7 Words Every Parent Should Speak To Their Child



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Words of Life: Nurturing Our Children’s Hearts with Scripture

As parents, the words we speak hold immense power. They shape our children’s understanding of themselves, the world around them, and their relationship with God. In the last episode of our series on words, we delve into the profound impact our words can have on our little ones, sharing seven key biblical phrases that can nurture their hearts and minds. From affirming their strengths to gently guiding them through challenges, our words hold the power to shape their perception of themselves and their relationship with God.

Words are powerful and that with our words, we’re constantly either building them up or tearing them down. We are either building up or tearing down their emotional wellbeing, their mental, spiritual states, and their self-esteem. And you can see that in children. Where are they? How are they doing? Are they flourishing? Are they struggling in certain areas? We as parents should regularly be evaluating our impact on our children and letting the Holy Spirit convict our hearts in areas that we need to change, grow and mature. As parents we have to realize the importance of engaging in meaningful conversations with our children, creating an environment where they feel heard, valued, and loved. By actively listening and responding with wisdom and grace, we can foster an atmosphere of trust and open communication, nurturing their spiritual growth and emotional well-being.

7 Words to Say to Your Children:

  • Purpose.

Reminding your children that they were created with purpose and meaning in the image of God, and making sure your children know that they have purpose regardless of anything they’ve accomplished.

  • Peace.

As parents, we often set the tone and atmosphere for our children. We must make sure we are setting a good example, and reminding our children to be peacemakers. (Matthew 5:9) (John 14:27).

  • Belonging.

Everyone wants to belong somewhere and it is essential to remind your children that they belong to you, and of the value they bring to your home and family. We also remind them that they belong in our church and are individual members of the body of Christ.

  • Imperfect.

It is important that our children understand that they are loved not because of what they do-but because of who they are. We want our children to understand that the works they do-whether good or bad-will not change our affection or God’s affection for them. Romans 5:8 But God shows us his love for us and that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. We can and should regularly build our children up with praise, but we also need to make sure it is clear to them that everyone messes up, everyone makes mistakes, and that Christ died for all of us.

  • Truth.

Share truth with your children daily by reciting the word of God and making Scripture the center of your home. Remind them that God hates lying, even small lies, and set the example by always striving for truth with your kids. (John 17:17-20)

  • Reconciliation.

Practice saying “I’m sorry,” and “I forgive you,” with your spouse in front of your children. Give them an example for their relationships with others, and also be willing to apologize to your children when you have done them wrong.

  • Hope.

We need to be feeding our children hope and encouragement every single day, most importantly by sharing the hope of salvation through the gospel. (Romans 15:13) (Hebrews 11:1)

In the end, our words can be life-giving or the opposite. They are a gift from God that we must steward with care and intentionality. So, whether it’s the simple joy of hearing “I love you” or the profound reassurance that they are children of God, let us embrace the power of words to shape our children’s hearts and minds, nurturing them in the love and truth of our Lord and Savior.

READ TRANSCRIPT

Jennifer Smith (00:01):

Hey, we’re Aaron and Jennifer Smith, your host of the Marriage After God podcast, where our desire is to help you cultivate an extraordinary marriage. And although we are a marriage podcast today, on this episode, we are going to be talking about words. We should speak over our children.

Aaron Smith (00:17):

If this is your first time, I want to invite you to subscribe to our channel. Whether you’re watching on YouTube, which is a new thing for us, newer thing or listening on iTunes or Spotify, wherever you connect with this podcast, would you subscribe so that you don’t miss any episodes in the future? Lastly, one of the most important ways, one of the most powerful ways you can participate in helping grow this channel, get this content out, is by leaving us a star rating and review. Not only do we love seeing those, not only do they encourage us, but they also help the algorithms show our content to more people. Here’s a review that someone recently left. This is by Amanda G. She left a five star rating. Thank you for that, Amanda. She said, I first discovered Erin, Jennifer Smith and marriage after God about six years ago.

(00:58)
I was going through something in marriage that I felt so alone in and I didn’t think anyone else understood the physical and emotional pain it caused. Then I came across Jennifer’s book, the Unveiled Wife, and it was such an encouragement to me because it not only showed me that someone else understands what I was going through, but it gave me hope for our circumstances and was a reminder to me on how God is good through all of it. I love when he uses people in books or podcasts as a tool of comfort and to meet you where you’re at and to remind you you’re not alone. Since then, I read all of their books and thoroughly enjoy their podcast. It’s a great resource if you are truly desiring to have a marriage after God. They not only give practical tips and resources, but their vulnerability to share, not even, not just the joys of marriage, but the challenges too. Rooted in biblical teaching is really encouraging and their intentionality and love for the Lord each other and for others shines through. Well, thank you, Amanda. That was awesome.

Jennifer Smith (01:55):

That was the first time I’ve heard that one and it took me back. She talked about unveiled wife and I can’t believe it’s been 10 years. That

Aaron Smith (02:02):

Was about 10

Jennifer Smith (02:02):

Years ago. Yeah, 10 years since that came out, and I love hearing that it’s still impacting people. It’s really cool. Yeah, it’s beautiful.

Aaron Smith (02:09):

That’s awesome. So what’s been going on with us?

Jennifer Smith (02:12):

Well, before we mentioned that we can’t not mention the elephant in the room, Erin, that you tried to match me today. For those of you on YouTube or Instagram watching us, we both both came up to podcast and plaid shirts. It’s just how much we love each other.

Aaron Smith (02:28):

We’re plating it up. We sat down and we were about to record. We looked at each other. We’re like You wearing plaid?

Jennifer Smith (02:35):

Listen, if you are catching us visually, would you just DM us on Instagram and let us know who wore it best? Thanks. Just kidding. Okay, that’s out of the way.

Aaron Smith (02:47):

You look good.

Jennifer Smith (02:49):

Thanks. Plan. Okay. Something that I wanted to share in just this quick life notes section is that I was driving the other day and it hit me that I can do hard things, which is something that we share with our kids a lot. We’re the Smiths, we do hard things. I feel like that’s on repeat.

Aaron Smith (03:07):

The kids hear it a lot,

Jennifer Smith (03:08):

But I don’t tell myself it a lot. And something happened where? What was it? Oh, it was out in the garden. I told you last week that I’ve been out there and I’ve been wanting this like the grass edged and trimmed out. Yeah, this

Aaron Smith (03:22):

Is not the wood border.

Jennifer Smith (03:23):

I don’t like it when grass just kind of keeps going and then gets splotchy and it’s like, what are you doing over there? Grass?

Aaron Smith (03:28):

This is a little funny. This is a little funny.

Jennifer Smith (03:30):

And so usually when I need or want something, I just say, Erin coming at me, and you were very busy. And I remember you said, well, if that’s what you want, you should get to it. Or something like that. I’m paraphrasing.

Aaron Smith (03:43):

I’m in a very gentle way encouraging her that she can do hard things.

Jennifer Smith (03:48):

He doesn’t usually tell me no. But in that moment he very nicely and gently told me no. And so I looked at the project and I thought, okay, well it’s probably going to really suck. That’s what I thought. I didn’t want to do it at all, but the kids were playing really good and I took that little square shovel and I started digging at the grass and I realized that I could actually do it and it was hard. And especially being pregnant, every time I bent over to move the stuff that I was trying to move out of the way, I’d get a little bit dizzy and I just didn’t like it very much. I didn’t like that I was out there without you really. That was the bottom line. And

Aaron Smith (04:22):

Before everyone gets all mad at me because I made my pregnant wife go dig some grass. I wanted to, I didn’t make her do anything. She said she wanted to do something and I said, if you want it, you should go do it.

Jennifer Smith (04:32):

The real problem was is I wanted it done in that moment and I wasn’t willing to wait for you, but that’s okay because then I was driving later on and it just hit me. Maybe it was just the Lord and his grace and he was like, Hey Jen, I just want to remind you, you did that thing you didn’t want to do and you actually enjoyed it. But by the end of it I was like, oh, look what I accomplished. So now it’s all ready for you to trim out with that wood edging stuff. You got it. No, I do need your help on that.

Aaron Smith (04:57):

Where the drill’s at. You know where the sledge air is at? No.

