“Because she is a crybaby. That’s why she is crying.”
Where did these words come from you ask? They were uttered from my youngest. The answer from the lips of my son after his sister had asked why tears had filled her mom’s eyes.
And, of course, after these words, I began to cry even more. Thinking…Where did he get that word from? Where did I go wrong? How did this word come from this one? The one who sees his mom love without limits and at all costs? Who forgives and forgets each time his anger turns to aggression? This is what he has learned?
We don’t call people “crybabies” in our house. We don’t use the “r” word. “Stupid” and “dumb” are banned. A curse word may fly every now and then, but hurtful words for the most part are not a part of our general conversation. We have taught our kids to use kind, gentle words when they speak to each other. To others. To use words to build up. Not to tear down.
But, I can’t always shield them from what they may hear in this world. I’ve seen the word “crybaby” used to describe anyone who dares to stand up to injustice. I’ve even been called one before this day when I’ve been caught crying after being hurt by people I care about.
So…would our children, my child learn something different, or learn to speak loving and kind words if we took time to use our words to build up while they watch?
Keep your tongue from speaking evil and your lips from telling lies. Psalm 34:13
I had been spending a lot of time over a number of days thinking about words. My children had spent a number of days passing harsh words back and forth amongst each other. I had contemplated the ways in which words had been used to hurt, deceive, and divide people over the course of a year. I had been hopeful that over that year mine had shown and spoken something different.
I had not anticipated to walk into Bible Study at all on Wednesday night. I am usually the one serving in some capacity. This night was supposed to be no different. But, as God often does, He had other plans. So, I walked into the room and heard this:
“People can hurt. They can frustrate. But, they are also our greatest treasure, and you and your words are very important to some other person.”
The Sovereign Lord has given me his words of wisdom, so that I know how to comfort the weary. Isaiah 50:4
The world. Satan and his crafty adversaries. They had convinced me that my words were failing. That I had nothing of worth to say. That any wisdom God had given me to comfort had been useless.
He had put me in that room right where I needed to be on this night to prove otherwise.
Here’s the thing:
Words have infinite power. They can heal a wounded soul. Or inflict tremendous pain. The words spoken to self or to others have the power to breathe life into a heart, or break one. Words of love and forgiveness can build or repair something beautiful. While words of hate and contempt can destroy it. Once spoken, whether sweet or bitter…they cannot be taken back.
Choose words that build beauty.
Choose words that give life.
Choose words of love.
Choose the words of Christ.
Be compassionate and careful. Especially with those you care so much about. Choose words that if repeated back the only thing you would hear are sweet, loving words softly spoken back to you.