are always messing things up!” “Why can’t you just listen to me and actually do what I say!” These were the comments I witnessed a mom saying to her young child in the grocery store. The little boy must have only been around 6 years old. My heart broke as I saw the look of embarrassment on his face as he stood over his spilled juice box. After my moment of judgment I started seeing glimpses of ME in the face of that tired and frustrated mom. It was like God was showing me how ugly and hurtful some of my reactions to my sweet girls have been. As parents our intentions are always good aren’t they? It’s always easier to notice someone else’s bumps and boils than it is to notice our own.
I’m thankful that Kate Battistelli has been our guest on the Z Thursday mornings throughout this month. She is the momma of Z artist Francesca Battistelli and author of a new book called “Growing Great Kids”. She has been encouraging us to be more intentional with our kids in 2012. I want to be the kind of mom that demonstrates love and encouragement even when I don’t want to. Let’s claim Ephesians 4:29 “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”
So when our kids create a mess on aisle 4 or if they don’t live up to the high standards we can sometimes set for them, may God help us to see in those moments that our words can cut like a knife or show God’s grace. I challenge you to join me in being more intentional than ever in speaking encouragement to our kids, taking time each day to let them hear you thank God for them. Point out the gifts in them that make them special. Most importantly, in the times we lose our cool and mess up, lets vow to show our kids what forgiveness and grace are all about. Its humbling to apologize to your child.
There is power in the words we speak to our children. We have the choice everyday to build them up or tear them down. My 4 year old Emma Grace wrote me a note that said “You are the best mommy I have ever had”. She also asked me, “ Mommy did you know that you get more beautiful everyday?” She must know that powerful words work on mommas too!