Jennifer Smith (05:01):

Can I just say, I love doing yard projects with you. It’s my favorite time of year to get outside and we both like it. You need to tell them so that they know we do.

Aaron Smith (05:10):

I like it. I’m just being a good husband and helping you grow and cultivate your abilities. Now, my dad growing up always said something to me, something I’d never done before. If I did it one time, he’d kill me. He just did. And I’d be like, what? He just said a precedent. And I’m like, what’s a precedent? He’s like, it means you can do it. Now, what my dad was saying when he would say that

Jennifer Smith (05:34):

Is, I can ask you to do that thing now and I know you can do it. You

Aaron Smith (05:36):

Know how to do that thing now you’re capable of doing that thing. You can do that

Jennifer Smith (05:39):

Thing. That’s funny. When I was thinking, so you

Aaron Smith (05:41):

Just said a precedent.

Jennifer Smith (05:42):

Well, when I was feeling accomplished that I could do hard things, there was a handful of other things that I had done that week that I was being reminded of in the moment and it was really encouraging actually. You guys should ask the Lord to reveal to you what hard things you’ve done lately. You might surprise yourself and it feels good. That’s why I did that. Yeah,

Aaron Smith (05:57):

It does feel good to do really cool things and hard things push yourself. And also the reason I like doing yard stuff, to go back to that is I like being able to see a finished,

Jennifer Smith (06:06):

Oh, I love it. Product. You’re like before and afters. Oh yeah, yeah. Anytime I’m on Instagram and the girls posts like tap clean. Yeah, I’m like, yes, what’s happening? Or even, yeah. Okay. So the other thing I was going to mention because we’ve been out in the garden is you built me hoop gardens, like raised beds with this plastic and PVC hoop thing, which is really nice because we live in a colder climate and I’ve been really nervous to start gardening. I’ve wanted to, but I’m worried that anything that I put out there is going to die. And so we needed some sort of covering because where we live, it actually has no frost free days guaranteed. It’s a very short

Aaron Smith (06:45):

Growing season. We have a small little window, but the hoop garden will make it bigger. I want to make a note though. The main portion of the boxes we’re actually built by some really good friends of ours, Stan and Chris.

Jennifer Smith (06:55):

Thank you Stan. Thank you Chris.

Aaron Smith (06:56):

While we were in California dealing with my brother and the loss of my brother, they came over and built those boxes for you. I

Jennifer Smith (07:03):

Was so grateful for your birthday. Thank you guys.

Aaron Smith (07:05):

What I did though is I built the lid portion of it and the hoops, the hoop they did, we have those boxes because of them. So

Jennifer Smith (07:12):

Cool.

Aaron Smith (07:13):

And they’re nice boxes and they think they’re going to work. I think we’re going to be able to get an extended growing season this year because we have those. So by the way, going back to messaging us, if you have tips on growing in cold climates, you can message on wife reach Instagram. She

Jennifer Smith (07:28):

Loves getting tips, need all I need, all the help I can get. I actually sat on YouTube last night after the kids went to bed looking at garden tours of zone three, the coldest climate that we have right now. Or technically we’re zone six being in Bend, but our microclimates really matter. And so I’m looking in zone three things and I was watching all the different garden tours of what people are planting and it was super fun. It’s fun. Olive came out, she heard my YouTube on and she came and sat with me and we talked about different flowers we wanted to grow this season. It was encouraging.

Aaron Smith (07:58):

Yeah, I heard you guys when you came in last night, I was like, what are you doing? You’re like, oh, I was looking at garden stuff with olive. And I was like, oh, I bet you she got filled up from that.

Jennifer Smith (08:05):

Yeah, totally. Which I know you didn’t have to say anything, but it also reaffirmed me that letting her stay up was a good thing and just spending that extra time with her. So I appreciate the extra words.

Aaron Smith (08:15):

Yeah, thank you. And I know it probably filled her up. She loved that.

Jennifer Smith (08:18):

Speaking of filling up children, we thought it would be so beneficial since we were talking about words, this series the last, this is our eighth week doing words,

Aaron Smith (08:28):

Focusing on words. Last on the series

Jennifer Smith (08:31):

We were going to talk about the words that we can speak over our children and why it’s important. So before we jump into this, I was thinking of notes and what do we wanted to talk about and the kids were all playing around me and I just thought, I haven’t asked them a question in a long time to share on the podcast, so maybe I’ll do that. And I was really surprised by their answers, so I just wanted to share some of them. This is

Aaron Smith (08:52):

Great. This probably could be the whole episode. No, let’s give them only what the kids answered.

Jennifer Smith (08:56):

I will say this based off of my kids’ answers. I was really encouraged by it and I just wanted to encourage you that if you have kids asking them these three simple questions and being surprised by what they have to answer. Okay, so the first question I asked them was, what words do you hear from mom and dad that you love? So I just said, Hey kids, come here. And it was kind of funny, we have five kids and they all kind of talked over each other or piggybacked off what each other were saying. So I almost wish that I had pulled them each aside individually, but I dunno, I don’t know which way you want to do it. So what words kind of words do you like to hear from us? And the first thing that Wyatt said was,

Aaron Smith (09:36):

I forgot about this Bingo

Jennifer Smith (09:37):

Bango, mango, Mongo, which is an inside joke for our family. We came up with it back when Elliot was little and it was just a fun way to say yes, that you did something right or you answered something

Aaron Smith (09:49):

Right. It’s bingo, bango, bango, mango, mango, mongo. Yeah, it

Jennifer Smith (09:51):

Just

Aaron Smith (09:51):

Means I

Jennifer Smith (09:52):

Can’t even say it. It means, yeah. Okay, so along the years we’ll just randomly say Bingo, bingo, mango, Mongo. The kids love it. I can’t

Aaron Smith (10:02):

Believe you remembered that.

Jennifer Smith (10:03):

Yeah. So inside joke Elliot mentioned, anytime you say thank you love bucket or love button, these are nicknames that I came up with him and when he said that

Aaron Smith (10:14):

Names of endearment. Yes.

Jennifer Smith (10:16):

And when he said that, olive goes, oh yeah, I love it when you call me sweetheart. Or even buttercup. I love buttercup because it reminds me of being filled up like pudding and puddings. My favorite dessert, she was a little dramatic when she was

Aaron Smith (10:30):

Answering like a pudding cup. I do love pudding too. Olive is a lot like me.

Jennifer Smith (10:35):

And then one of the other kids said, I love you. They accentuated it the way they said it.

Aaron Smith (10:41):

So we were sharing our notes document. You were writing these as I was working on it.

Jennifer Smith (10:45):

Also, I could see your little typing

Aaron Smith (10:46):

Thing and you were like, they were just coming in. And I was like, at first I had no idea what she was talking about, but this was all her answers.

Jennifer Smith (10:53):

It was awesome. Truet our five-year old, he’s a real honest kid.

Aaron Smith (10:59):

That’s why we called him Truet.

Jennifer Smith (11:00):

Truet. I said, Truet, what are some words that mom and dad say that you love to hear? And he said, you don’t say much that I remember.

Aaron Smith (11:10):

Thanks tr. Oh my

Jennifer Smith (11:11):

Goodness. I really need to get in that kid’s space. I guess

Aaron Smith (11:15):

We do. We need to get in this space a little bit more

Jennifer Smith (11:17):

Probably. I need to come up with some funny things that he’ll remember

Aaron Smith (11:20):

Specifically for him. Yeah, well he says a lot of funny things that we

Jennifer Smith (11:24):

Remember. He’s so funny. Oh yeah. What was that one?

Aaron Smith (11:27):

He’s like, I’m the coldest on the boat.

Jennifer Smith (11:28):

No, he said something like, yeah, I’m the coldest

Aaron Smith (11:31):

On the boat.

