When We Encourage Our Child

img_0042My children never said, “Mom, I need you to encourage me.” In fact, there were times when I did encourage a child, and he would say, “You’re just saying that because you’re my mom.” Well, I was saying it because I’m his mom. And I meant every word.

“I have sent him to you for this very purpose . . .  that he may encourage your hearts.” (Colossians 4.8) The apostle Paul sent messengers to believers in various towns to encourage them to press on in their walk with Jesus.

Encouragement during a challenging circumstance—or an ordinary day—builds a hope-filled perspective. Encouragement sticks. We remember encouragement, even when we struggle to receive it when it’s given.

When someone speaks or even writes encouragement to me, it’s as though fresh air rushes into my lungs. Some days I yearn for encouragement. Other days it’s not until I receive it that I realize how deeply I needed it. This is true for our children—Some days they yearn for encouragement, concerning the many things we are teaching them. When   such words meet their ears, God’s love touches a place in their needy heart. What a sweet privilege God gives us.

img_0043God intends for us to be a significant vessel of encouragement to our child—to speak words of life and hope. When we encourage a child, we help her. We give her courage and inspiration to consider, to try, to persevere.

God, show me / teach me how to encourage my child. God knows our strengths and weaknesses. When we humbly depend on him, he meets our weakness with his strength. His love is our source of encouragement. When we seek his love and lived loved by him, authentic words of encouragement will flow from our heart.

Your picture is so cool! .
I love the way you came inside the first time I called you!
You studied so hard. I’m proud of your effort.
I’m so glad you decided not to go, just because everyone was going.
I admire you for . . .

dsc01369The hardest time to encourage our child is when tension exists between us. Too often in times like these, our words reflect our heart’s struggle—hurt, fear, disappointment, discouragement, or anger. It’s especially in these seasons that words of encouragement are so important. A child knows when he disappoints us. He needs to know he is loved, just as we know that no matter what God loves us.

Dear God,
Thank you for the privilege to be your vessel of encouragement to my child. Help me speak words of life, hope, courage, and inspiration every day. Amen.

Because We Can’t Hit Rewind

DSC01912Our words.
Once they’ve left our mouth, they’re out there.
We can’t pull them back in. There’s no rewind button.

So what can we do?
We can take care of our heart. The place from which our words come.

Every instance of pain we experience, God sees.
Disrespect. Defeat. Discouragement. Rejection. Harsh words.

He sees the wearing down.
Fatigue. Sickness. Lack of sleep. Talk back. Fighting.

He sees the effect to our heart.

DSC01914Long before words emerge, He knows what’s building within.

He can help. More than help. He can heal. Comfort. Pour grace.
Restore. Strengthen. Transform.

O LORD, you have searched me and known me!
You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
     you discern my thoughts from afar.
You search out my path and my lying down
     and are acquainted with all my ways.
Even before a word is on my tongue,
     behold, O LORD, you know it altogether.” (Psalm 139.1-4)

All-knowing God,
Help me bring my experiences and thoughts to You.
To be cleansed, humbled and healed.
I want my words to go through the sieve of Your grace, power and love.
BEFORE THEY LEAVE MY MOUTH.
Amen.