We know that harsh words can stir up anger, and gentle words can turn it away. Gentle words have power behind them just as harsh words do. They have the power to encourage obedience in our children. When we treat our children with respect, they are more apt to obey happily.
It’s interesting, because a few years ago I believed that a strong arm and forceful obedience was necessary for children. But the truth is, that can actually push them away or merely create children who obey out of fear. I want more than that for my children. I don’t want them to obey because I threaten them or because they fear punishment (although at times, that may be necessary).
I want my children to obey for the same reason God wants me to obey: out of love.
Am I making it easy or difficult for my children to love me? Am I the kind of person they want to be around, or are they looking for the exit just as soon as they can escape? That’s not the kind of mom I want to be!
I want my words to uplift and speak life so that my children are empowered to obey. Encouragement is an important tool in life to help us get through.
I am not saying we should never speak a firm word to our children. But, there is a difference between firm and harsh.
A firm tone is simply a tone that says you mean business. A harsh tone is nothing less than mean. It’s talking down to our children. That’s obviously not what we want to aim for.
How can we help our children obey today?