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“Out of the same mouth come blessing and cursing.” James 3:10

“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouth, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” Ephesians 4:29 



I am looking out the window and seeing beautiful lazy snowflakes falling to the ground.  I am reminded of the kind words of God through the prophet of Isaiah in chapter 1 verse 18. “Come now, let us reasons together.” Says the Lord.  “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow, thought they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.”  What an amazing expression of God’s heart. Do you see his heart when you read this?  There is no force for you to change your heart.  Only a kind invitation for you to enter into his presence and talk about how he can change your heart. An invitation for you to see what God will do for you to change your heart.

I am thinking that for our children to truly say words that build each other up must come from this change of heart.  I have seen parents and listened to stories where concern for a change of heart is also “forced.”  Just as the mother in last weeks story tried to force her son to say sorry, we attempt the same tactic for a change of heart. Our concern for the hearts of our children and the need for repentance and accepting God’s forgiveness push us to press hard for our children to come to a place where heart change occurs.  How beautiful, this invitation is from the Mighty Holy God is: “Come, let’s talk about heart change…. I have the answer, Come, your heart can be made clean. I love you more than life itself. I will give my life for you so that your heart change happens because of my righteousness (Romans 5:1-11, Titus 2:11-14, Romans 3:22,23).

Friends, reality check, you cannot change the heart of your child.  You can live as a person with a heart change from Jesus and that will be part of the invitation to your child to come and repent and receive forgiveness from Jesus. You can respond to God’s invitation to confess your sin and receive his forgiveness (I John 1:9). You can show this heart change by saying “I’m sorry, will you forgive me?” when you sin against your child or God or others in your life.  This too will be an invitation to your child to hear the words, “Come let us reason…” You can pray.  You can chat with your child and invite them to hear how Jesus can change their heart.  As you do all of these things your child begins to see the heart of God.  When your child sees how much God loves him and gave his life for him, there will be a response to the amazing grace of God.


In my mind, this changes how we handle situations such as the one I described last week.  What is in the heart of my child?  God can see our hearts, and knows exactly what is there.  But we can’t see the heart of our child.  We can see their actions and that may indicate what is in their heart.  There may have to be consequences for their actions and that may even be a part of the journey to heart change. 

And here is the question:  How do I build my child up in this situation.  How do I invite him to come and reason and hear the invitation of Jesus to confess?  How do I say words of kindness and affirmation?  How do I build the other moms up with my words?  And the other children who are watching?

“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouth, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” Ephesians 4:29

Look at this verse again.  Do you see the heart matter in the words?  Say only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs.  What does my child need? What can I say that will benefit him? Does my child need to know that I love him unconditional first and foremost?  

Remember the words of Jesus.  Before you were made I new you, before we were born, he knew us and loved us and chose us. How will the truth of God’s love for us impact the words that we say to our child (Ephesians 1 is such a good chapter to remind us of this)?


Do you esteem your child more highly than yourself or are the steps you take to teach your child words to say reflect your heart, your desire to not look bad with those around you?

Take time today to meditate on the scriptures sited.  Meditate and pray.  Maybe God has other things to show you as well.  I have purposely not given direct answers or three easy steps to resolve a situation.  There are no boxes to check off in this journey called parenting. I know that when God changes my heart the words, I say to my children are impactful. 

This week, take on the challenge of praying that you will see your child’s heart.  Listen, watch, and interact with your child when in a situation where poor choices have been made, or when your child makes good choices and behaves well. Be of good courage dear friends.