What do you want to hear in five years time?
“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” So ran the children’s taunt. Christians don’t believe that. In fact we have a belief in the great power of words. One of the primary images used to describe the coming of God in Jesus is “The Word (of God) was made flesh.” This gives us a clue to the impact that words can have in our lives. Loving words can be better than a caress, harsh words worse than a blow and inspiring words can change the direction of a person’s life.
What would you like your children’s words to sound like in five or ten years time? Watch how you speak now. Yes, they will be influenced by their peers but your words will have more power in the long run. Listening to you they could learn that people can be funny, witty, honest, forthright, assertive even passionate without vulgarity, bullying, ridicule or harshness. Much is being said at present at the lowering of the standard of public discourse- but it can also be raised, one word, one person, one family, one school at a time. It will take some effort. The cheap vulgar words come out so easily and it takes some thought to be witty, but in the long run it is much more fun. Instead of being weapons of attack, our words can be a source of joy and delight.
Loving God, help me to watch what I say and give an example to my child/ren. In years to come, may I hear my language echoed back to me and may I delight in what I hear. I ask this in Jesus’ name confident that you will hear me.
Sr Kym Harris osb