Jennifer Smith (11:32):

Our friend Jordan was like, oh you’re cool. And he said, not cool. Awesome. But he’s

Aaron Smith (11:36):

So cool. Like freezing. Cool. Like

Jennifer Smith (11:38):

Freezing. And so that’s an inside had Jordan

Aaron Smith (11:41):

Said he was, I don’t

Jennifer Smith (11:42):

Remember Cool

Aaron Smith (11:43):

Either

Jennifer Smith (11:43):

Ways. He’s super funny. Okay, so your kids might be super honest with you and that’s still a good thing. Elliot said he likes it When we say get or done or talk in a funny accent,

Aaron Smith (11:54):

That’s not usually you slaying. You like to say funny things. I never say anything funny ever do. I

Jennifer Smith (12:02):

Think you’re the one that came up with bingo, bango, mango. Mango probably. Okay, okay. Olive came up with this one. She said when dad does bible time and he says things like you are all children of God. It makes me feel really good because God’s powerful and he protects us just like Dad. I know it was really sweet. Hers were all really, really sweet.

Aaron Smith (12:21):

She’s trying to butter me up is what she’s doing.

Jennifer Smith (12:23):

Butter up. So these were words that they loved to hear from us. Lots of nicknames and things that were funny.

Aaron Smith (12:29):

Real quick, I want to mention one, I remember a long time ago when Elliot was, gosh, maybe two or three, he was able to talk, but he was so young and I remember I was driving with him. It was just me and him and we were talking, I called him Buddy, I think it was the first time I ever called him Buddy. And he looked at me and he is like, he’s like, I’m your buddy. And he said, yeah. And I could see it in his face. He was so moved. Yeah. He’s like, I’m dad’s buddy. I

Jennifer Smith (12:55):

Didn’t even know about this. You’ve been holding out on it for 11

Aaron Smith (12:58):

Years. It was one of the first moments of,

Jennifer Smith (13:02):

I love

Aaron Smith (13:03):

That one little phrase. Made him, made his whole day so cool. He felt so special that I called him my buddy.

Jennifer Smith (13:12):

I’m really sorry. I thought this section was going to be a quick fast paced thing and it’s taking up a little bit of time, but the next section I asked the kids, I said, okay, so what are some words that you would love to hear from us more? Is there anything? I didn’t know how they were going to answer these. Olive said, I really love it when you call me little princess. I think you only did it once or twice. And then Edie caught on and said, yeah, you should call me ballerina.

Aaron Smith (13:38):

Edie’s funny. I know she’s,

Jennifer Smith (13:42):

Olive also mentioned, I love it when you get excited. So sometimes when I’m teaching them something or there’s just something going on that I get really excited

Aaron Smith (13:49):

About. When you get excited when we’re on road trips. Oh yeah. Different weather changes or thunderstorms, thunderstorm.

Jennifer Smith (13:56):

I’m funny that kids

Aaron Smith (13:58):

Get all excited with you.

Jennifer Smith (13:59):

Or sometimes during Bible time if they, there’s a concept that I really want them to learn, I get really pumped up. She said that it makes her really excited.

Aaron Smith (14:07):

That’s true. Yeah. Who said this other one? Was

Jennifer Smith (14:09):

It

Aaron Smith (14:09):

Elliot? Yeah,

Jennifer Smith (14:11):

Elliot. Just as we were talking, he said he just blurted out, do unto others as you would have them do unto you. And he was real serious about it. I was like, okay, and is that reciting scripture? And he goes, yeah, definitely. So he wants us to recite scripture more. I think this was either true or Wyatt. They said that they want us to tell them that they can have more free time. Oh, okay. Yeah.

Aaron Smith (14:34):

More free time

Jennifer Smith (14:36):

You guys, our kids are homeschooled and let’s less school more free time. That’s what they said. Less school,

Aaron Smith (14:41):

More free time. And I always try to remind my kids that they get much more free time than most kids and they want more of it,

Jennifer Smith (14:48):

That we do hard things. Which that one surprised me. I feel like we shared lot. We share that phrase a lot. We

Aaron Smith (14:52):

Do hard things. I’ll admit I haven’t heard as much as we used to say it. Well then we need to go back to, so maybe we need to go, but that means we have to do hard things.

Jennifer Smith (15:01):

Last one, when they were smaller, we used to say things all the time that I love you to the moon and back or why it specifically came up with this one. I love you through time and space to a new world. And both two of my kids recognized that they want us to say things like that more. Maybe treat ’em like they’re a little bit younger than they are. I like it. I dunno. So the last question that I asked them, I said, okay, so what are some words that you don’t want us to say anymore? Well, Wyatt said that there’s a surprise going on because he just wants to know what it is.

Aaron Smith (15:33):

Oh, he doesn’t like not being told.

Jennifer Smith (15:34):

Yeah. And then true it said, I don’t want you to say there’s an emergency when there’s not one going to get ice cream instead. Because there was this one time that me and a friend, we thought it would be really funny because all the kids were playing really good and we’re like, we just want to treat them. And so we’re like, let’s tell them it was my idea. I know it was wrong, but I said, tell them there’s an emergency and we all get in the car really fast and we just show up to the ice cream store. I thought that’d be really fun. Well, it actually was pretty dramatic and they thought there was something serious going on. Some of ’em traumatic started crying and we had to tell them, no, no, no, we’re just going to get ice cream. And so that really stuck with them. I’ve never done it again. Learned my lesson the hard way.

Aaron Smith (16:11):

We saved serious words for serious things. Got

Jennifer Smith (16:13):

It, got it. New mom over here? No. Okay. And then the last one I was kind of shocked by some of our older kids said sometimes when there’s something that happens really fast, there’s not good words shared, which Erin and I don’t cuss, but sometimes we let things slip like dang. Or

Aaron Smith (16:34):

We say words that we don’t let the kids say

Jennifer Smith (16:35):

Stupid. And so that was what they said. Dang, you’re stupid and it doesn’t stupid or

Aaron Smith (16:43):

Yeah, I can’t even think of another one, but But there are words that they’re not allowed to sayed when I say it, when I stub my toe or I break something or because something happens and they’ll look at me and they’ll be like, you shouldn’t say that. And then I have to look at and say, I’m sorry. You’re right. I shouldn’t say that.

Jennifer Smith (17:02):

Anyways. One

Aaron Smith (17:03):

Word I think that they wouldn’t want us to say anymore that they didn’t mention they don’t like the word maybe.

Jennifer Smith (17:07):

Oh no, Edith. Edith says that maybe has no in it. That’s how she phrases

Aaron Smith (17:13):

It maybe has no in it because it does. Maybe it could be yes or no. And she doesn’t like it, wants

Jennifer Smith (17:17):

It straightforward answer. Really what she wants is yes, like me.

Aaron Smith (17:21):

And what’s funny is the Bible tells us to let her yes be or yes and her nobie or no, so she’s not wrong. So the kids are always, when we say maybe often they’ll be like maybe means no. We’re like, well no. It means maybe, but usually means no.

Jennifer Smith (17:34):

So after going through these three questions, I just realized that our kids, so our age range is four to 11 and they just have a lot to share. And so if you guys have kids, really it doesn’t matter what age they are, as long as they share in a conversation, you might be surprised by the things that they’ve been impacted by with your words. And so it might be a good cool conversation to have with them.

Aaron Smith (17:58):

And if you ask your kids, they’ll tell you. Yeah, they’ll tell you.

Jennifer Smith (18:01):

So why are we talking about words with our children today? Well, because we all need the reminder that words are powerful and that with our words, we’re constantly either building them up or tearing them down. And when I say building them up or tearing them down, I’m talking about their emotional wellbeing, mental their mental, spiritual, spiritual everything and their self-esteem. And you can see that in children. Where are they? How are they doing? Are they flourishing? Are they struggling in certain areas? We as parents should regularly be evaluating our impact on our children and letting the Holy Spirit convict our hearts in areas that we need to change, grow in mature. And so yeah, we just wanted to share about these, today’s episode’s going to highlight some positive words that we can share with them. But I think it’s important to note that there are things that we can do that could hurt our children. Things that we’ve experienced is like sarcasm, especially as my kids got older, they called it out in me and I’ve really been trying to work on that. But when we say things in a sarcastic way, it can leave them feeling deflated or misunderstood. They don’t understand what’s going on.

