“You’re the best Mom ever!” She proclaims, as she grins and squeezes me with her small arms, and my mama heart expands to near bursting.
“Well, you’re the best daughter ever!” I smile back down at her.
And it’s true. She may be my only daughter at this time, but she is also the best.
It may sound like a simple, sweet exchange between mother and daughter, come and gone in just a few breaths. But I know better. I know these words are building a foundation in her, one sweet word at a time.
I say all the words that need telling because I know she needs to hear those words; I know she needs me to tell them to her. I know because I need those words, too.
I need the “I love you”s, and the “you’re the best”s, and the “you’re the beautifulest mom ever”s, and the “I missed you”s. If I, a grown woman, need all the words that need telling, how much more does a child need to hear these same words?
So much more. So much more.
They are the words your child really needs to hear.
So I tell her all the words that need telling – the words about love, the words about like, the words about her character, and the words about her Savior – because she needs to hear all of those important words. She needs to hear them often.
She needs to hear them often.
She may be little now, but soon enough she’ll be heading into her senior year of high school just like her oldest brother. And then she’ll leave for college (Lord-willing), and who will tell her all the words that she needs to hear then?
When she leaves the safety of our home to venture out on her own, she’ll find plenty of messages about how she’s not enough, how she’s no good, how she’s less than.
Those words are enough to crush a person, especially if she lacks a secure foundation.
The Words Your Child Really Needs to Hear
We’ve only a few years, friends, a few short years to speak the words your child really needs to hear. Only a few years to tell of our love for them. Only a few years to tell of the Savior’s love, too.
And they need to hear them because love is so central to the Gospel, so important.
That foundation of faith and love (or lack of one) can help determine your child’s life course. Such a foundation is a refuge in life’s storms, a comfort when staring down rejection, a balm when wounded.
The words your child really needs to hear develop a confidence in them that isn’t easily shaken.
Don’t be shy; don’t hesitate, friend.
Even if the words don’t come naturally to you, tell the words today, the words your child really needs to hear, because we are never guaranteed tomorrow.
Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Deut. 11:18-19
Speak words of life to your family today, friend. Make the most of every opportunity.
Tell all the words your child really needs to hear.