The Influence of Words
“Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things.”
Jesus was very clear throughout His ministry of the influence that the Father had on how he lived and performed His ministry. John 5:19 shows that He watched His father and copied how His Father lived. This in and of itself should motivate parents to be sure they live right, but the verse above shows something as greater that was influential in Jesus’ life. He said, “…as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things.” In other words, what the Father said had a great influence on how Jesus spoke. The words of the Father were repeated by the Son. Jesus heard the Father talk a certain way, and He simply repeated what He heard.
Every parent should take notice to be careful about the words they use. Your words have an influence on your children. Whether or not you like it, your words are being recorded by your children and will one day be repeated through their mouth. There are three things we can learn about the influence of a parent’s words.
First, what you are saying is being heard. Jesus said in the verse above, “…as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things.” In other words, the Father’s teaching didn’t fall to the ground. I know that many parents wonder if their children are truly listening to them, and I can assure you that they hear what you are saying. This is why it is crucial that you continue to teach your children the right thing. Just because you think they are not listening doesn’t mean they are not listening. You will recall much of what your parents taught you, and if you remember accurately, you will recall how you displayed inattention to them. Don’t let a child’s act of inattention cause you to stop teaching. They are listening, so you must keep teaching the right things.
Second, what you are saying is being heard. I know this was the first point, but I want you to realize that every word you say is being heard by your children. Your children hear you say every slang and off-color word. Just because you are irritated or upset doesn’t give you a right to say what is on your mind or heart. You must realize that there are ears that will hear what you are saying. Every bad joke you tell will be heard by your children. Every word of gossip will be heard by your children. Every word of cursing will be heard by your children. Parent, you must be very careful about what you say because it is heard by your children.
Third, what you are saying will be repeated. Jesus simply repeated what He heard the Father say. What you say is being recorded by your children, and they will repeat it at some point in their life. You must ask yourself, do you want your children to repeat what you are saying because they will one day repeat it. If you don’t want your children to repeat what you are saying about others, you would be wise not to say it. If you don’t want your children repeating the off-color words you say, you would be wise to stop saying them because they will repeat them; and most likely they will be repeated at the most embarrassing time.
Words influence! Don’t think your words are falling to the ground; they are not. They are falling upon learning ears that will one day repeat what you’re saying. Be careful to only speak the words that you would want your children to repeat.