Words can build up or tear down. Our words can breathe life, or they can breathe death into another’s heart. Is that shocking? Maybe it’s easier for us to talk about the death of a dream, or the death of self-confidence. Solomon says, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue.” Proverbs 18:21 I want to choose life. I want my words to reflect my heavenly father’s inescapable love. The kind of love that can pick a person up who is in the depths of despair and draw them to the light. This kind of companionship overlooks a fault to focus on the overall well-being of the person: physical, spiritual, emotional, much like we see modeled in the sacred texts we hold dear.
“Death and life are in the power of the tongue.”
— Solomon, Proverbs 18:21
It is not natural, and thus it is not easy. Especially when we are disciplining our children. Well, I don’t know if “especially” is really necessary… any relationship can really benefit from patience right? And peace in our hearts would be beneficial for every encounter. “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” Galatians 5:22-23 It amounts to this: confronted with the challenges of real life we need supernatural help. That’s why we call this list the fruit of the Spirit. This lovely list is super-charged when you have the Holy Spirit to activate it in your heart.
“The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.”
— Apostle Paul, Galatians 5:22-23
So how do you discipline your kids? Does this mean you don’t get angry? On the contrary it takes a lot more time and energy to discipline your kids if you want the teachable moment to be a positive learning experience. And yes, you can get angry, but in your anger do not sin. I get down on her level, look her in the eyes, find out what was motivating her heart. And during our heart-to-heart I might say, “Mommy was furious.” We all have tell-tale breaking points that inform those close to us, “Uh, oh. I pushed too hard, time to be repentant.” If others have a temper and fly off the handle, mine can be when I kneel down and whisper about how furious I am. I also believe these can be redefined in your life or mine as life molds us for good and for bad.
So the challenge of the week is to speak life in those around us in a way that builds both of us up.
Here’s the perfect example of another blogger who transformed her son’s need for disciple into a teachable moment using these principles. Thanks jeannie cunnion at TheBetterMom for this uplifting article.