The tongue has the power of life and death. Proverbs 18:21
Josh, a typical teenager in most respects, differed from his friends in at least one quite noticeable way—he had a large birthmark that covered much of his face. His unusual appearance, however, didn’t seem to affect him. Josh related well with his peers and didn’t act at all self-conscious.
A family friend eventually put his curiosity about this into words. “Josh, you must be aware of the large birthmark on your face,” he said. “Can you tell me why it doesn’t seem to bother you in the slightest?”
Josh smiled and said, “When I was very young, my father started telling me that my birthmark was there for two reasons: one, it was where the angel kissed me; two, the angel had done that so my father could always find me easily in a crowd. My dad told me this so many times that as I grew up, I began to feel sorry for the other kids who weren’t kissed by the angel.”
Words are an extremely potent tool, and those spoken by the people we love carry the most weight of all. Let’s heed the instruction of Scripture—“encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today” (Hebrews 3:13)—and use the power of words to bless our children at every opportunity.
Do you consistently encourage your children through your words and actions?
How could you be even more effective?
How can you model encouragement to each other so your kids will see it in action?
Father, show us how to use the power of words to bring encouragement, comfort, and confidence into our children’s lives. Restrain us from words that hurt and guide our tongues to bring words of light and lasting hope into our home. Amen.
Illustration adapted from What Kids Need Most in a Dad by Tim Hansel (Old Tappan, N.J.: Fleming H. Revell Company, 1984).