I’m teaching the importance of words. I hope my kids learn this. But first I have to learn it myself and these lessons are hard learned.
The things we speak to each other frame the content of our lives. The things we speak to ourselves determine what we believe.
So I teach my children God is good. His Word is good.
I teach them to usher in praise when the world seems to crumble and groan and stretch in anguish. I teach them that every broken thing cries out for redemption and there is but one Redeemer. I let them see me cry when injustice rolls across my news feed and my life and the world, and I don’t press the tears away when my lips mumble, Lord, have mercy.
I teach them to lean in close to God, tucked right up in His presence.
When she traces her finger along the page while reading The Hiding Place and her history texts begin to talk of nations splitting, a world at war, and a leader infecting with hate and murder, I tell her wait until the end of the book. She will the see the story of a God who would be with Corrie Ten Boom as her family hid Jewish people and paid the price with their lives. She will see what it means to live and die with integrity, with faith, with mercy. She will see what it means to live claimed by God.
I teach them nothing can rob us of our faith, we can only give up on it.
I teach her that when we cannot bear the brokenness we start with lament. We start with grief and repentance and turning our hearts over to God. Without that, we have nothing to offer the broken and hopeless and grieved because mercy starts there. I teach her that God is close to the oppressed.
Mercy mends the broken the way justice binds truth to action.
Justice is God’s righteousness made right in the restoring of what is good in the same way grace is His love language.
I turn on praise songs even when my eyes are weary and tear-stained. I tell them this is not hypocrisy; this is obedience and there is a difference. Hypocrisy is born out of make-believe, lies, and pretense, but there is nothing flimsy about this kind of faith. This is the faith that says: Lord, I believe, help my unbelief. It’s profession, petition, and praise.
I teach them in their weakness to always ask for help. It’s wise to know we need it.
So I raise my hands even when my arms are tired and the void seems so much greater than the abundance. I let them see joy and sorrow are not opposed. I turn on the music and sway my hips, grasp their hands in mine as we sing and dance and make art with colors splashed across canvas. I let them see beauty in the brokenness. I try to see it, too.
I let them know our God hears and answers and is close to the afflicted and the brokenhearted. I teach them about a God who knows suffering and dancing and every pristine color streaming through our window in the morning light.
When I get it all wrong, and my words come out fiery and weighted full of flesh, I say sorry first. I let them see me ask forgiveness readily and often. A repentant heart is what I can offer as an example of what it looks like to live claimed by God.
My tongue stumbles some mornings when I’m ushering in praise. I pour the coffee and pray when all else fails, give me Jesus.
I teach them my need , my want, my gospel on repeat.
I teach them Jesus is enough with every whispered prayer.
When the world seems unsteady and so very loud, when the future seems bleak, I teach them the peace of a humble heart. I teach them to pray. I teach them to speak out against injustice and know the cost of doing what’s right. I teach them our security is in God alone and none can come against Him.
I teach the importance of words when we say we’re claimed by God. I’m hoping they’ll know words matter.
Truth matters. God is so good. We spoke it every day.
Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God. ~Corrie Ten BoomLeave a Comment
Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God. ~Corrie Ten Boom
Such a powerful writing. So much truth in what you have penned here. Our words hold so much power for others and for ourselves. God has been bringing this very topic to my attention several times this week. Love how He uses others to speak His truth. Blessings.
Bev @ Walking Well With God says
I love Corrie ten Boom! Another one of my favorite quotes of hers is, “You can never learn that Christ is all you need, until Christ is all you have.” Wise woman. Having a rough day so thank you for your reminder that words matter and the Word that matters most is the God’s Word to me and His promises in scripture!
Prayers that your day get’s better.
Have a good day…..
Bev @ Walking Well With God says
Thanks, Penny, for the prayers!! You are a sweetheart!!
Hope you have a nice weekend…your kindness IS appreciated!
Lovely reminders here, Alia. Thank you.
Thank you for your words of encouragement and hope. I’m going thru a particular dark, very dark, season. I need to take this and apply them to my life right now. Thank you, please whisper a Word to the Lord on my behalf because sometimes between the tears and hopelessness the Words fail to come.
Thank you for this. Loved this! I love how God drops this in my mailbox when my heart is heavy from my harsh words to my child who is currently getting up every night and screaming at us in fear and uncertainty and refusing to go back to sleep. When words that don’t normally grace my lips tumble out in frustration and utter tiredness. My first words of the morning are asking my child for forgiveness. His reply ‘It’s ok mummy, it’s forgotten’.
