Sticks and Stones…

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Remember that old nursery rhyme:

Sticks and stones may break my bones,
But words will never hurt me.

Or maybe you recall reciting this one on the playground:

I’m rubber, you’re glue,
Whatever you say bounces off me and sticks to you!


As you may remember last week I shared a scary event that took place (read about it here Super Mom, I am not…), and in there I mentioned I realized that a lot of the problem was stemming from my own handling of situations….especially my words.

I have been so convicted about how I speak to my kids lately. I tend to answer in a frustrated or condescending tone, and, not surprisingly, I hear them speaking to each other in the same manner.

Just today I stopped one of my kids because of their tone of voice. He said, “I wasn’t trying to be mean.” He probably wasn’t, but it sounded so condescending. I realized this is such a habit of mine and it’s become such a habit of theirs that we don’t even know how harsh we sound anymore.

Sometimes, after I’ve spouted off something negative or harsh to my kids it hits me how mean I really sounded. I think, would I want someone to speak to me that way? How would I feel? What if my husband responded to my question of “Can you help me?” with a sigh and a frustrated, “I suppose.” I would be crushed and angry. I would be sure he didn’t want to help me at all.

Yet it pours out of my mouth on a daily basis. Frustrated answers, exasperated sighs, and condescending, “can’t you do it?” or “are you helpless?”. I’m not proud of it, let me tell you. I’m just being real. This is what actually comes out of my mouth.

I’ve been pondering why a lot over the last couple weeks. I don’t really have a good answer for that other than my own selfishness and sinful heart.

This last Sunday in church we sang a song that so touched this nerve in me. So often, music has a way of piercing my heart and showing me what I need.

Here’s the song:

“I’m a child of God, yes I am.
In my Father’s house there’s a place for me.
I am chosen, not forsaken. I am who you say I am.
You are for me, not against me. I am who you say I am.”

Who does God say my children are? Am I speaking those words to my children? Or am I speaking negativity and frustration and disappointment to them?

Oh, Jesus, forgive me.

How often have I called my child lazy, rude, naughty, mean? Are they those things? Sometimes.

But they are so much more and they need to know it. This world will knock my children down plenty. I don’t need to be a part of that.

So who does God say my children are?

John 1:12 A child of God

James 1:5 My child has access to God’s wisdom

Romans 5:11 My child is reconciled to God. 

Romans 5:19 My child has Christ’s righteousness.

Colossians 1:14 My child is completely forgiven.

Jeremiah 31:3. My child is tenderly loved by God.

Colossians 1:22 My child is blameless and beyond reproach.

Matthew 5:14 My child is the light to the world.

Ephesians 1:1 My child is a saint.

Colossians 3:12 My child is chosen by God, holy and dearly loved. 

Colossians 2:7 My child is firmly rooted and built up in Christ. 

1 Corinthians 2:16 My child has the mind of Christ. 

Colossians 1:13 My child has been rescued from Satan’s domain and transferred into the kingdom of Christ.

2 Timothy 1:7 My child has been given a spirit of power, love, and self-discipline. 

2 Peter 1:4 My child has been given great and precious promises. 

John 1:12, 1 Timothy 6:15 My child is a prince/princess in God’s kingdom. 

1 Corinthians 6:19,20 My child has been bought with a price and belongs to God.

Philippians 3:20 My child is a citizen of heaven.

Philippians 4:13 My child can do anything through Christ who gives strength.

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Photo courtesy of Angela Decoux


And for me, maybe the most important one that I need to remember while raising teens: Philippians 1:6, which reminds me that the good work Christ started in my child will be perfected.

I think I need to print this list off and hang it in my house and remind myself and my children who we are in Christ! What wonderful promises and positive images He gives!

Who’s with me in speaking life to our children this week and seeing how it changes all our attitudes?


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