Let’s forget about New Year’s Resolutions for a minute. I don’t make them anyway. I make goals, and not just because my calendar turns to a new year. Let’s talk about making a change that will have a lasting impact on how we view ourselves and as a result, how our children in particular will view themselves. I am talking about the words we use in reference to ourselves.
Unless you are some kind of super-human who has an out of this world confidence level, I am sure you have at one time or another used negative words to describe yourself or your situation. If you have ever uttered the words, I am fat, not worth anything, life will never change, I am done, you have used negative words. I know I am really guilty of this one. When I am at my wit’s end, overwhelmed with caring for a home, budgeting our finances (or lack thereof), homeschooling our children-particularly on days when the lessons don’t seem to go that well and blogs that sit with nothing being written, I will say, “I am done”. In fact, I might even post it on Facebook. I’m not really done. I’m probably just overtired, stressed and if I had to be completely honest, neglecting my time with God.
Ah, time with God. There it is. Again. How often do we find ourselves saying negative things when we are stressed and not in step with our Lord? Quite often, I’d say. I’ve been thinking about this alot lately. How much time have I devoted to God during this crazy holiday season? And no, going to church for Christmas service and singing Christmas carols in the car, even donating your time and energy to good causes during the season are not what I am talking about. Are they wonderful? Absolutely. But I’m willing to bet that unless you had cultivated a quiet time to read your Bible, pray and converse with God, that you did not suddenly start doing it during the busiest time of the year. Would I be correct?
That all needs to change. Now.
I can’t expect our children to grow up spiritually sound and confident in their God if they see and hear their mom or dad speaking negativity in the house. Do I really try to not speak that way around them? Absolutely. I have never said anything about my weight or looks in front of my children, but I have said I can’t do this or that or I’ve got a headache, stomachache, whatever it might be at the time. You don’t think about the things you say when you say them, but I am reminded by one of their favorite songs (and mine as well), Slow Fade by Casting Crowns. It is a warning for adults in particular, to watch what they see, where they go, what they hear and what they say.
Be careful little eyes what you see
It’s the second glance that ties your hands as darkness pulls the strings
Be careful little feet where you go
For it’s the little feet behind you that are sure to follow.
Did you catch that last line? Yup. That’s what our children do everyday. They follow us, even when we think they are not paying attention. They see, hear, and follow whatever we do. Our negative words will go with them wherever they go. Think about that a bit and you will be scared. Scared, because every negative word that you have uttered has probably been heard and filed into their little brains. It needs to stop, not only for your children’s sake, but for you as well.
Now where does time with God come in? When we place God in His rightful place in our lives and really meditate on what He is saying to us in the Bible, we will find it much easier to think of ourselves the way He sees us. Nowhere in the Bible does it confirm the things we say or feel about ourselves. In fact, it does the completely opposite. There are reminders that we are made in His image, a child of the Most High God and that we are to be treasured and have worth. Imagine what would happen if we started saying those types of things to ourselves and speaking those words in our lives! Imagine when our children look back on their younger years what they would remember. They would remember how their parents praised God for everything, big or little. They would remember their mom thanking God for showing favor just for finding a parking space close to the store. They would know in their souls that they were a child of God, made in His image…because you instilled that in them through your own words to yourself.
God’s timing is always perfect. I received an envelope in the mail from Joel Osteen Ministries. In it was the card below. I am taking this as confirmation that I am on the right track. I don’t believe in coincidences. I once heard someone call them “God-incidences”. I think that’s more like it.
So now as we start this new year, let’s make it one where we change our words and as a result, we change our lives and the future of our children.