I went to the grocery store to pick up a movie and as I was walking in I heard a dad yelling at his kids in the backseat. “You’re dead when we get home! You don’t F___ing do that…”
I felt a mix of sadness and anger. I wanted to go to the man and say, “how dare you speak to your children like that? They are children, they deserve kindess and respect. They are not trash, but you’re treating them like they are.”
I went in the store holding back my tears, and came out and started crying in my car. I hate when parents treat their children like dirt; when they talk to them as though they are worthless.
They are not worthless.
Your children are precious to God, and they are growing and becoming and the word arrows you throw wound deep. Please stop.
I know what it feels like to get shot and let me tell you what it does to a child. It makes their insides tighten up and they feel sick, and they feel confused, and their stomach is in knots. They feel like they have to tip toe around you and not make you mad. It’s a terrible way to live, always feeling nervous and tense.
Children need gentleness and affirmation and welcoming arms. They need your grace.
If you struggle with speaking harshly to your children, or yelling at them too much, or you find yourself losing control when you get angry, please get on your knees and choose to change. Be willing to let God change you. Be vulnerable, and don’t give up when the change doesn’t happen immediately. Ask your children to forgive you, and tell them you are a mess and Jesus is working to make you beautiful. Be honest with them, give them the respect that you would want. And above all, don’t get discouraged that you will never change – that is lie straight from the enemy. You can change, you do have control over your anger, and the Holy Spirit will help you if you ask.
I’ll be right there with you, persevering, practicing my tone and daily leaning into the throne of grace for help.
“Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” Proverbs 12:18 NIV