Aaron Smith (19:17):

Something that my kids are very sensitive to, especially Elliot, but really all of them, I generalize if a mess has been made and it was just the two littles that made the mess,

Jennifer Smith (19:29):

But you’re saying to all, but I say

Aaron Smith (19:31):

You kids always make a mess or my son will look at me and be like, I didn’t do that. And he feels very offended that I lump him in with the wrongdoers and he doesn’t appreciate being generalized into the conversation and he calls me out all the time about it. He’s like, he’ll do this when you say all are you meaning me?

Jennifer Smith (19:55):

He just wants clarification that you’re recognizing

Aaron Smith (19:57):

What he’s done. But it is not right to just do that, to equalize all of them in a situation that doesn’t deserve that. And so that’s an offensive way. Well,

Jennifer Smith (20:09):

It’s a pain in any relationship. Anytime someone says you always, you never being generalized

Aaron Smith (20:15):

Well and including you into something that you don’t belong in a negative way and that’s hurtful. And so he communicates that to me and Olive will do the same thing. I would imagine Wyatt intruder probably right behind them, but those two are the oldest and they see it now and they recognize it.

Jennifer Smith (20:33):

Another one, which is true for marriage too, and we mentioned it last episode, but criticizing if you have an encouragement, a critique, something that you want to share with somebody to encourage growth and exhortation, that’s more of a positive way of sharing something with someone. But when you criticize harshly and you’re reactionary and

Aaron Smith (20:57):

Which is something I struggle with for sure.

Jennifer Smith (20:59):

Well, I think everyone in that moment of your flesh gets in the way, can say something the wrong way and your opinion gets out. It could be really, like I said, deflating, discouraging. So we need to be careful of those things. Another one that I noted here is just the lack of words. Sometimes when you neglect to say something that your kids need to hear can also be damaging. And I think it leaves a longing in our children to hear certain words, certain encouragement,

Aaron Smith (21:28):

Not taking opportunities. We have to speak to our children to have a conversation with them could be detrimental. Yeah.

Jennifer Smith (21:35):

Okay, so those aside, we did want to just jump into, we have seven words that we wanted to share with you guys today and it’s a little bit different than last episode because last episode we shared specific phrases that we could share in our marriage with our spouse to our spouse, but today we’re going to share a specific word with you and then maybe go into how do you encourage your children based off that word? Yep. Does that make sense? That’s good. Okay. So first before we dive in, I just wanted to share an article that I read from news.mit.edu and I’m going to summarize it for you guys, but I thought it was really interesting. MIT cognitive scientist found that conversation between an adult and child appears to change the child’s brain and that the back and forth conversation is really critical to language development. And I was so encouraged whenever you read something scientific and it’s something that you’re already doing, you’re like, yes. So I felt really pumped up in this area because affirmed by this, affirmed by it because I’ll share in a bit, but I feel like we do a really good job of conversing with our children and giving them those opportunities to go back and forth. Another way that they kind of phrased it was conversational turns or conversational duets, but it’s just this idea of going back and forth and there’s

Aaron Smith (23:00):

Asking a question and waiting for an answer.

Jennifer Smith (23:03):

And they did their study between ages four and six. So it’s kind of like that early development of they’re learning how to communicate and I think often with those ages, it can be so easy to talk to our children, tell them what to do, what they shouldn’t do, why they’re doing it, what all of the

Aaron Smith (23:20):

Talking at rather than talking with.

Jennifer Smith (23:22):

Yeah. And I think the difference really is questioning and giving them room to really think about it and share about it. And that’s basically what this study was saying and how it really helps form language skills in those children. And that, let me just read this one part. It says they found that differences in the number of conversational accounted for a large portion of the differences in brain, sorry, physiology. Physiology and language skills that they found among the children. This finding applied to children regardless of parental income or education. So it kind of like

Aaron Smith (23:59):

Didn’t matter of status,

Jennifer Smith (24:00):

It doesn’t matter of all the lines that you can draw for this, it’s just because of the parent child relationship or adult child relationship and how

Aaron Smith (24:08):

We talk. And it was also the study found that it was less about the quantity of words and more about the type of conversation. So you’re not just talking at the kids, but that back and forth, the conversational perspective and attitude of how you’re engaging with your children

Jennifer Smith (24:26):

And just how that impacts their brain for further development.

Aaron Smith (24:31):

It’s something that we’ve done even from when our children were babies. I’ve never been good at baby talk in various ways. In some ways is there’s certain cute things, but we’ve always talked to our kids as if they fully understand what we’re saying, whether they did or not, but we always assumed they understood and we talked to them as if they were understanding us. And I do believe that that helped them have better understanding and better communication skills and better vocabulary. But that’s just something that we did. No one told us that we need to do that. I don’t know why we did that, but it’s just my natural way of communicating with babies, I guess.

Jennifer Smith (25:08):

Well, and that’s why I felt so affirmed in this. I do see that our family does this, especially just giving opportunity with family bible time, which isn’t every single day, but it’s often enough that we get that back and forth or they get to ask a question or you get to ask a question and there’s just a mutual giving in that

Aaron Smith (25:25):

Relationship. Good example, I’m talking about something and the kids are allowed to raise their hands and ask questions or put input. Ed raises her hand. She did it 20 times today. Today was so funny. And she goes and she’s got her bible open because mom got her a new bible and it’s beautiful and she’s looking and she said, well, she’s like, God makes us so,

Jennifer Smith (25:47):

So good. That’s

Aaron Smith (25:48):

Right. Good. Thank you.

Jennifer Smith (25:50):

She looked all proud of herself for being able to just engage,

Aaron Smith (25:54):

Engaging and she’s a part of the conversation and she’s giving a comment, an answer, a question. And

Jennifer Smith (26:00):

I think when we do this, what we’ve seen is through our experience is just that the children get a boost of confidence. I was just able to match where you’re at and you’re my dad or you’re my mom, you’re older than me. And I just said something that,

Aaron Smith (26:14):

Oh man. And often they say stuff that I’m like, whoa, I know. That was good.

Jennifer Smith (26:18):

It’s so good. So I did want to read this quote from John Gabrieli. He’s the professor in health science and technology at MIT. And he said the really novel thing about our papers that it provides the first evidence that family conversation at home is associated with brain development in children. It’s almost magical how parental conversation appears to influence the biological growth of the brain. And I know this sounds really scientific, but basically if you love your children and you desire to see them grow and mature and especially in cognitive language area, have conversations with them, I love how they put conversation, duet, you’re going back and forth. It’s like a dance. It’s not just you’re talking to them. It’s not just putting boundaries all the time or asking questions. Why did you do that? Because we can get caught up in doing those things, but really it’s getting to know them and allowing them to express themselves.

Aaron Smith (27:18):

Side note, this makes me, if this is how we biologically as humans grow and engage, it makes me think about prayer

Jennifer Smith (27:27):

And how

Aaron Smith (27:29):

As children of God, our communication to God helps develop our spiritual minds so good and our spiritual hearts. And I was just, when I was listening, I was like,

Jennifer Smith (27:38):

Huh, that was a good little side note.

Aaron Smith (27:40):

Wonder why he wants us to talk to him. It grows us.

Jennifer Smith (27:45):

Oh, I love that. So pray more. Okay, so with all that said, I just wanted to, we

Aaron Smith (27:51):

Got seven words,

Jennifer Smith (27:51):

Go into seven words that we can speak over our children. I’ll start. Go for it.

Aaron Smith (27:55):

Yeah. The first word is purpose. This is a huge one. Currently the current generation of young people, this is something that they hugely lack and they’re looking for and they long for it and they’re trying to grasp to anything that will give them purpose. That’s why we as parents should be speaking to our children that they absolutely have purpose and to guide them toward purpose.

