by Sylvia Gaston
Now that we are well into 2016…how are you doing on that New Year’s resolution you made? I don’t usually make resolutions, but this year I set a goal for myself – to speak life into my family.
Life can be so negative and difficult at times - for children and adults alike. We all face challenges and trials in every day life. Sometimes other people can begin to beat us down, intentionally or unintentionally. Every single one of us can use someone in our life that will build us up, encourage us, and tell us positive things about ourselves that will make it easier for us to continue on.
So how can we be the person that builds up and speaks life into our loved ones?
First, ask yourself, “Who?” Do you have young ones at home? A spouse? Do you have teenagers? How about adult children? Grandchildren? Nieces/nephews? Parents? Siblings? Godchildren? These are the people that God has given you to care for.
We all have a unique sphere of influence – people that only we can pour into. Loved ones whose lives we can positively effect.
For example, only I can be a wife to my husband. Only I can be a mother to my children. Likewise, you are unique to many people in your life. You have the power and the ability to speak life into them. So at the beginning of 2016 I made a conscious decision to speak life into their lives on a frequent basis.
There is great power in our words – power to tear down and the power to build up. The Bible says it like this in Proverbs 15:4 - a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit but the tongue that brings healing is a tree of life.
How do you use the power of your words to speak life? It will probably look different based on your family dynamics.
For me, it looks like this: I pick at least one of my loved ones each day and pour into them. I might tell my teenage daughter or son that they are a good friend or how much I love their personality. I try to remember to encourage my husband as the provider and the head of our family. I might text my adult son that he’s doing a great job as a father to his 2-year-old and newborn. I try to let my college kid know that I’m proud of her efforts at work and school.
There are a number of ways to use the positive power of your words: by phone, text or email. Send a card or letter to those near or far. But the sweetest way, by far, is in person. When you are with someone dear to you – find a way to let them know how special and precious they are. Once you start looking for uplifting things to say about them, you’ll be surprised at how wonderful they are and how much they really mean to you. They need to hear this.
Do I forget to do this every day? Yes. But remember, it’s not a resolution – it’s a goal. I do know that I am speaking life into my family more than I ever have in the past. That’s a step in the right direction. That is who I want to be and who God has chosen me to be.
And one day, after I’m gone, I hope that my family will recall fondly a mom/wife/sister/daughter/aunt who poured into them, encouraged them and spoke positive words of life into them. I also hope and pray to leave behind a family that will, in turn, learn to speak life to those that they care about most.
So, I say – forget that New Year’s resolution and set a goal…think about the legacy you can leave – it’s never too late – to begin to speak life!