Thank you that you point us to the fact that ultimately God’s word can help show us and our children that He loves to help us to learn, forgive and live for Him daily.
Rebecca L Jones says
Try Psalm 91 or the numbers prayer, and I bind in Jesus name the night terrors or any attack in the spiritual realm. Angels watch me through the night,wake me with the morning light.
Michele Morin says
There’s nothing more powerful than a parent’s example in giving a humble and heartfelt apology. And we teach them what’s worth grieving over when they see our tears.
Thank you for your words and Corrie Ten Boom
And the other day I cried out to God not realizing I was “lamenting” the situation…since my mini tirade against the situation , Father God has put the word lament in front of me in ALL I read…it’s what will turn the brokenness back to Him and in doing that we believe He will have mercy and cover the situation with His care and love…please pray for custody battles both of my sons are facing….they are dedicated fathers, they need to see Gods mighty hand move in their situations. Thank you for this post that spoke so well of my Lords intent and for the chance to ask for prayer.
Jen @ GoingByFaith says
Thanks for this reminder that there’s beauty in brokenness, and it’s OK for the kids to see that. Sometimes after a challenging day I feel guilty that my kids saw me fall apart, yell or get stressed. But it’s good to remember to apologize quickly and realize this too is part of life. Every day is a new day, and we’re renewed in Christ’s love. Looking forward to a new day today 🙂
I really enjoyed reading this today Alia! Thank you so much for these lovely truths. Blessings always ❤️
I so needed this! The past few days have left me wondering why God seems quiet to me. He’s really not, He’s teaching me to rely on Him and to have faith.
Renee Fortenberry says
Beautiful! I’m still learning these lessons after a lifetime of walking with Jesus. Thank you for reminding me of these truths!
You speak such raw truth, thank you for the broken parts. I know them well and your words remind me there is help with God and in God’s tender mercies. Thank you for this post! It is a keeper and I will read it more than once.
How true, words do matter. Teaching virtue was the topic at a parent group the other day. While the list was quite lengthy these words struck me the most: Caring, Compassion, Considerate,Courage,Creativity,Forgiveness,Generous, Gentle, Helpful, Joyful, Kind, Love, Loyal, Mercy, Patience, Peacefulness, Prayerful, Purposefulness, Reliable, Respect,Service,Tact, Thankfulness, Tolerance, Trust, Truthfulness, and Unity. Thank-you for sharing your post
blessings for a good day,
This is beautiful. Thank you for your words.
Nancy Ruegg says
So many wonderful faith statements in one place, Alia. Think I’ll copy them in my journal for those days when anguish, brokenness, and affliction threaten to overwhelm–statements like: “Mercy mends the broken the way justice binds truth to action,” and “Sorrow and Joy are not opposed; see the beauty amid the brokenness.” Thank you, Alia!
Rebecca L Jones says
It is not hypocrisy is true, it is also not a lie, for we must call into our lives what is not there just as God says. That’s why keeping His Word in our prayers is important. His love language is grace. To whisper His name is prayer enough and the Holy Spirit helps us prayer when we cannot. He doesn’t give up on us, we give up on Him, even death, He overcame. He is the healer but sometimes people just can’t believe in miracles, and get mercy.
Diane Bailey says
Alia, you are such a passionate writer. Your words speak straight to my heart. The quote from Corrie was the perfect ending.
I’m reminded of an old hymn. My hope is built on nothing less that Jesus Christ and righteousness.
Connie Pilote says
The Spirit of the Living God is upon you! His words are alive & living in you & as you pen them, they will go out with power & not return void but will have the effect for which God intended them. Alleluia, I join in praise & thanksgiving, dancing & rejoicing with you!
Linda Stoll says
May our words be backed up by our actions. May love be woven in each phrase.
Sabbath rest to you and yours, Alia.
Beth Williams says
Words and the tone of them matter. It is important that we teach and model this to the younger generation. They desperately need mentors to show and teach them the truth. God is good ALL the Time. He is there even in our brokenness. Don’t listen to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Listen to praise music and saturate your mind with Godliness. “Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.” ~Corrie Ten Boom–He already has plans for you.
Mokihana White says
What perfect timing for this post. Your courageous words remind me that just because harsh words are being tossed around like ashes from a fire, hovering in the air, trying to cover everything around them, I don’t have to be part of it. I can speak goodness and kindness. Sometimes my words are a friendly wave to a driver who lets me into traffic, or a smile to someone whose eye I catch across a room.
Thanks, Alia. I so appreciate your words.