Jennifer Smith (28:20):

And this doesn’t mean that we have to have an answer for them on that question, what do you want to be when you grow up? No, it’s not a labeling, it’s not an identification thing, it’s an understanding of who we are thing,

Aaron Smith (28:32):

Right? Yeah. And this is a purpose that goes so much deeper than just occupation or just this thing I’m going to do in my life with who I am

Jennifer Smith (28:43):

Or even mission work. What do you feel called to do in life as far as how are you going to serve the Lord or those things are important,

Aaron Smith (28:52):

But the purpose is even deeper than that, reminding our children that God created them first and foremost, that they are made in the image of God. There’s purpose in that. There’s meaning in their existence apart from everything else, apart from how much money they make apart from what they will ever do with their life apart, if they’re ever famous or known, that they’re valuable and purposed, that they were created with purpose and meaning and that they’re known. And so letting your children, not letting teaching them that, showing them that, reminding them that making that so important all the time that in every opportunity you have to point that out to them. Elliot brought up, he’s like, it’s so interesting that monkeys and chimpanzees are the closest things to humans. He’s like, but God only made humans in his image. I’m like, yeah. I said, monkeys may seem close to us, but they were not made in God’s image. You are special. You were created in the image of God, not a monkey. And so taking every opportunity to remind them of the purposefulness that they were created in, that they were created with God’s image in God’s image to be image bearers and to remind them of that is probably one of the most foundational things we can do for our kids is to make sure that they know that purely in their humanity, they have purpose

(30:27)
Regardless of everything else will set them up for so much good in their life and so much stability and boldness and strength to endure so much in this life. I think this is a huge one for our kids to know.

Jennifer Smith (30:41):

Someone once encouraged that kids are like sponges and the more we can soak into them while they live in our home and are with us, the less they’ll be able to soak up of the world once they’re outside of our home as adults. And I love that analogy and it reminds me every day to pour into them, to douse them with the truth and with these things that we’re talking about today. And sometimes that’s merely just by repetition. And so one practical way that I love to remind my children that they have purpose is that night when we pray for them and I pray and ask God to reveal their purpose to them, that they would know their purpose, that they would dream about their purpose and that they would be secure in their purpose. And so you guys can take that as a little tip if you want or find a meaningful way that you can encourage your kids that they have purpose

Aaron Smith (31:32):

And one main purpose I brought up how they’re made in God’s image is to be an image bearer. So we may have been made in God’s image, but until we fully believe in Jesus and we follow him and we walk in faith and our life begins to be transformed by him to look like him, to bear his image in this world, to be witnesses for him, essentially that’s the main purpose that we exist is to bring him glory. But that even starts at just the value of humanity, the value that they are as a human being.

Jennifer Smith (32:07):

And that purpose transcends, like you said, any occupation or anything that they’re going to do in the future because you can do it just by living your life and by what you believe. A verse that really stood out to me when thinking about purpose and how we can share scriptures to back up these words with our kids is Ephesians two 10. It says, for we are his workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

Aaron Smith (32:33):

That word workmanship, I’ve always liked that one. I think the Greek word is poema. That’s where we get the word poem and it’s a masterfully put together work, which is really cool. Another verse is Psalm 1 39, 13 through 18, for you me, you formed my inward parts. You knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you for I’m fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderfully wonderful are your works. As that word works, my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance in your book were written every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when is yet they were none of them. How precious to me are your thoughts. Oh God, how vast is the sum of them? If I would count them, they’re more than the sand I wake and I’m still with you. This is showing that how important you are as a human, as a person, that God’s thoughts towards you are good. And it’s amazing that he even has thoughts towards us and that he knew us before we even formed. We were in his mind. And so instilling that in our children goes much further beyond just them adopting what we believe.

Jennifer Smith (33:55):

Well, I was talking about that sponge, if they’re soaked up so full, believing that they are valuable, worthy, have purpose, have purpose, all of these positive things, then when we all know happens when you’re an adult, you get bombarded with insecurity, doubt and lies when they’re bombarded with things like, I’m not worthy or I didn’t do that thing right, therefore I’m not.

Aaron Smith (34:21):

And you didn’t get the job wanted. You didn’t get that degree you

Jennifer Smith (34:24):

Wanted, you didn’t get Those things are not going to be able to penetrate what is true.

Aaron Smith (34:28):

Yeah, because you down, they’ll understand who they are at the corees of levels.

Jennifer Smith (34:33):

And it kind of reminds me of last episode when we shared phrases that we should share with our spouse and that one that says, I am for you. This kind of plays into that a little bit. As parents, we are believing that our children have purpose, therefore they will end up believing that they have purpose. And we’re basically saying, we are for you. When we share positive messages like

Aaron Smith (34:55):

That, that’s a good reminder because it’s something I wasn’t even thinking about, but making sure our children know that they have purpose regardless of anything they’ve accomplished, yet they haven’t become anything yet. They haven’t even learned anything yet. They haven’t done anything amazing yet. They have purpose and they have meaning and they have value and it’s regardless of anything that they’ve done yet. So it’s intrinsic in them, which is beautiful. Beautiful.

Jennifer Smith (35:23):

Okay, the next word that we should speak over our children is peace. And this is so vital, so important. Kids need a laugh of each other. We have a big family and so we need to remind them often that we need peace. But a really big thing as parents is that we need to remember that we also set the tone in the atmosphere for the home. It’s true. And we need to consider are our words or our actions bringing our home peace or chaos. And we often set the example. So they’re going to do what they

Aaron Smith (35:54):

See. Sometimes we’re the ca bringers,

Jennifer Smith (35:56):

Sometimes we are. Sometimes they are like you said with their siblings. And so we need to remind them, Hey, be peacemakers. This is what God’s word says. Matthew five nine says, blessed are the peacemakers because they will be called sons of God, which you just had a big talk with the kids that when it says sons of God, that is,

Aaron Smith (36:14):

Yeah, sons and daughters are

Jennifer Smith (36:16):

Included in that talking about men just like it talks about humans. So that was a good little note. There was another verse that came to my mind when I was thinking about peace. John 1427. Jesus said, my peace I leave with you. Sorry, peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you not as the world gives. Do I give to you? Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. And this is a really great verse to share with your children because there are going to be times, especially as they grow up and experience different relationships and different experiences, that they could be troubled, they can be afraid, they can experience all kinds of things and they should know where to get their peace from. Where do you get your peace from?

Aaron Smith (36:56):

Well, and also there could be someone in their life causing chaos and they can still have peace in the way they respond and the way they don’t respond in the way they brush something off their shoulder in the way they don’t hold onto something. And so they could join in the chaos, they can join in the peace taking or they could be one that’s trying to bring the peace. And so we try and teach them that for each other, but we also try and teach that with us. Peace. We only want peace in our homes. We want peace. We want peace. Number three, belonging. This is a big one. Everyone wants to belong to someone to something, to somewhere. We tell our kids they belong to us, they’re ours.

Jennifer Smith (37:41):

Or when we say things like We’re the Smiths and then we fill in the blank, we’re the Smiths. We do hard things. Yeah, it

Aaron Smith (37:46):

Creates,

Jennifer Smith (37:47):

We’re peacemakers

Aaron Smith (37:48):

A patriotism. It creates a unifying thought and makes them feel like they’re a part of us, not just they haven’t earned their place yet. No, they’re ours. They’re a part of it. We’ve been doing this a lot. You’ve been sick and off from being pregnant. And so I’ve been telling the kids and my kids, this is our home. This is your home. It’s not my home. It’s not mom’s home. Take mom, it’s our home. Take you guys every bit of help that you do is help that mommy gets is help that I get is taking care of this house. So reminding them that they belong to this home, that this home belongs to them and that they can take care of it. It’s a huge thing teaching them ownership and it makes them feel valuable and apart and not a side thought or something that just exists over here in the peripheral.

Jennifer Smith (38:38):

Something that I’ve been encouraging the kids with lately is just recognizing their needs with their relationships with each other and really being intentional to encourage growth, friendship, love, all of those positive things because we’ve struggled in the flesh at times and my kids are learning, our kids are learning, learning. I ended up getting a devotional that the kids can go through from not consumed. And it’s been really encouraging to be able to go through it and it’s prompting. So at the breakfast table the other day, I encouraged through this devotional, all the kids to share why their siblings are a blessing to them. And it was so cool to hear all the different perspectives of what matters to them and what touched their hearts or what encouraged them, why they think their siblings are a blessing. And so I just wanted to share that. I’ve been pouring into the kids and reminding them that God, this was a part of the devotional too. God intentionally gave you your family, so they’re our children, but God gave them to us. They’re siblings with each other. God gave them to each other

Aaron Smith (39:43):

And constantly reminding our kids that they’re a blessing to us, that the fact that there are children, we are honored, we’re blessed. I tell ’em, I thank God that you’re my kids. They’re not a burden to us. They’re not a curse to us. They’re a blessing. And that’s important for them to know that their position in our home, their participation in our family is a good thing and I’m thankful for it. And I think everyone wants to know that. Every kid wants to know that they were loved, they were part of the family and not an outcast.

