During April vacation, we were able to spend more time together as an extended family. We cooked, we baked, we barbequed, and shared meals together.
All of these activities also included much conversation.
During the course of various conversations, it quickly became evident the words we use can influence and define the way children view themselves long afterwards.
Alone one morning, my thoughts turned to a set of expectant parents, and opening my Bible, I read of their experience.
Zechariah was the husband of Elizabeth, who was the mother of John the Baptist. Zechariah was a priest who served in the Temple. While in the Temple, an angel visited and announced he and his wife would soon have a son. Both were quite old in age, probably past the age of childbearing. Zechariah questioned the angel, and was struck dumb for the length of the entire pregnancy.
Upon the birth of the baby, they named him John, just as the angel had instructed. It was then Zechariah’s speech returned, and upon speaking for the first time, he prophesied not only about the coming Savior, but also about his son: who would tell about the coming Savior.
“And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; For you will go on before the Lord to prepare His ways; To give to His people the knowledge of salvation by the forgiveness of their sins.” (Luke 1: 76-77, NASB)
Being an infant, John could not comprehend all which was being said over him. But Elizabeth and Zechariah himself heard, and understood, every word spoken. They raised their son with the constant awareness of his identity and the manner in which God was going to use him.
My children are grown now and I truly pray that I have spoken words of affirmation and encouragement to them while they were living at home. As parents (and grandparents), may our words be life-giving, helping the children in our families to know God and His ways. May our words cause them to grow in the awareness that He has a plan which He has crafted just for them.
“Pleasant words are a honeycomb, Sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.” (Proverbs 16:24, NASB)
But here is the thing … we, their parents and grandparents, need to hear our words as well. Join me at Woman to Woman Ministries HERE as we explore the reminders we receive from the words we speak to the children in our lives.