by Mandy Groot/ November 17, 2017
Coauthored by Mandy Groot and Jennifer Whalen
A mom has the ability to nurture her kids through words, acts, and care. She is often the main person who brings unity and structure to the family. Her words are held in high regard and often repeated. Clear, short sayings are easier for kids to hear, understand, and remember. Here are four things that every mom should tell her kids:
1. I Love You
The word “love” is mentioned more than 550 times in the Bible. Love is simply described in 1 Corinthians 13. The phrases found in verses 4-7 especially help me strive to the best mom I can be. “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres” (NIV).
No matter what, a child must know he is loved. Remind him that when he messes up—because he will again and again: “I will always love you!” Blanket your correction in love. What a reflection of God’s love for us!
2. Be Blessed and Be a Blessing
As my children go to school every morning, I always tell them to “be blessed and be a blessing!” Of course, it is my desire for them to experience an abundance of blessings; however, it is the heart of God that they are a blessing to others. God has called us to be “the light of the world” (Matthew 5:14, NIV). By allowing His love and His light to shine through us, God will draw others to himself. What does that mean for a young child?
When my son asked me what I really mean when I tell him to “be blessed and be a blessing,” I read the Scripture passage in Genesis 12:3 (NIV) when the Lord told Abram, “I will bless those who bless you.” It is important to God that His children bless one another and His promise is that He will bless us in return. I want my kids to experience the fullness of His blessing! My kids are watching everything I do, so I will continue to model what it means to be a blessing in addition to reminding them every day to, “be blessed and be a blessing.”
3. Think It Through
A child needs to know how to think before he speaks or acts. When asked a question, he might respond quickly just to move to the next thing or even to get out of trouble. Encourage him to take responsibility for his actions early in life, and that will steer him to be accountable for his part when things happen. When responsibility is taken quickly, others are more inclined to follow and take ownership of their part.
Tips for Thinking It Through:
• Remind him to pause briefly and then answer questions.
• Show him how to create and use a list of pros and cons to make an important decision.
• Simply ask him to ponder, “If you don’t take care of that, who will?” when he leaves dishes on the table or clothes on the floor.
4. Make Jesus Your BFF
As I tuck my children into bed at night, we always say a prayer. When they were younger, our prayers were simple and the words we spoke were often the same night after night. A few years ago, the Lord spoke to me and asked me to do more than just recite a prayer every night. He asked me to teach my kids how to make Him their Best Friend Forever. He wanted me to impress on my children that He is very real and they should interact with Him with the understanding that He is there and covets a real, deep relationship with them.
My children have learned the importance of reading God’s Word—God’s love letter to us. They spend more time in prayer throughout the day and talk to Jesus just like they would talk to their friends. They have grown in their relationship with Him, and they have learned to trust Him. He is their Comforter and He is their Best Friend Forever.
The next time you go to bed or leave for work, don’t depart wishing you would have taken the time to tell your kids what every mom should tell her kids. Seize the moment now.