Jennifer Smith (40:26):

Psalm 103 says, know that the Lord, he is God. It is he who made us and we are his people and the sheep of his pasture. And I just wanted to bring this up because we also affirm as much as we affirm that our kids are a part of our family, that we are children of God, which I thought that was so cool that Olive mentioned that you shared this in Bible time and it really impacted her that telling them that they’re children of God, but just reminding your children that they’re a part of a bigger family. We often will share how there’s different churches in the world and universally we are the bride of Christ. It’s not just our church or that church down the street. Believers all around the world are one body and sharing those scriptures with him, with them about

Aaron Smith (41:12):

It. And I want to make a note on this belonging, not just belonging in our family, but like you said, we make sure our children and we make sure all the children in our church know that they belong in our church. Not that they’re some second rate citizen, but no, they’re equal parts

Jennifer Smith (41:32):

Important, important.

Aaron Smith (41:33):

In our church, there’s oftentimes that our children will pray in our church for someone’s prayer request and we let them because they’re a part of our church and so letting them know that they belong to the body of Christ just like you belong to the body of Christ, just like I belong to the body of Christ.

Jennifer Smith (41:50):

Which is great because it ties back into purpose and especially knowing that you are an individual member of the body of Christ and that God designed it that way and that no one member or part of the body is more or less valuable than the other. Everybody’s important.

Aaron Smith (42:06):

And I want to encourage someone, we might need to do a whole episode on this one day about children and salvation. I want to help understand this.

(42:16)
I’m going to follow Jesus’ example. And I want us as believers parents looking at our children to understand this. The disciples tried pushing the children away from Jesus when he was doing his ministry and Jesus rebukes them and says in Matthew 1914, Jesus said, let the little children come to me and do not hinder them to such belongs the kingdom of heaven. And there’s another verse where Jesus says, if someone causes one of these little ones who believes in me to stumble, it’ll be better for him to have a millstone cast around his neck or tied around his neck and thrown into the sea. And what he’s saying in these two statements and what you see, especially when he says that we’re to have faith like a child and we’re to become children. All of these statements, I believe that our children in their state, when we teach them who God is, their natural state is to believe. So our disposition towards our children should be, they believe it should not be. They don’t believe until they’ve done this prayer. They’re not Christians until they’ve done this. No Jewish person ever in the history of Judaism, in the history of the Hebrews and in all of the things that God told them to do would’ve said, oh, this child’s not a Jew until they’ve, something’s happened.

Jennifer Smith (43:37):

No, they belong because of who they

Aaron Smith (43:38):

Are. They are a Jew. They are a Jew by birth. They are a Jew because of the family they’re in. They are a Jew because of they’re a part of everything that the Jews are a part of. They’re a part of all the festivals and the feasts and the, so they’re there being taught, they’re there being a part. There’s not one time that they’re assumed not. And I think as believers, we should assume that our children are, we should assume that our children believe, we should assume that their belief is more pure than ours even. And so we shouldn’t push them away. We shouldn’t assume that they’re over here until they’re on the inside.

Jennifer Smith (44:15):

Well, and to be careful of this perspective that you’re talking about, because I think in a negative way, if we don’t believe the things that they say or are revealing about what they believe could almost be discouraging if you respond in a way of disbelief. I dunno if I said that right?

Aaron Smith (44:37):

Yeah. If you respond for your kids, well, maybe you don’t fully understand or maybe you don’t fully believe or

Jennifer Smith (44:42):

It could kind of deter them from what they are understanding in that moment. But in light of what you’re saying, if you have the perspective that your children are a part and do believe when they make comments, when they’re showing you and revealing to you their level of understanding, you can affirm that and you can encourage them in that belief.

Aaron Smith (45:04):

Now that doesn’t mean that if they believe as a child one day, they’re not going to have to be challenged with that faith. They will absolutely. But our job is not to challenge their faith. Our job is to encourage it. Our job is to teach them. Our job is to reveal to them God, our job is to teach them God’s ways. That’s our job. It’s not to discourage their faith, it’s not to challenge their faith. It’s not to do any of that. There’s plenty in this world that’s going to do that. So I’m just encouraging, let’s think the way Jesus thinks. Let the little children come to me.

Jennifer Smith (45:35):

I do want to share that there are children too that struggle with doubt from a very early age. Absolutely. And so what would your encouragement be to parents who are seeing that being revealed in their children?

Aaron Smith (45:46):

Some of our kids have come with questions, very real logical questions, things that are naturally, they’ll come up when their faith’s being challenged. And I tell them, I’m like, that’s a really good question. And there’s a lot of people that struggle with that same question and doubt. And so I encourage ’em that it’s okay that they have these questions. I never want to stamp out their question for my fear of them falling

Jennifer Smith (46:10):

Away from the Lord not leaving or something. And I think just affirming them through scripture too of what you do know and what the Lord has revealed to you in that moment of answering their question, how can you help them by navigating them through scripture

Aaron Smith (46:22):

And then always reminding that the only way anyone is saved is by believing in the Savior in Jesus

Jennifer Smith (46:29):

Christ. And faith comes by hearing, hearing, hearing through the word of God. Yep. Okay, so we’re going to move on to the next one, which was a little bit of a hard one for me to put into words, but I hope you guys understand what we’re talking about.

Aaron Smith (46:44):

I don’t think it’ll be as hard as you think.

Jennifer Smith (46:45):

No. Okay.

Aaron Smith (46:46):

It’s hard for some people to hear

Jennifer Smith (46:49):

The word is imperfect. Now, we’re not saying that you should go around and tell your children that’s how

Aaron Smith (46:55):

Imperfect you are,

Jennifer Smith (46:55):

How imperfect they’re, and just point it out left. And we know that children are in a state of learning, growing, maturing. And so this isn’t a negative thing. This is a reality. Reality. And the reason why this is important is because if we make comments or use our words to show how perfect they are constantly

Aaron Smith (47:23):

Or how perfect they should be,

Jennifer Smith (47:26):

It could really shape their understanding or even how to receive the gospel.

Aaron Smith (47:32):

So this reminds me of one of our children that desires to please us all the time, desires to do the right thing all the time, which is I think a good thing. But I can also see sometimes they can compare themselves to other children that may not behave that way, may not act that way, aren’t as interested in as following through or doing the right thing. And so I go to them and I say, Hey, I do appreciate that you do always try and do the right thing, but I want you to know that that’s not why I love you. And that there are going to be times that you’re going to not do the right thing. And there are going to be times that you don’t do. You make mistakes and you don’t please me. But that’s not why I love you. I love you regardless that you are mine and I love you regardless of you. We’re always behaving right. That’s so good. And so I try and I don’t want to allow this child to be trapped by that internal drive that they have

Jennifer Smith (48:27):

Of doing

Aaron Smith (48:28):

Thinking. They have to earn something

Jennifer Smith (48:30):

Performing

Aaron Smith (48:30):

Out of performance. And that’s kind of where this imperfect your imperfect comes from is you can try and be as good as you want to be, but that’s not what has given you my love.

Jennifer Smith (48:43):

That’s really good. Going back to that picture of a sponge and how when we pour into our children, it makes it a lot harder for anything else to be received as they grow up. Well, this is really, it’s important, but it’s a really great opportunity that we have with the time that we have with our children in our homes that we get to share the gospel with them. And so if we acknowledge their imperfection or sin that comes up, we then get to follow up with the power of the gospel. And I think that’s what makes this one so important. Philippians three 12 says, Paul is talking. He says, not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own because Christ Jesus has made me his own. And I love this verse. It’s recognition that he knows what Jesus did, who Jesus was, what he did for him. He understands the gospel. And I want my kids to understand that. And I think when we are built up in a way that we have a hard time acknowledging our sin or seeing reality, it makes it a lot harder to understand why Jesus did what he did.

