Words of Encouragement, Godly Character

Words are incredibly powerful.  They can cause a lot of pain and hurt people deeply.  But they can also train and encourage and build-up in a HUGE way.  A while back I started a list on my fridge of things we say (or that I want to remember to say) in our house.  If you hang out at my house for very long, you’ll most likely hear me say most of these things!  If you say these things to your children, they start to become these things and do these things!

Yes, our actions speak louder than words and we have to be Godly examples to our children.  We need to demonstrate ourselves the qualities that we want our children to have.  But words can be at the core of that.  If we are constantly speaking words of encouragement, teaching with our words, training with our words, our children will catch on and be what we show them and what we speak to them.  Here are some key phrases I use often…

To My Boys Specifically:
-“It’s your job to protect your sister.”
-“You are a strong, tough man.”
-“Gentlemen hold open doors for ladies, you’re such a gentleman.”
-“Will you pray for our family since Dada is not home?, you can pretend to be Dada.”  (This is good for teaching your son to pray over his family, one day he’ll be the father).
-“You protect our family when Dada is gone.  You squash all the bugs and do the things that are dirty or heavy.”
-You’re our brave, strong man who has good courage.  Be of good courage!”

-“In our family, we’re all hard workers.”
-“Your brothers and sisters are your best friends.”
-“In our house, we don’t fuss or complain.”
-“We all have kind, happy hearts in our family.”
-“In our family, we are all sweet to each other.”
-“Do the right thing.  Choose to do the right thing.”

Another thing we do is constantly sing hymns.  I mean, we SING.  All.  Day.  Long!  Most hymns are full of rich, deep meaning and I know these words will stick with them their whole life through.  I highly encourage you to teach your children hymns and sing while you work, sing while you play, sing when you’re bored, sing when you’re busy.  🙂

And then I’m constantly speaking about Godly character to my children, like…
“Good job encouraging your brother, that was really good encouragement!”
“Always obey.  We have to obey joyfully and we have to obey right away.”
“Show good diligence, keep on going trooper!”
“How can you show your brother compassion since he is hurt?  Did you offer him an ice pack or help getting up?  Does he need a band-aid or some water?  Show sweet compassion.”
“Well, we can’t buy a new one because it’s important to be thrifty.  But if we see a good one at a good price at a garage sale, maybe we can buy it.”
“That was great initiative buddy, I didn’t even ask you to do that!”  (I try and notice every single time my children show initiative and I compliment them every time for it!)
“Have gentleness.  Be gentle with others and be gentle with our things, we don’t break things and we’re not destructive.”
“Always be sincere when you apologize.  Show you care.”
“Keep your things organized so it will be easier to find them when you need them.  If we take care of our things, they will last longer and you can enjoy them more.”
“Be patient, sometimes we have to wait for things.  Patience is good for us.”
“Have a cheerful heart, be joyful.  Have joy!”
“Make sure you’re real thorough, do your job completely all the way to the end.”
“Let’s have enthusiasm!”
“Always pray for wisdom.  If you have wisdom, you’ll have one of the greatest treasures EVER!”
“Let’s be on-time, have punctuality, it’s not polite to show up late, try real hard to be ready soon.”
“Buddy, that was so creative, what a neat thing you’ve done!”
“Let’s be cautious.  Even if we’re playing while running and throwing balls, we have to be cautious of others around us so nobody gets hurt.”  (We talk a LOT about cautiousness!)  “Be cautious with your things so you don’t break them.”
“Mama will be dependable, I’ll do what I said I was going to do.  Make sure you’re dependable also, do what you said you’d do.”
“Always be truthful.  Only say things that are true.”
“It’s really, really important to have self-control.  Even if you’re frustrated, talk calmly and be a peacemaker.”
“Avoid arguing.  Be a peacemaker.”
“Ask your brother if he’d like to go first.  Put others before yourself.”
“Oh, remember… we only speak things that are pure, just, true, honest, of good report…”

I have SO seen the fruit of actually “teaching” character!  It builds such a great foundation for them for the rest of their lives.  How great it is to learn this stuff while you’re young.  We went through all 49 character traits from these character cards (currently on our second time through).  I know my boys learned a ton, but I think I gained even more!  Putting a definition to and actually learning the different character qualities has been life changing for ME, not just my children!

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