Words That Teach
My wife and I just recently had the opportunity for a date night, a chance to get away from being a parent and connect with each other. My wife wanted to see the movie “The Help”, and so we forked out the $40 it now cost for 2 people to see a movie. I was left speechless at the end of the movie. My emotions were all over the map, and had a ton of things to think about. The ride home was a very quiet ride for us.
One of the things in the movie that caught my attention was a specific interaction that Abilene the maid had several times with the little girl that she watched. The little girl was the child of her employers. She was overweight, and did not fit in to the picture perfect idea that her parents had of a child, and they treated her as such. Abilene realized this, and knew that if something didn’t change this little girl would not have any chance at all, and would believe that she didn’t matter. Each day she went out of her way to love this little girl and be the mom to her that her own mother chose not to be. Every day she would tell the little girl in her southern accent “you is pretty, you is smart, you is important”, and she would have the little girl say it with her. She realized the power of her words, and the ability to speak truth into this little girls life. She realized that her words had the power to radically change this little girls life.
As I thought about my own life, and my newborn daughter at home I asked myself, what are my words teaching my little girl? I sat down and asked myself what do I want my daughter to believe about herself, and I came up with three words “beautiful” “loved” “purpose”. Not only do I want her to understand that she is beautiful, love, and has a purpose, I want her to understand that she is loved unconditionally. So each night during our bed time routine, I will tell her that she is beautiful, she is loved, and God has a purpose for her life. Then I ask her a question “Elin do you know how much your daddy loves you?” Then I say “To the moon and back”. Every time she laughs and smiles with a huge grin. Then I ask her “Elin do you know why your daddy loves you?” Then I say “Just because you’re his little girl”. It sounds silly but I want her to believe those things about herself, and I want her to realize that she is loved unconditionally by both her daddy and her heavenly daddy.
So what are your words teaching your kids? I want to challenge you to sit down this week and ask yourself what you want your kids to believe about themselves, and to make sure that your words are teaching them that truth.