Thursday, October 14, 2010

Book Club Thursday: Mama Made the Difference- Lesson Four

Before going any further, I want to wish my wonderful brother-in-law, Jim, an absolutely wonderful birthday! You are such a blessing and treasure to our whole family. Love you.
Mamas Teach Us the Power of Words

The first sound that most babies recognize is the sound of their mother's voice. They hear the sound while in utero, they hear the sound during labor, and they are finally able to match the voice to a face shortly after birth. A mother's voice and the words she uses are very powerful. The words we use with our children can either build them up or tear them down. Those words can tell a child how special he/she is or that he/she is a burden.

I am very conscientious of the words that are used concerning Addie. I am a firm believer that the power of life and death are in the tongue. I cannot even begin to tell you how irritated I get when people who are close to us are careless with their words. They do not understand the power of words and how those words can influence the way a child sees themselves.

Recently, Addie had a rough time in church with obedience (causing us to make the decision to go ahead and put her in the nursery again). Someone close to us later asked Addie if she had been a bad girl. In stepped a very protective mommy. I explained that although her behavior had not been good, Addie is not a bad girl, and I didn't want her being told that she was. The next day as Addie and I were talking and playing, I said, "Addie, you are such a good girl," to which she responded, "No, I not!" I cannot even begin to tell you how angry I was, not at Addie but at the words that had been spoken in her direction the day before. How dare other people use their careless words to influence my daughter!

It is important to know that the words you speak as a mother have power. I have seen those words build up a child like a soaring cathedral or tear him down to a pile of human rubble. We need to remember that as mothers our words can build up our children's spirits or tear them to pieces. We can instill confidence into them or strip their confidence to shreds. We also need to remember that our tone (the way we say something) is just as important as the words we say. Our tone can make a child feel stupid or brilliant.

When your children finish a conversation with you, do they look like fine pottery in the process of being molded by your words with love and care or do they look like stone, having had parts of their hearts chipped away by negative sharp or angry words? Wow! My mother and I shared a lot of words. Those words built my confidence, told me that I was a capable young woman, reminded me of how valuable I was to her, and how special I was to God. Now that my mother is no longer here, God has used my aunts to step in and continue to build me up with their words. After spending time with them, either on the phone or in person over a cup of coffee, I feel inspired as a woman, wife, and mother.

Be very careful what you say. Remember that death and life, blessing an cursing are in the power of the tongue. With the words of your mouth, you can impart greatness or smallness in someone else's life. You can fan the flame of a dream or you can snuff it out. Use your words for good!

Homework for the Heart: What are some of your mother's favorite phrases? When would she say them? Why do they linger in your memory now? What did you learn about the power of language from your mother? How has she influenced the way you speak and write? (For tomorrow's post, I am going to answer these questions for myself.)

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