Is it the truth?
One of the most important things we can teach our children is how to process the words handed to them.
Daily one of our children will come to us telling us something another child said to them or about them. “He said I’m a meanie.”
“She said I can’t dance.”
“They said I’m stupid.”
If the person who said such things is a sibling, there obviously needs to be a conversation on that end. Regardless, we begin dealing with the issue with the offended party and we begin it this way:
“Is it true?”
If the answer is no, we teach our children to say, “I do not receive that.”
Because we only want to partner with truth, not deception. We don’t want to allow lies to hang out in our heads, to embed themselves in our spirits.
We say it out loud because life and death are in the tongue (Proverbs 18:21) and we want to eat the good fruit of God’s truth.
Words are seed. That seed can be planted deeply in the garden of our hearts. Or it can be rejected. That choice is ours and ours alone.
And if the negative words spoken were about the child’s identity – about who they ARE and not just what they DID- they are not truth.
“Did you hit your sister? That was a mean thing to do, but YOU are not a meanie. You are a kind person who made an unkind choice in a moment of anger.”
My children may struggle with their math homework, but THEY are not stupid.
Was my child picking their nose? Yeah, that’s nasty. But MY CHILD is not nasty.
We will not take on negative identities because of temporary decisions.
It is important for children to learn that not everything they hear is the truth. They are then faced with the same question Pilate asked so many years ago: “What is truth?”
Truth is found in God’s Word. He alone made us, so He gets to define us. He has the right to tell us who we are.
As parents, we can be the agents of God’s Kingdom on the earth and we can speak God’s truth over our children. And we should! However, we must also EQUIP them to SPEAK this truth over THEMSELVES. We won’t always be there when the mean girl at school makes a snide remark or when someone mutters something under their breath in the lunch room. At those moments, our children need a history of knowing how to REJECT BAD SEED.
As important as it is to reject negative words, it’s just as important to learn how to receive the positive ones. In the guise of humility, the church has become professionals at rejecting GOOD SEED – life-giving words! That type of humility is FALSE to its core. We were created in His image and we were created to reflect His glory. We need to teach our children to say “Thank you” when someone compliments them, and then to give glory to God in their hearts.
Let’s equip our children to receive truth and reject lies!
“A gentle tongue is the tree of life.” Proverbs 15:4
“Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.” Proverbs 16:24