In St. Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, we read, “Don’t let one unwholesome word come out of your mouth, but only that which is helpful in bringing others up.”
What does that mean? It means we are to strive to encourage one another. Our children today need to believe in themselves, and encourage literally means to “instill courage or confidence.” We should support our children by instilling in them the courage and the confidence to try new things.
Words of affirmation are seen as one of the 5 primary love languages, meaning that some children recognize love simply through your sharing what you love about them.
Parents, I encourage you to lift up your children; tell them how much you appreciate them, remind them of their unique strengths and gifts. Siblings, encourage each other; and children remember that your parents need encouragement too. Lift others up. Affirm those in your life.
Listen to King Solomon, who talks about the power our words have to impact others physically, emotionally and spiritually when he writes, “Pleasant words, are like a honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones” (Proverbs 16:24). Remember, once a day, remind someone in your life about why you love them.