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Words for Parents!

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   There are some youngsters near and dear to me that have recently embarked upon that vulnerable journey in life referred to as adolescents. And I am being reminded of the pitfalls that await our children during this section of their life’s journey as I learn of the struggles my loved ones are facing.

   Therefore, I pass along the following in the hopes that if you or your adolescent is having a difficult time maneuvering through the challenges of this time, you may find these ‘words’ to be the lifesaver for you that they were for me. 

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   As my children came along, I knew, from my own experience, that I had to find a way to protect them from the damage negative words could inflict, especially negative teasing. Thus I believe God prompted me to establish a rule in our household of “no negative teasing”. 

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   Negative teasing at some level inflicts pain. Sure on the surface we may be laughing but down deep we aren’t! It certainly doesn’t build up someone to teasingly call them ‘stupid’ now does it?

   But the most revealing and powerful force to defeat the negative thinking that years of hurtful words had produced in my own life, regretfully didn’t come to me until I was in my 50’s. Fiery Darts: Satan’s Weapon of Choice is the compilation of lessons given to me in how to overcome and/or heal from the damage caused by hurtful words.

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   It is from this perspective of healing that I offer these words to parents, for we must pass on to our adolescents an awareness of the Truth thought found in Ephesians 4:29 (opening photo)! We should model the Truth of this verse in the words our children hear coming from our mouths before we try to impress upon them how to filter their words through this Truth.

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   We need to teach our children how to handle the hurtful words (whether teasing or otherwise) that is inflicted upon them. For without this guidance our children will be tempted to believe things about themselves that are nothing but lies.

   We must teach our children that God’s Word is the most powerful of all weapons to destroy the enemy’s fiery dart attacks. However, we must first learn how to use that weapon for ourselves then we will be equipped to pass along successfully what we have learned to our children.

   Within the Bible are counter attacks for every fiery dart Satan throws at us and our children. Therefore, it is imperative that we teach our children (after first learning for ourselves)  how to recognize Satan’s fiery darts, then how to call upon God’s Word to defend themselves. (Ephesians 6:16)

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A FINAL WORD

   Please remember that the flesh is weak. If we do not arm ourselves with the Sword of Truth, our flesh will not be able to resist the temptations that will arise from the fiery dart attacks. But by wielding the Sword of Truth against every hurtful word, the tempter’s plans to weaken us will be demolished. (2 Corinthians 10:4-5)

 

Watch Your Mouth!

The more I learn about fiery darts, the more my awareness of their deadly work increases.  In this post, I would like to point out how things we say can set up another to have a major struggle with fiery darts.  At this point I haven’t quite figured out how to resolve this dilemma but here’s what I have noticed.

As an example, let’s say someone says something to you of a critical nature.  You receive their words and  the floodgate is opened to a variety of fiery darts.  The struggle is on, while you try to thwart each attack with Isaiah 54:17,

“No weapon that is formed against you will prevail.”

 You try to not overreact and try to respond reasonably, yet you cannot deny that your feelings have been hurt. Obviously, their criticism is unjust and now your struggle is weighted down by trying to figured out how you can respond without accepting blame you do not deserve but at the same time be open to see their side of it.  The onslaught of attacks are only intensified at this point, for  your resolve to stand strong against the fiery darts and their critical words begins to wear on you.

But you keep going back to the Truth of the particular situation and with a great deal of help from God, you find your footing.

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you find out they were only teasing and even though they know you didn’t ‘get it’, they remain insensitive to the pain inflicted by their negative teasing. So now, you’ve got a new phase of fiery darts to deal with, ugh!  It’s not as easy to laugh at yourself as it is for the person who criticized you in jest, but you try. What do you do with that real pain you struggled with?  Does it never end?

Well, you move on, determined to not allow this to negatively affect the relationship but wondering if you should have a frank conversation with this person about the carelessness and insensitivity of their little joke.  But wait, if you do, will they take you seriously or will they just say you’re making a mountain out of a molehill?  The last thing you want is to make an honest appeal to them concerning your feelings only to have them be lightly or casually dismissed.

In this example, can you see how we set each other up to be attacked by fiery darts?  I think situations like this can be remedied by making sure that our intentions or meanings to what we say are clearly received by others.  And if we aren’t sure about the intention of something said to us, then we should ask a simple question like, “Are you saying …….?”  Then too, keeping the following verse in mind, could help a lot–especially when we are in teasing mode:

“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”  Ephesians 4:29

Just a thought.  What do you think?