Ever blurt out something in front of your kids that you know deep down moms really shouldn’t say?
Yep, me too.
While I try not to use foul or abusive language, sometimes my words can be a bit careless . . . or honestly, downright negative.
Maybe you can relate.
The Bible tells us to guard our words, carefully (Prov. 13:3). This is especially important for moms (and dads) because our children are listening, far more than we know.
A wise friend once said: “Your kids will hear your voice over and over in their heads when they get older, so be careful what you say.”
It’s true. A mother’s words can affect a child’s perspective for years to come (Prov. 31:26). They can shape a child’s identity and build his or her faith.
Since words are so powerful, it’s essential to choose them wisely. King David once prayed:
“Lord, help me control my tongue; help me be careful about what I say.” (Psalm 141:3)
That’s a great prayer for mothers too, don’t you think?
Of course we all make mistakes, but I’m trying to guard my words more carefully. Here’s a list of things I’ve said in the past, that I now realize moms shouldn’t say.
5 things moms (like me) shouldn’t say:
1. “Nothing good ever happens to me.”
Once my doctor said, “You’ve got to stop taking fertility drugs for at least six months to a year.” I sat on the examination table in shock, blinking back tears. It seemed like I would never be a mother. That night my husband held me as I cried, saying, “Nothing good ever happens to me.” But that wasn’t true. I had a lot to be grateful for: a wonderful husband, sweet friends, good health.
Here’s what I learned: God has good gifts in store for each one of His children, including you. Thank Him for your blessings, daily. Expect Him to bless you, again. Talk about God’s blessings in front of your children.
Here’s why moms shouldn’t say this: something wonderful has already happened to you. God chose to bless you with precious children. What a gift! When you feel like a failure (and believe me, you will) trust in this truth. Verbalize it. Tell your children what God has done for you. Talk about how blessed you are to be a mom.
2. “Things always go from bad to worse.”
Some couples have the luxury of spacing out their children age wise, but not us. After we had our three babies in two years, it seemed like the laundry pile would never diminish. I thought our hectic life would never simplify.
One day, after the twins had an ugly meltdown in the store and my daughter drew a “mural” on the living room wall, I lost it. Angrily, I stomped around the house saying, “Things always go from bad to worse!”
But of course, things did get easier. The terrible two’s are now a distant memory and our walls are no longer marked up with a ballpoint pen. Although it seemed like my life would never calm down, it did. The Bible promises that although our lives have different seasons (Ecc. 3:1), God will deliver us through them all (Ps. 34:17).
The Lord will help you too, Mama. Believe it.
If you feel stuck right now amid dirty diapers, towering laundry piles, and wild kids, remember, it won’t be like this forever. God will sustain you through the hectic days of motherhood.
I know—because the Lord helped me through it.
Remember, what you say when things spiral out of control, shapes little minds. Tell your kids (and yourself) that God will provide. Use your words to show your children how to trust God in the midst of chaos.
3. “I can’t take ANOTHER thing.”
Years ago, we bought a fixer upper. Our renovations took much longer than we expected, so we had to move out of our old house before the new one was ready. We stored our furniture and moved in with my parents, with three kids, two cats, and a dog.
I didn’t pack any medicines—after all, we’d be there for only a couple of weeks, right? I didn’t pack many clothes, either . . . but two weeks turned into two months. Ugh!
And in that time, my son was hospitalized with a staph infection, my daughter broke her wrist, and the cats ran away. I couldn’t find anything, ever. The season changed and I had no access to my fall clothes and more importantly, neither did my teenage daughter.
One day I said (ok, yelled), “I can’t take another thing!” Maybe you know the feeling.
But I regret saying that, especially in front of my kids. Here’s why moms shouldn’t say this: the Lord promises to help us do whatever He calls us to do. He will never leave us or forsake us. Our words need to reflect that. Stressful times are opportunities to speak words of faith, instead of doubt. I wish I’d said: “I’m really frustrated right now, but God will get us through this. He always makes a way.” (Is. 43:19)
Speaking the truth out loud helps you surrender to your circumstances, instead of fighting them. It will help your children do the same.
4. “Nobody loves me.”
Moms shouldn’t say nobody loves them because it’s: Simply. NOT. True.
God genuinely loves you, Mom. In fact, He loves you just as much today, as He ever has or ever will. No matter what you’ve done or what others do, the Lord highly values each one who belongs to Him.
It’s essential for you accept the love of God, to let His love define you. The Bible calls you (and me) to experience God’s love (Eph. 3:19) because this is the reality in which every child of God lives:When you know you’re well-loved, it enables you to love others more.
The Apostle John often said he was the “one whom Jesus loved,” (Jn. 21:7).
That’s a great thing for us moms to say, too. Talk about God’s great love to your children and neighbors. It’s as easy as saying: “I know God loves me,” or “Jesus loves me so well.” Verbalizing this truth will help your kids (and you) maintain a hopeful, loving perspective.
5. But, it’s not supposed to be this way!”
Like all parents, I had big dreams for my children when they were little. Things like masters and doctorate degrees. Success in every sport. Academic awards. Multiple scholarships. No rough patches—just easy, happy lives. But of course, things didn’t go quite that smoothly.
I remember saying, “But it’s not supposed to be this way!”
Finally, I realized moms shouldn’t say this because life never goes according to our plans. I had to set aside my agenda for my children and trust God to work things out. Believe me, this wasn’t easy. But now, I’m amazed at the beautiful and yet, unexpected things, the Lord has done in my children’s lives.
For example, our “slow” reader has just finished grad school. Our athlete (who hated art) is now in film production. The one who almost dropped out of school now has a college degree and a good job. At one time these things seemed impossible, but I’ve learned that God is pretty good at arranging my children’s lives—especially when I stay out of the way.
The Lord has good plans for your child, too.
His plans stretch far beyond what you can imagine right now. He has friends already in place who will love your child one day. He may even be raising up a future spouse. Perhaps He has a family in mind for your child’s future or a meaningful career.
When you trust God enough to let go of your plans, it frees you to embrace His. Using words of faith can help you let go. When unexpected obstacles arise, tell your child: “We didn’t expect this, but remember, God has a good plan for your life.”
What other things should moms (like me) stop saying? What are some good things for moms to say on purpose? Feel free to add your own ideas in the comment section below.
Your words are very powerful, Mama! So this week, use your words to:
• Reflect God’s promises. (click here for a list of His promises)
• Impart hope to your kids, instead of fear.
• Express your faith and love, daily.
• Bring glory to God.
• Explain the infinite value of being God’s child. This free download can help:
Simply email me at email@example.com and request this list of verses on the infinite value of being God’s child and I’ll sen it to you.