Maybe you are like me and you grew up hearing the words “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me”. I don’t know about you, but for me that’s so far from the truth. I get the concept. You should not allow what others say define who you are, or determine your self worth, or change how you feel about yourself. But, honestly words do hurt.
Words can be affirming and beautiful, and words can be destructive and ugly. These destructive and ugly words DO indeed hurt. They hurt when they are heard and they hurt when they are said. Did you get that? Both parties will experience pain. The person who said it, and the person who receives it.
How do I know?? Well, because I have been on both sides. Many times, words are not meant to hurt. But they do. After all, I grew up in a time when sarcasm was everywhere!! I love sarcastic humor. I use sarcasm in my day to day. Sometimes though sarcasm doesn’t come across as funny. It just comes across as mean.
As my children have gotten older, I have noticed that they have the same pattern of mouthiness. Many times, not intended to be disrespectful, but many times sounding very disrespectful.
When I first heard those sarcastic comments coming out of my little ones – I began looking for something to blame. It was those TV shows they were watching! It was public school! It was those new friends they were hanging out with! Then one day, I heard that sarcasm come out of my mouth, towards one of them. And it hit me like a ton of bricks. They got it from me. They are mouthy, because I am mouthy. Awesome.
Words are like building blocks in these little ones lives. Words can make them feel ten feet tall. And words can make them feel like an insignificant speck. And for us, if we are going to expect them to choose their words carefully with each other and with us, then we need to learn to do the same. Wow, that’s gonna be hard.
The truth is mommas. We mess up. It happens. We do life the best that we can, and sometimes we mess up. God knows that. If He didn’t know that, then He wouldn’t have sent a Savior for us. God forgives, and we should to. When we mess up, we fess up, we show love, we forgive, and we move on. Hopefully we’ve learned something that will make the next mess up less painful.
Last night. Here in our own home, we messed up. Words were slung carelessly in the air. Hurtful words that hurt coming out and going in. Love was shared, forgiveness given, and today we move on. Bruised but not beaten. Resolving as a family to choose our words wiser. Building up not tearing down.
Sticks and stones may break bones, but words can break a spirit. Choose your words carefully. When you mess up, fess up, and share love and forgiveness.