My almost-teenager has been grappling with incessant mood swings as of late. His growing body has been teetering from one moment to the next with either hysterical laughter or seething anger, and it’s taking its toll. I see my role as a steadying force, the rudder that guides as his sails flap and swing from one extreme to the other. It’s a sometimes tornadic experience for him.
This morning I spoke love and calm into his sleepy eyes, and while he pushed away my embrace, he did let my arm linger near his face for a brief second. I counted that as a win and continued to gently joke and nonchalantly insert words of hope and life and, yes, even cheer on this weary Monday morning. Eventually, he turned and saw the family dog laying about and called to him eagerly, showering him with affection both verbal and physical. And I smiled to myself. My words had *changed* his this morning. And he in turn was now blessing his beloved pet with this new-found light.
There is a lesson here. A rather substantial one, and it’s disheartening that I need a constant reminder. For how can we ever forget? The Word of God became flesh himself and breathed everlasting life into our souls previously bound for everlasting death. He freed us from our chains of sin and destruction and gave us the Word of love. Without this Word, we are lost and hell-bound. And if we listen to any other word, our doom is sealed. Our words are a reflection of our own light within, and how we hold it, and how it is kept within us. Is this Word cherished or disregarded? Is it lived out daily? Do we allow the grace of God’s loving Word to transform us in our day-to-day interactions with others? Do we recognize the power behind this Almighty Word of God?
Watch the light in your child’s eyes grow as you continue to use words of love and encouragement. Watch that light fade whenever you lash out in anger. Watch how your words are translated to their bodies, hearts, minds, and even relationships with their siblings, friends, classmates, and teachers. The trickle-down effect is real. Love begets love. Every single time.
May we remember this almighty phenomenon the next time we open our mouths. May we always choose words of life and hope and eternal redemption. Our words—especially when spoken in union with the Word—are more powerful than we could ever imagine.