Nails

Parental Encouragement

“…When I became a man, cialis canada online I put away …” (I Corinthians 13: 11)

The words that come from the mouth of a parent can be long-lasting and sometimes unforgotten in the heart of a child.   A Christian father or mother who rightly encourages his/her children with words of love, viagra buy viagra worth, viagra and respect will reap a great deal of joy when the child becomes a teenager (Philippians 2:1-2).   On the other hand, the parent who is careless, uncaring, and unkind with his/her words may drive their children to depression and hopelessness (James 3:6).  Words are powerful; they can either bring out the best in us, or they can hurl us to anger or despair.   When I was growing up, I heard many affirming words from family; many times they helped me seek God because of the things they said to me.   But I also remember insults, taunts, and heckling that came in junior high from uncaring peers and adults.    These uncaring individuals at my school brought great discouragement to many for they knew the art of hurting others.   The only real relief came when they were absent.

Jesus tells us that children were very important to him (Matthew 19:13).   He considered it a hindrance to the kingdom of God to speak ill of them in any sense.   There is nothing greater for a child or teenager than to hear than words of praise and respect from their parents.   As I mentioned earlier, the words of uncaring individuals were disheartening, but through God’s sovereignty there were also others like Terzian, our high school basketball coach,  who brought words of grace, peace, and encouragement to my life.  It was Terzian who told me two weeks before graduation that he was sorry he had not been  able to see my basketball skills until such a late date.   You see we had a great team, 2nd in the State of California.  One of our players actually went to the NBA.   The rest gained division I or II scholarships from UCLA, USC, and other major universities.   I was a zero in comparison.   But on that day when Terzian addressed me, I was sky high.   It did not matter what I did or did not achieve in basketball at Pasadena High School, all I knew was that one of the best coaches in California thought I had value.   And that is what you must give your children.   Words mean a lot, don’t take them for granted.

Teachable Moment

There once was a little boy who had a bad temper.  His father gave him a bag of nails and told him that every time he lost his temper he must hammer a nail into the back of the fence.  The first day the boy had driven 37 nails into the fence. Over the next few weeks, as he learned to control his anger, the number of nails hammered daily gradually dwindled down. He discovered it was easier to hold his temper than to drive those nails into the fence.

Finally the day came when the boy didn’t lose his temper  at all. He told his father about it and the father suggested that the boy now pull out one nail for each day  that he was able to hold his temper. The days passed and the young boy was finally able to tell his father that all the nails were gone.   The father took his son by the hand and led him to the  fence.  He said,  “You have done well, my son, but look at the holes in the fence. The fence will never be the same.  When you say things in anger, they leave a scar just like this one.  You can put a knife in a man and draw it out. It won’t matter how many times you say I’m  sorry, the wound is still there.”  A verbal wound is as bad as a physical one. Friends  are a very rare jewel indeed. They make you smile and  encourage you to succeed. They lend an ear, they share  words of praise and they always want to open there hearts to us.”

In response to this story, take your children out to the garage or workshop and show them how to hammer a nail into a piece of wood.   If they are old enough have them try their hand at it.   Put as many nails in the wood as possible.   When they are finished share this story with them.   Promise that if you ever hammer a word of discouragement into them, you will do all you can to make it right.   Then proceed with your hammer and nail lesson.  Have them pull each nail out, one by one.   Tell them that pulling nails out is harder than hammering them in.   But to leave them in the wood makes it pretty ugly.   Then promise them that if you ever hurt them with a cross word, you will do all you can to pull the nail of discouragement out.   Then proceed to put wood putty in the holes and varnish it.  Promise your children that if you ever hurt them with your words, you will replace a hurtful word with 10 encouraging things you see in them.   When you have done this yourself, tell them to go and do likewise with their friends.

God’s Word

Philippians 2: 1-2   1 Therefore if there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any  consolation of love, if there is any  fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion, 2 make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose.

James 3:6   And the tongue is a fire, the very world of iniquity; the tongue is set among our members as that which defiles the entire body, and sets on fire the course of our life, and is set on fire by hell.

Matthew 19:13 But Jesus said, “Let the children alone, and do not hinder them from coming to Me; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.