Proverbs 18:21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat it’s fruit. ESV
A few months ago, I had an awakening. I saw a little girl bounce out of the car, so happy to see her mom after a night away with the other parent. The first words that the mother said was, “Is that how they dressed you for school today?” The little girl lost all of her happy in that moment and embarrassment and insecurity replaced it. Now, I know that this mother did not mean to hurt the child, because that is not her nature. I am sure that those words were a dig towards the other parent. The child just took the blow. Not a physical blow, of course. You can recover from those. But instead she took the blow from a word weapon.
As I prepared for this writing, I cannot tell you the number of times my words have replayed in my head. In the past, and honestly, these days, I have used my words as a weapon, especially when I felt attacked, scared, or insecure. In 1997, I found myself abandoned after 17 years of marriage. I’m telling you; we made every mistake you can make through our divorce proceedings. Our children became the rope in an emotional battle of tug-of-war. I am ashamed of how I handled myself during those years. To be honest, it took me years and years and YEARS to understand why I was so bitter. I was so scared that because my husband stopped loving me, that my children would stop loving me as well. I certainly did not want this to happen, and I would say derogatory words to my children about their father with hopes that they wouldn’t choose him over me. How I wish that I hadn’t done any of that. How I wish I could take back those words. How I wish I had fostered a healthy environment for them to grow up in.
But, see, that is the thing about words. Once they are spoken, you cannot get them back. You can ask for forgiveness, and you can make peace with the person you have hurt, but they never really go away. Years later, the enemy will use words that may have been spoken to plant the seed of unworthiness in my heart.
I cannot let Satan control me by bringing up memories of mistakes I have made in the past. I cannot let the enemy make me feel unworthy when I have been forgiven. I can, however, learn from my mistakes and not make them in the future. I can foster a loving environment in which my grandchildren to thrive.
There will be days in our futures when we, as wives, mothers, and/or grandmothers will want to lash out and hurl word weapons, especially when we find ourselves overwhelmed, scared, or insecure. It is so important to remember the scripture at the top of this blog. “Death….and life…are in the power of the tongue.” Speak LIFE. And when you don’t have kind words, don’t speak them at all. You won’t implode if you keep those words to yourself. I know. If you would, I’d be spattered across the universe!!
Thank you, God, for continuing to teach me to use my words as fruit to speak LIFE into my family.