A while back, I discussed what we read to our children, that it probably has more impact than we realize, by sharing what my mom read to me as a child. Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about what I speak into my daughter. Words have the power of life and death.
For instance, Little A was two at the time. And, to say that her twos were terrible would be the understatement of the century, (so take heart, mother of the two-year-old, you will live to see another day). We were visiting her great-grandparents one weekend shortly after she turned that magic number, I should add here that her great-grandparents are two very godly, wonderful people. We were trying to have breakfast with them one morning, and when I say “trying,” I should say that Little A was an off the chain, wild child that morning.
There would be no sitting.
There would be no eating.
And there would be no ceasing of the mouth to run.
And if my life had more comedic value, it would have been one of those times where I’d lean in and take her little face in between my hands and say, “Girrrl, you better check yo’self before you wreck yo’self.” Because it was just that bad.
And her great-grandfather, just paused for a moment, looked at her foaming at the mouth, half-in, half-out of her breakfast chair, and said, “She– is going to be an AMAZING woman someday.”
There you have it, the words of life, spoken in a moment of frenzy.
There isn’t a week that goes by that I don’t remind Little A of what her name means, “Defender of Humankind.” Think she’s got a lot on her shoulders? You bet she does.
We were in the bathroom one night getting ready for bed, and I felt a heaviness, I went into my regular spiel about what her name means, why it’s so important, etc. when I told her that it was going to be very important for her to listen to God to find out exactly what He wants her to do in order for her to truly realize His plan for her life and it got very quiet and very serious for a few seconds, and I knew she was listening…
I met a little girl named Fadzwa in VBS last week, and I remarked to her, “Wow. What a beautiful name. What does it mean?”
“We are pleased.”
We are pleased. Not overjoyed, not weeping with gratitude, not setting up the college fund with the hope of a future doctor. We are pleased that God gave us this gift, entrusted us with this life and found this humble vessel worthy to raise up a child.
We ARE pleased.
I told her mom later how beautiful her name was and she explained to me that it was Zimbabwean. She said, “That’s so interesting, we’ve never explained to her the meaning, she must just be listening when we tell it to other people.”
See what I mean?
James 3: 3-11
When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. 4 Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. 5 Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. 6 The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.
7 All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind, 8 but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.
9 With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. 10 Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. 11 Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? 12 My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.
What truth can you speak into your child’s life right now? Go ahead, step away from the computer screen and scoop ’em up and get eye to eye, because they’re ready.