Our lives have been shaped by words that hurt us. Labels define who we are rather than believing what God says about us. In contrast, all of us can also remember that person in our lives who shared encouraging words with us.
As we begin this school year, I am praying for my children (and myself) to use words in a positive way. This is easier said than done. When things are going well, I can easily share positive words with my children. However, when my children are hurtful to me or to others, the temptation is to let their behavior influence my words.
Proverbs 18:21 is the basis for prayer for my kids this year. It says, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.”
As a dad, I want to encourage my family to speak life, not death.
There are many ways to speak life, not death. Here are a few that come to mind:
- Share God’s Word with others. We can speak life by sharing a Scripture that is encouraging. The truth of God’s Word can combat a lie they believe about themselves or a situation.
- Call out gifts. When we see our children living out of their identity in Christ and/or using their gifts, call it out. For example, if one of my kids helps someone with a challenge, encourage their compassion or servanthood.
- Redirect when words are hurtful or harmful. I will ask my kids when this occurs, “Was that a word of life or death?” Often they roll their eyes or just humor me as they answer, but I want to encourage them to be people who speak life.
How will you encourage your family to speak life this week?
By J.L. Martin
Husband to Bethany
Dad of 4
1 Corinthians 13 Team Member
Pastor of Children and Family at Hesston MB Church