We often don’t know what messages are being spoken into the hearts of our kids. Think of how social media works. A girl posts a photo of herself literally to be critiqued. Will people like the photo? What will they say? Will anyone even react? Boys find competence through gaming and sports. What is being spoken over your son in locker rooms and chat rooms?
As parents, we can become businesslike in our daily communication with our kids. “Take out the trash” and “Have you done your homework yet?” kind of sums it up. We can hyper-focus on a picked-up room and good grades, and although there’s certainly a place for those things, there is something more eternal and significant to focus on.
What if we focused more time on encouraging our kids every day, to put courage into their hearts? Here are 6 encouraging truths your kids need to hear this week (and maybe you need to hear them, too):
Remind your children daily that you love them and, more importantly, that God loves them. When they don’t feel God’s love, remind them of 1 John 4:9 (NIV), which says “This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.” No matter how your child feels, the fact is that God made a great sacrifice to demonstrate love.
If your child is struggling with doubt, a negative body image, or hopelessness, read Psalm 139 out loud to him or her. The body is God’s amazing creation. For example, a person’s blood vessels laid end to end could circle Earth’s equator four times! Psalm 139:13-14 (NIV) says, “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”
Your child may look at someone who is super smart, athletic, musical etc. and conclude that he or she is inferior. Remind your child that God is so creative that He made people with all different gifts. In 1 Corinthians 12, Paul writes that we are the body of Christ and each one of us is a different part. If we were all heads, that would be rather gruesome. If we were all feet, that would be pretty creepy. Every part of the body is needed and we complement each other.
Not everyone will love and accept your child…and that’s okay. Rejection can be protection, especially when your child is rejected by peers who are harmful influences. Jesus himself was rejected by the Israelites. Acts 4:11 (NIV) says, “Jesus is ‘the stone you builders rejected, which has become the cornerstone.’”
Encourage your child that choosing to do the right thing always pays off. Good choices lead to a better, healthier, and happier life. Bad choices take you down a road that leads to destruction. Sometimes it seems like all the “bad kids” are having all the fun, but remember what Paul writes in Galatians 6:9 (NIV), “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”
It’s okay to have big emotions like sadness, anger, worry, and fear. God created us to have emotions. Encourage your kids to share what is on their hearts with God. He cares. 1 Peter 5:7 (NIV) says, “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” Kids often keep worried thoughts in their minds without expressing them. Remind your kids they can talk aloud to God or write down prayers anytime. God is never distracted or busy; He is always ready to listen to us.
Make it a point this week to speak words of life to your kids. It’s okay to tell them to walk the dog…just add a steady stream of encouraging words along with that.