Aaron Smith (49:55):

A big part of showing this to our kids is often in ourselves. One of our kids once, I can’t remember who said it, but they’re like, I can’t wait until I’m older, when I won’t sin anymore like you and mom. I was like, who told you that? I was like, no, me and mommy make mistakes all the time.

Jennifer Smith (50:10):

Their eyes usually get a little big when we say

Aaron Smith (50:11):

That. They’re like, no but the same. I’m like, no, they’re different, but we sin all the time and Romans five, eight, but God shows us his love for us and that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. We get to explain to him, no, we all have sin and we all need Jesus. And so we tell them that you make mistakes. Me and mommy make mistakes. And so when we repent of them, when we apologize to them, when we show them we’ve made mistakes, it’s a reminder to them that we all make mistakes that we all mess up at times. It’s

Jennifer Smith (50:41):

A really powerful message, and it can be super encouraging when your child does feel discouraged because they’ve made a mistake, made the wrong decision, sinned, any one of those things. And

Aaron Smith (50:51):

Some children take that harder than others,

Jennifer Smith (50:53):

But when you come to them and you explain to them, this is what you did, but there’s grace for you, and this is why we need Jesus, this is why we need Jesus. It’s such a powerful opportunity for them to acknowledge who Jesus was and what he did for them.

Aaron Smith (51:11):

And hopefully in the future when they are on their own and they mess up, they’re going to know who to go to.

Jennifer Smith (51:16):

Exactly. Jesus. Or when they have kids of their own. Exactly. They’ll know how to respond to them. I’m sure we’ll get phone calls too. Okay. I get it. I know that was really hard for guys.

Aaron Smith (51:27):

Number five, truth. This is a big one. Reciting the word of God and sharing the words of truth. It’s the first thing. So making it a normal thing in our home of preaching, teaching, reading the word of God,

Jennifer Smith (51:41):

Practical way. We do family bible time and we carve out time in the morning because that’s when we can do it. And we’re both there and it’s awesome. It’s not always both of us. Sometimes it’s just you. Sometimes it’s just me. I know other people that do it. At night, there was just the better mom. Ruth Schwank, her and her husband came out with a bedtime family devotional. Oh, that’s cool. So if you guys are a family that need to do it at night, maybe check that resource

Aaron Smith (52:08):

Out. I’ve known fathers that are on the road a lot and they FaceTime their families and they’ll do bible time over FaceTime. So it’s definitely possible to do to figure out. But getting into the word of God with our kids, and as one of our kids mentioned that we would bring up scripture more often. It can happen at any time when there’s conflicts, when there’s discipline opportunities, when there’s good things happening. Just making scripture center of your home. It’s the truth. Go ahead.

Jennifer Smith (52:37):

I was just going to say, we often remind our kids because kids, they make choices that we’d like them not to make like lying. And when that happens, we reiterate, God hates lying. God loves the truth. God hates lying. Mommy and daddy love the truth. We hate lying. And so just reiterating and you guys, if this is something you’re going to teach, it’s got to be something you’re exemplifying and choosing to walk in yourself. And so it’s a really great way to remember for yourself like I’m a person of truth. I’m going to walk in integrity. I’m going to walk in truth and be that example for your

Aaron Smith (53:10):

Children. And here’s an encouragement for you as a parent. If you don’t like your kids lying. Even little lies, you should never give little lies to your kids. I’m not going to describe what those little lies could be, but just think about it. Little lies are lies. Even if they seem fun, even if they seem entertaining, our kids recognize ’em and they will store that away. And I tell my kids all the time, just because it was a little lie does not mean it was as good. Little lies are lies,

Jennifer Smith (53:42):

You said, fun or entertaining, but even just the little stuff to get them to stop asking you over and over again something or moving on from something that you had planned and not wanting to share why or there’s lots of different reasons why you would say something to your children because you want them to understand something. But if it’s not in truth, be careful. Be careful,

Aaron Smith (54:05):

And it’d be better to keep your mouth shut than tell a lie. And so I just want to encourage parents, this is something that we are constantly trying not to do. Our desire is to never lie to our kids. And so if it’s either an answer we don’t want to give or a lie, we don’t say anything. We say we are not going to answer that.

Jennifer Smith (54:27):

I got called out by one of them for lying. And it was funny because I didn’t even realize that I had lied. I wasn’t even paying attention that can happen. So I’m just bringing this up because sometimes you’re saying or doing something that can be a lie. But we homeschool and one of my, this was years ago, but one of my kids asked me for help with something and I said, I can’t right now. I’m helping this other child who was sitting next to me doing math and I was waiting for that child to ask for my help. I was just there. I was on my phone checking emails and what I don’t even remember what I was doing. And so in that moment, the child who wanted me said, or no, the child that was doing math looked up and said, actually, you’re not helping me right now. You’re just on your phone. And I looked at the other child who looked at me with big eyes and I’m like, I am so sorry. It was very convicting. But even in those situations, how much of the truth are we actually telling? And we should always be willing to allow the Holy Spirit to convict our hearts and speak to us and even ask, be willing to ask the hard question. Hey Lord, is there anything in my life that I need correction on

Aaron Smith (55:36):

Another form of lying and we’ll move on to the next one. This is about truth, but you can’t talk about truth without talking about lying. Okay? So we want to not lie, but we want to tell the truth. We want to speak truth. We want to act like our Father in heaven who is truth. He gave us the word of God, which is truth. We have Jesus. So another form of lying is hypocrisy. Say one thing, do another.

Jennifer Smith (56:05):

So making sure that your actions line up with your words.

Aaron Smith (56:08):

Yeah. So that’s something we, there’s been things our kids want us to snuggle with them and we say, oh, tomorrow night, and then we don’t the next night. And we’ve come up with another excuse

Jennifer Smith (56:23):

Through

Aaron Smith (56:23):

Your words, following through with your words. So I just want us to think through this.

Jennifer Smith (56:27):

And this is really an important one, being a truth teller because it builds trust with your children. And when your children can trust you, they want to remain close to you. They want to ask you hard questions. They have a deeper, more impactful, more intimate relationship with you. That’s what we found already.

Aaron Smith (56:46):

I’m going to read this verse and then we’ll move on to the next one. Okay, John 17, 17 through 20 sanctify them in the truth. This is Jesus praying for not only his disciples, but also for everyone who believes in him through their word. Sanctify them in the truth. Your word is truth as you sent me into the world. So I have sent them into the world, and for their sake, I consecrate myself that they also may be sanctified in truth, I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word. So Jesus is praying for me and you, he’s praying for his disciples. And what he’s praying is that we would be sanctified, we’d be transformed in truth. And so let’s make truth a foundational aspect of our homes.

Jennifer Smith (57:26):

So good, for sure. Okay, this next one is

Aaron Smith (57:29):

Number six,

Jennifer Smith (57:30):

Reconciliation.

Aaron Smith (57:33):

We mentioned this last episode, by the way.

Jennifer Smith (57:34):

Yeah, we split it up into two. I’m sorry and I forgive you, but this one we combined so that we can share another word. This is reconciliation. Reconciliation and just practicing, saying, I’m sorry, I forgive you. Showing them your children, how to apologize, how to forgive. Building up those relationships when you and your spouse get into conflict, conflict in front of them, being able and humble enough to go back to them and saying, I’m really sorry for how I acted. If you said something harshly to them, going back to them saying, I’m sorry, and showing them that heart of repentance. I remember something that was impactful for me recently is I saw a video on Instagram of, it was like a video playing in the background of a young mom with their child running to her and holding. She was holding them. And overlaid on the top were these words that says something my parents never said to me. And in quotes underneath it said, I’m sorry. And it just was this really beautiful way of presenting this powerful message, the impact that a child receives when we are humble enough to say, I messed up. I love you, and I’m sorry that I made that mistake. It’s so powerful.

Aaron Smith (58:45):

It’s a real necessary thing that we learn to apologize to our kids. Doesn’t mean we need to apologize for everything. We need to apologize for things that we do wrong when we wrong our child, when we behave inappropriately, when we behave unbecomingly of a believer of a father, of a mother. Why would our children not deserve an apology? What makes them undeserving of that? Remember we talked about purpose, we talked about meaning, we talked about truth, all of these things. Why would we withhold that from them? If they’re just as valuable as you and I, then they deserve an apology just as much as I would want. One.

