So easily these words can flow off the tongue of a loose-lipped mama and I’m talking about myself here. Think about the words you’ve shared with your children in the last four hours. Was the bulk of your words corrective or encouraging in nature?
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. Ephesians 4:29
Because so much of our interaction with our children requires us to steer, direct and redirect them, the dialogue lends itself to be corrective in nature. It is critically important then, that their hearts consistently be filled with love. If we attempt to make a withdrawal by correcting them when no deposit has been made, we’ll end up overdrawing their emotional bank accounts.
When are you gonna clean this place up? Why isn’t my dinner ready? What do you mean you forgot about the appointment?
Wives, imagine for a moment that this was the constant conversation from your husband. Or what about your own parents? Did you have the critical parent with whom you felt you could never do anything right and they were always coming down on you? Can you still remember what they said and how it made you feel? Recall that emotion and sit with it for just a minute….
Ooh, the sting of being critical. It cries out and shows the need for us to be intentional encouragers.
What does intentional encouragement sound like?
I’m impressed with the progress you’re making in playing the recorder. I was so proud when I saw you look up a video for the song you were struggling with. That’s determination and you’re efforts are paying off. You nailed the song! (This was an actual conversation with my son).
We tell our loved one what they did and the impact it had.
Intentional encouragement is something I HAVE to purpose to do. As a recovering perfectionist, my eye so easily gravitates toward what needs to be fixed or corrected. But I am training myself, purposing myself to SEE the good. I’m getting better at verbalizing what’s really in my heart. Because what’s in my heart is my deepest love along with my deepest fears and I will not permit fear to drive my conversations with my children.
They are my joy. They are my treasure. They are my are light on a dark day. Just thinking about them can make me break out into a literal laugh out loud to myself in the grocery line causing people to give the “crazy lady laughing for no apparent reason” a double take. And I ought to share that with them.
I ought to tell them I’m proud of them. I ought to tell them they make me smile. I ought to tell them what I think they’re good at. I ought to tell them how I marvel at how their brain thinks. I ought to tell them!
Our intentional encouragement serves in building our children up. Our words convey our love, approval, and acceptance. Through our words, they are made strong, courageous and confident.
Jeremiah 24:6 says,
For I will set My eyes on them for good, and I will bring them back to this land; I will build them and not pull them down, and I will plant them and not pluck them up. Our words have the ability to pluck them up. Let us not undo our own efforts at planting by withholding words of affirmation.
Speak well of them to them.
On Purpose be an intentional encourager.
For more on intentionally encouraging your children and reaching their hearts, grab Tyra’s newly released book, Purposeful Parenting here, http://amzn.to/2sfzPIf.
Tyra Lane-Kingsland is no stranger to inspiring hearts. From tending the hearts of her husband and six children to her role as a Women’s Ministry Leader, speaker, and blogger, Tyra has provided encouragement to countless people.