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Learning to Speak the Language of Encouragement to our Children

Last time I visited this topic, I shared an overview of what the Language of Encouragement is, and how it applies in our homeschools and families. If you missed my first post on this, please see The Language of Encouragement, Part 1

I will remind you that this series of posts will reference the very helpful (free) talk given by Maria Nebblett, with the same title. You can find that talk at the Nebblett family’s website. You will also find other encouraging talks there as well. If you prefer to watch the talk, you may watch it for free online.

https://livestream.com/rilive/events/4781465/videos/117758788

Language of Encouragement

A promise that is giving me hope is this one:

Gather up the rays of divine light that are shining upon your pathway. Walk in the light as Christ is in the light. As you take hold of the work of helping your children to serve God, the most provoking trials will come; but do not lose your hold; cling to Jesus. He says, “Let him take hold of my strength, that he may make peace with me; and he shall make peace with me.” Isaiah 27:5. Difficulties will arise; you will meet with obstacles; but look constantly to Jesus. When an emergency arises, ask, Lord, what shall I do now? If you refuse to fret or scold, the Lord will show you the way. He will help you to use the talent of speech in so Christlike a way that peace and love will reign in the home. By following a consistent course of action, you may be evangelists in the home, ministers of grace to your children. – {Child Guidance 478.3}

The Home a Battle Ground

In our home, I can certainly see the war. The more we ask for the Holy Spirit, the more we see the opposite spirit. I think this is so that we will just give up.

Never Give Up.  Never Stop Trying.

Language of Encouragement 2

Thankfully, we can fight back! We don’t have to give up! Nor do we have to give in! Giving in means not choosing to fight against irritated thoughts and words.Giving in is natural and easy because it doesn’t require any thought or planning. We automatically spew out whatever comes to mind.

In her talk, Maria shares Five Habits for parents who want to learn the language of encouragement can begin to put into practice. I will be sharing the first two principles from the talk today. These are taken directly from the talk.  

Habit 1: REFRAIN

In her talk, Maria speaks about our need as parents to refrain.

Refrain from what?

“Refrain from speaking words of censure and faultfinding.”  In seeking to correct or reform others, we should be careful of our words. They will be savor of life unto life or death unto death. 

In giving reproof and counsel, many indulge in sharp, severe speech, words not adapted to heal the wounded soul. By these ill-advised expressions, the Spirit is chafed and often the erring ones are stirred to rebellion. 

Christ’s Object Lessons, p 337

Be Silent

Ecclesiasted 3:7 says,

There is a time to be silent and a time to speak.

Many times we get those times confused, even as parents!   If in doubt, hold it in.  You’ll never regret holding back, and you’ll often regret letting words tumble out.  I know that’s how I feel.  Many a night, I’ve laid in bed, wishing I hadn’t given in to critical or sharp words.  

Habit 2:  Learn to REPLACE the Old Man (Woman) with the Language of Encouragement

This may be the most difficult area for you.  But, by choosing once to replace your habitual words, you will create a new neural pathway in your brain, which, ever so slowly, will strengthen with practice.  

  1. Make yourself accountable to others.  Check in often.  
  2. Make a list of phrases you have habitually used. Then replace them first on paper, then practice the new phrases until they become habit. These will have more power if the new phrases are based on Bible standards. 
    • “You’re being rude!” can change to “Let’s cultivate courtesy and kindness!” 
    • “You’ve made a mess again!” can change to “Let’s strive for heaven’s order in our home today!”
    • “You are wasting time again!” can change to “Children, let’s redeem the time!” 
    • You get the idea.  Practice makes perfect.  Read the phrases to yourself often so that you begin to internalize a new mental dialogue. What is in your head will surely come out your mouth!

Scripture Encouragement

If you need some encouragement to do this, here are a couple of verses that you can memorize, to help you on your journey of replacing old thoughts with new. 

God’s word will accomplish what He plans.

So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.

Isaiah 55:11

Another one for us parents is:

Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Romans 12:21

These principles will not eliminate the need for appropriate correction.  But they can change the atmosphere of your home.  If all your children hear is correction, they will feel like they are always being condemned.  This will lead to discouragement, giving up,and finally, to rebellion. Just what we would not want to cultivate!  

Practice, practice, practice!  You can learn to speak the Language of Encouragement

Parents, just keep at it!  Practice speaking the Language of Encouragement until it becomes your native tongue!  It will feel fake at first, and your children may laugh at you, since it sounds foreign to them!  Try to just laugh right along and not get offended!  

Check in often with your accountability partner.  Maybe that’s your spouse.  Or maybe your spouse needs to hear these words from you too, and you just need to pray for him/her in his/her own personal walk.  Maybe her or she needs to learn this language by example. 

Courage!  Keep at it, and you will succeed!!

The next talk in this series will address the final three habits to learn for those wanting to learn to speak the Language of Encouragement.  I will include a printable in the next post, with all of the habits listed for easy reference.  

Don’t miss Part 3! 

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3 Replies

  1. I could surely use some positivity in my speech. The verse is perfect-Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good- I’m going to try that instead of trying to overcome the evil with something even more evil. Lol Returning evil with evil never works.

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