Wonderful Words of Life

Sometimes it's not the words you say, but how you say them that can encourage or dishearten your children. Proverbs 12:18 says, "There is that speaketh like the piercings of a sword: but the tongue of the wise is health." We as parents must guard the words we choose to say as we homeschool our children. Phrases like "good job" or "I really like the way you did that" are great motivating tools to use with your children.

Unfortunately, we get lazy in our attitudes and think we can say whatever we want to our children and not affect them. My son brought this to my attention one day while I was speaking to a friend on the phone. I overheard him say to his sister, "I wish Mom would use her telephone voice when she is talking to us!" Ouch, that hurt! I realized my son noticed a difference in the choice of words I used and the kindness inflected in the tone of my voice when talking with someone other than him.

I learned a valuable lesson that day. If our families are the ones we love the most, we need to talk with the loving words that bless instead of discourage them. When our children do not understand a new concept being taught, correction needs to be done in a gentle and loving manner. Using words that make them feel inferior or slow is something we must avoid at all costs. Allow them the dignity to be wrong.

Don't ruin the atmosphere in your home with thoughtless remarks. Nothing will destroy your success in homeschooling quicker than phrases like "Are you still working on that?" or "I don't know why you do not understand this. Your brother learned this right away." Ask for God's grace each day to fill your speech with His words and show the love that will help your children be successful in their studies. Proverbs 16:24 says, "Pleasant words are as a honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones."

Lord, help me to choose my words today as if I was speaking to You. Show me how to encourage my children during our homeschooling day in all I say and do. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Comments(14 comments)

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CAROLYN M 07/16/2011 05:20:57

Carolyn M. Wow, that's powerful. I definitely struggle with this, and would like to ask everyone who sees this to pray for me. I will pray for all homeschooling families to have God's grace when dealing with their children. Thank you for this message.

PAT T 07/16/2011 06:28:42

Amen! I need to print this out and read it daily. Word are so powerful and we don't always realize that. Carolyn, I will pray for you and appreciate your prayers for me. Thank you for this important message.

DANIELLE S 07/16/2011 08:11:39

I did print this and hung it on my wall. Ironically I am teaching a bible study on communication and the power of words and do not have the right to be teaching it because I struggle so greatly with this toward my husband and children. I have asked the members in the bible study to pray for me on this and I ask that you please pray for me as well. Carolyn, I will be lifting you up in prayer. I let the frustrations of life and unsolved problems in my marriage and actions of my children come out in yelling or unwise words instead of pulling on strength from God and using wisdom. I long to be a women of grace and patience and recognize that no matter how much I realize my foolishness and try to fix it the only way it will change is through the grace that I so do not deserve from God and from the fervent prayer of others. Thank you all for your prayers and encouragement.

MARGARET H 07/16/2011 09:08:54

I like that! :) We do need to be cautious of the words we speak :)

MAYA T 07/16/2011 09:45:56

Ouch! I do try to be positive to my kids, but I have made comments when it comes doing timely work. I do repent of that!

KIM H 07/16/2011 12:48:38

I had a similar experience with my two boys when they were little. I was in the shower when a knock sounded, the door pushed open and a small voice said "Mommy?" I sighed a worn out "what" and the little voice went on to ask his question. As he spoke, I realized it was my younger son and was shocked to feel the Spirit's voice telling me I would have answered him with a different tone of voice had I known it was him instead of my oldest. I could go into a lot of details about all the reasons my older son was more generally on my nerves those days, but that's not the point. That moment was an awakening for me about how much tone reveals about our hearts. God is faithful! He helps us change!

TONI E 07/16/2011 23:28:22

This message really spoke to me! I try to say uplifting things to my children like "good job" and other things but all too often I say "you should know this already" and my tone is far from nice. One reason I homeschool is to build their self esteem and learn at their pace instead of the many pressures of public school. Thank you, God, for showing me my sinful ways so that I may work on being a better wife/mother/teacher. Thank you for this post!

DAWN N 07/16/2012 04:40:40

I think I usually do well in this area, but I am SOOO thankful for the reminder right now, while the restfulness of summer is still here. When the days are full of challenges in the upcoming year I hope to remember your little one\'s comment about the \"telephone voice\" he wished was for him! Thanks! These devotions are blessing a large group of home educating mommies in our area. Since I started sharing them here and there MANY have signed up to receive encouragement each day in their email boxes, too! God continue to bless you with insight as you faithfully relay what He is teaching you.

TABITHA J 07/16/2012 06:42:52

Many don\'t realize that it not only what a person said, it is also how someone said it does affect the other person\'s reaction.

YVONNE T 07/16/2012 06:47:04

My oldest (7) has called me on this same exact thing before. \"How come you don\'t talk to us like you talk to people on the phone. You sound so nice.\" OUCH! It is truly painful when you realize that you\'ve been taking for granted these precious gifts from God and have been conversing with them in a way that leaves them hungering for love/affection and noticing that what they desire to have from you, you have been most willing to give to other people instead of them. How wretched am I to withhold this from them. Of course, it is not intentional, but that is no excuse for it happening. Lord, please help me to treat those in my household with even more love, patience, and kindness than I do others. Help me to build them up instead of imposing my high expectations of them. Amen.

KATHY S 07/16/2012 08:40:18

Somewhere, somehow the word \"lazy\" got into my son\'s vocabulary. Now, there are times that he needs a little \"motivating\", and when I will repeat something for him to do, he\'ll say \"I know, I\'m just lazy\". Now, what I say in turn to him is \"No, you are just unmotivated right now\", we don\'t use the word lazy around here\". My son asked me the reason that we don\'t use the word \"lazy\". I told him of how many years ago I was watching Pastor John Hagee on T.V., and in one of his sermons he told of how the Jewish people always pray \"Blessings\" upon their children and praise them. And how sometimes we as parents criticize and demean our children and then wonder why their children they turn out the way they do. That sermon really touched my heart that day. I became very mindful not to use words like \"lazy\", or anything that would be offensive and hurt my son. I also decided thatI would\" lay hands\" on my child and pray blessings over him , I try to do that daily. I want to say that I heard the sermon when my son was about 6 years old. I hope I was not the one who introduced that word to him over 7 years ago, if I was, I ask for forgiveness Lord. If it was or wasn\'t me, I still ask that the word be removed from his vocabulary when he speaks of himself. I pray that I never be critical of him and hurt his fragile self esteem, In Jesus name. Amen.

Lori OMalley 07/18/2013 13:21:52

How thankful I am to have opened this email. I too will post these words of encouragement to help me throughout my day. Blessings ladies.

TAMMY HERNANDEZ 07/22/2013 13:13:26

How do you "fix-it" if you began the first couple of years of homeschooling like this...like a dictatorship and a barrage of things said that I would never say to someone I was training on a job????? I realized this a while back, but how to you get past the damage you have inflicted on the ones you love more than anything!

Patricia Punzel 07/16/2014 14:39:41

Tammy H, the way to "fix it" and get past any damage is to apologize to your children and ask their forgiveness for your mistakes-you will be amazed how your children respond when they see that you are willing to admit you make mistakes too, and that you need prayer and forgiveness, just like everyone else does. It's a humbling experience, but one that will become a treasured memory of a time when things began to change for the better. If you have decided you really want to do things differently, and tell your children that you are going to try your best, they will see your heart for them and they will most likely apologize for their part as well. Forgiveness truly is a most beautiful thing, both to give and to receive. I hope this note reaches you, even though it's a year later. I am praying for you right now!

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