Building our kids up.
Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. (Ephesians 4:29)
Isn't this what we want to do as parents? Build our kids up. If you ask any parent (well most, don't count the crazy ones on the news at night that should not be parents) if they want to tear down their kids or build them up, all will say a resounding BUILD THEM UP. That's what we truly want.
We can come up with hundreds of ways to build them up or tear them down, and I've been trying so hard lately to build them up with my words. Lots of “I'm proud of you” and “I know that you want to change your attitude, let me help you” and “You can do it, I know you can” and “mommy and daddy love you know matter what you do, whether it's right or wrong”.
Our words come with such power over our kids.
Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits. (Proverbs 18:21)
There have been a few times in my parenting days that I have said something and the look on my kids faces have said it all. I have hurt them. They felt the weight of my words and in that one instant instead of building them up, I tore their little heart up. I apologized and asked for their forgiveness because I want them to know that I desire their hearts and their forgiveness in my life.
Spreading Gracious words over my kids.
Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body. (Proverbs 16:24)
This month I have tried to spread gracious words over my kids. One time that this is easiest is at night time during tuck in. Although this time of night can be crazy with getting four kids in bed, this is also a time where they are stuck in one spot and they actually enjoy talking to me for an extended amount of time. Each boy wants me to get in bed with them and talk. They want to ask questions and hear my answers. They want to tell me stories. They are all ears and this is my time to pour into them.
Some nights I'm so done and so ready for them to be asleep that I miss these moments. I rush through them. I skip them. I hear the moment beckoning me and I turn away because my own comfort of the couch is calling me. I'm trying hard to not miss those moments. To die to my self in these moments and view the calling of parenthood as more important than my own comfort and desires.
I'm trying hard to whisper gracious words into their ears at night as I tuck them in. These are freebie's in parenting. I don't have to work for this. They are begging for it. How could I say no to this time?
Do you have a tuck in routine at night?
I remember one of my favorite parents, Shawnah, telling me that this was one of the most valuable times of the day. To never rush it. To dwell in it. To take an hour if you have to, because as the years pass these moments are when your kids want to talk. When they are little they tell you silly stories from school, but when they are teenagers they tell you their fears, their dreams, their screw-ups, their accomplishments, they truly TALK.
To think that these kids will one day tell me their deepest darkest secrets as I tuck them in, makes me want to press into this routine and cherish every single minute that these kids are asking me to lay in bed with them and just talk. I'm giving them so much value by the time that I give them that's just me and them chatting.
*Picture from our last bowling adventure. Our kids love bowling, and so does August now!*