As moms, do we realize the power that our words hold? Do we guard our tongues and what comes out of them, recognizing the power of them? Are we contributing to this mommy whining culture that acts so hard done by having to parent their children? Are we singling out the worst traits of our kids and speaking that to them daily?
Moms, we can do better. We must do better. The Bible is clear over and over again about the power of the tongue, but I think especially in the book of James. (which is coincidentally just finished studying). James 1: 26, “Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless”. James 3:10 – 11 “out of the same mouth comes praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be. Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring?” These are just 2 examples from James warning us about the power of our tongue.
Years ago, I was struggling a great deal with one of my girls and the Lord really convicted me on the part my words were playing in her behaviour. I was constantly saying to other people right in front of her how bad she was, how she didn’t listen, how hard it was to be her mom, etc. The Lord convicted me on the power of my words as her mother and that she was just being who I continuously told her she was. I was not speaking life into her and I was not allowing my words to be an encouragment to her (Ephesians 4:29). I made a conscious effort after that to not speak negatively about her (especially around her) and to tell her repeatedly that she is good. Even when she was in a fit of anger I would pull her onto my lap and tell her over and over again in her ear that I loved her and she was a good girl. She didn’t believe me. She’d heard me say she was bad for too long. It took some time for me to convince her that she was not a bad girl, she just made bad choices. From this time on, I have tried to be very purposeful and intentional in how I talk with the girls when they misbehave. I have tried to be clear that they are sinners who make bad choices but they are also loved by God and by me very much and those bad choices aren’t who they are. I have also tried to be more mindful to call out their good qualities and “catch them being good” so to speak. Do I always get it right? No, I don’t. I am human and prone to mistakes too. But that’s what an apology is for!
But what about how we portray motherhood to the world? I know that this “hot mess mom” mentality is very popular in today’s society and moms can be seen all over social media complaining about having to spend time with their kids. Now I am all for not being fake but moms, are we really portraying Godly motherhood how we should? Are we portraying motherhood in a way that makes younger woman, singles, and married women without kids want to have kids? Are we portraying the joy and honour that comes with being a mother? Days are hard, sure; and there is a time and a place for us to talk about those things, but let’s not give the whole world the impression that being a mother is the greatest suffering around. Remember that Ephesians 4:29 says that the things coming out of our mouths should only be used for building others up. Some versions use the word encourage. Speaking so negatively of motherhood is not building up or encouraging anyone. Let’s make sure we are letting our mouths reflect the high calling from the Lord that motherhood is.
Can I challenge you all this week to rise above what you may hear around you and speak positive words about motherhood and about your own children. Of course we all have hard. tired, frustrating days but that doesn’t have to characterize our speech. Look for something good to praise your child about and call them up into. Speak encouragement to your children and build them up. See how this changes your day around!