Jennifer Smith (59:26):

What’s so great about it too is you’re exemplifying for them how to do it. So as they grow up and they become adults, they will be able to know how to do it in their relationships. And that’s such an important skill to be able to pass off to your children. And

Aaron Smith (59:42):

Especially for all those people

Jennifer Smith (59:44):

Have a hard

Aaron Smith (59:44):

Time doing that, that have saying, sorry, kidding and didn’t hear much of that when they were growing up. Think about you and your spouse or your children. You want their spouses to be really versed. An apology

Jennifer Smith (59:57):

To walk humbly.

Aaron Smith (59:59):

Yeah, that’d be a really good thing

Jennifer Smith (01:00:00):

For marriage. I did want to briefly share that practically. I think when kids are really, really young, this might need to be something not forced or coerced, but you’re teaching them. And so siblings get into it and you say, oh, this would be a really good time for you to apologize for what you just did. And you tell them, this is what you should do to reconcile. And then the other kid, Hey, make sure you say I forgive you. And you’re teaching them how to do that.

Aaron Smith (01:00:25):

And then often I’ll have to say, they’ll say, I’m sorry. I’m like, well, can you say what you’re sorry for?

Jennifer Smith (01:00:32):

Oh, that’s a really good skill to have too because then you’re acknowledging what the thing

Aaron Smith (01:00:35):

Is. I’m sorry that,

Jennifer Smith (01:00:36):

Yeah. And then I was just going to share as the children get older, maybe turning it into more of a question of like, okay, now that you guys are in this place, how can you reconcile? And then even as they get older, okay now and giving them the opportunity to say what they should do. And if you

Aaron Smith (01:00:54):

Want to know how important this is, everyone that’s listening right now, just think about your own life and how many of you listening desired to hear an apology from your mom or your dad

Jennifer Smith (01:01:08):

Or both, or maybe even a sibling or a sibling. And experiencing the power of reconciliation

Aaron Smith (01:01:13):

And what that might’ve done for your relationship even to this day. That’s good. I’m sure there’s many adults that have tension and distance in their families because of their parents not being willing to apologize, to reconcile areas that they’ve aired.

Jennifer Smith (01:01:31):

We didn’t talk too much about this in this section, but in the last episode when we were talking about how spouses should reconcile, you brought up a really good point that forgiveness is not contingent on saying on the apology. And I love that. And you brought up how Christ initiated by forgiving us while we were still sinners. He died on the cross. And that’s a really great opportunity again, to share the gospel with your kids, especially if one of your kids is struggling to forgive. And you can share that message with them. So if you want to go back and listen to that, it was a pretty extensive explanation that I just summarized, but it was, it’s good. Thank you.

Aaron Smith (01:02:07):

That was good. Last word,

Jennifer Smith (01:02:10):

One of my favorite.

Aaron Smith (01:02:11):

Number seven. Yeah, hope. Hope.

Jennifer Smith (01:02:16):

We need to be feeding our children hope and encouragement every single day, maybe moment by moment, but it’s what builds them up. It’s that confidence. It’s that looking forward to things to come, looking forward to the future. It can really play out in every aspect of their life and their relationships. Most importantly, having the hope of salvation, having hope in not fearing death, not being worried about what’s to come because you’re secure in who you are and what you know about God. And so that comes through as you share the gospel with them.

Aaron Smith (01:02:54):

And we live in a world right now that is defined by hopelessness and so much more than ever, probably we need to be beacons of hope for our kids, that we teach that to them, that we show them that we have hope that boils over into their life.

Jennifer Smith (01:03:14):

As a side note, because you just brought that up, I just thought there’s been times that our children overhear news or maybe articles, things that we’re talking about

Aaron Smith (01:03:24):

Because life’s happening,

Jennifer Smith (01:03:25):

Because life’s happening and things are real. And hope is such an important word to pour into your children because if we just left them with that information, they could be feeling pretty hopeless. But if we recognize that, oh, they just overheard something or they asked a question about something that’s going on in real life, how can we turn that into hope or at least reminding them of the hope that we have so that they don’t walk around stressed or in fear or hopeless.

Aaron Smith (01:03:55):

Romans 15, 13, may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing so that by the power of the Holy Spirit, you may abound in hope. Hope. So it’s like a hope sandwich for those who believe you have hope on the front and the back.

Jennifer Smith (01:04:12):

You’re covered. You’re covered. Hebrews 11, one says, now, faith is the assurance of things hope for and the conviction of things not seen. This is a really great verse to teach your children. It incorporates teaching them about faith and what that is. And then this other one I really liked, Proverbs 24 14, know that wisdom is such to your soul. If you find it, there will be a future and your hope will not be cut off. And I think when I think about hope, I think about the future often, and that’s all the kids have to look forward to is their future. If you remember when you’re kids, it’s like, when can you drive? When can you get married? Get married, fill in the blank. When can you have a baby? Edith just told me the other day, I really want to have a baby pregnant. And I’m like, well, you have to wait a little bit. And she goes, how about when I’m five? And I said a little bit more than that, a little bit more. But they are always looking to the future. And if we can be a sounding, not a sounding board, but if we can be

Aaron Smith (01:05:07):

Filled them with wisdom,

Jennifer Smith (01:05:08):

Someone who’s constantly reminding them of the future and say good things about it, practically it looks like this. Hey, when they’re not getting along with their siblings, hey, you’re going to be friends one day. You’re going to want to go out to lunch with each other and you’re going to want to go to Disneyland even maybe, I don’t know. But that starts right now in your relationship. So go get along. Go play together. And that’s a simple one. But feeding them these really positive. Isn’t this something that you want? This is what you have to look forward to. And this is something you can work towards even with their education and their schooling. Hey, I know you’re having a hard time with math right now, but think about all the things that you could do with math and you fill them with that hope of, if they could just get over this hump, that’s hard. What can they get to? What can they learn?

Aaron Smith (01:05:54):

So we’re going to give you a challenge like we gave last episode. So we’re going to go through real quick, I’m going to mention them again, the seven words. And we want you to find ways of incorporating these into your communication with your kids. One is purpose, two is peace, three is belonging, four is imperfect, five is truth. Six is reconciliation. Seven is hope. So would you take some time this week to find ways of pouring these words into your kids’ lives, to encourage them, to exhort them, to build them up?

Jennifer Smith (01:06:38):

And I should have mentioned this in the beginning, but if you’re listening and maybe you guys are newly married and you don’t have kids yet, or you’ve been married for a long time and you don’t have kids, these are still words that you can pour into the children around you. It’s true with the children around you. Find ways to be an encouragement. Yeah.

Aaron Smith (01:06:56):

Amen. Lemme pray. Lord, we love you. We thank you for our children. We thank you that God, you’ve gifted us with our children and God, and we have the opportunity to speak words of life to them. And I pray, Lord, that we would do that. That we would take every opportunity to fill them with hope and purpose and peace and truth, God, and that we would remind them God of how much we need a savior. And so Father, I prayed for all those that are listening, God, that you would encourage them in their parenting. God, parenting is hard. And speaking these words to ourselves often is hard. But God, I pray that your Holy Spirit would remind us every day of how good your truth is, how good your word is, and God, that we would use our words to build up and not tear down.

(01:07:37)
And God, when we do mess up and tear something down, when we use words wrongly, God, that we would repent, that we would be convicted by your Holy Spirit, God, and that you would teach us to be humble and seek reconciliation. Father God. And we love you, and we thank you that you’ve given us the opportunity to raise children to know you, and we pray that they would know you well. In Jesus’ name, amen. Amen. We love you all and we thank you that you come and join us for these episodes and we will see you in the next series, which is going to be about Jesus.

Jennifer Smith (01:08:10):

And prophecy.

Aaron Smith (01:08:11):

And prophecy.

Jennifer Smith (01:08:12):

Don’t forget to DM us and let us know who wore it best.

Aaron Smith (01:08:19):

All right. God bless.

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