to edify

edifyto teach (someone) in a way that improves the mind or character
Kids.  They’re little humans with issues like all of us.  My oldest is a tween who is sometimes moody. My middle kid sometimes has a disrespectful attitude.  And my youngest can be self-centered and quick to complain.
We’re trying to address these things, so all these issues have been on my mind a lot as I process through how to best parent them through these stages and prayerfully shape their behaviors. But recently I realized…I had been guilty of characterizing them primarily this way in my mind.  Moody.  Bad Attitude.  Self-Centered.  What in the world?  There are so many other lovely descriptors that could get in line ahead of those for each of my kids!  Those negative descriptors aren’t even CLOSE to being primarily what my kids are all about.   When people ask me to characterize my kids, I certainly don’t want their shortcomings to be the first thing that comes bouncing into mind!  [Heaven forbid anyone use my worst traits to describe or characterize me, even in the privacy of their own mind.]

It’s really time I start giving more weight to all the things they get right.  There are plenty of chances for praise, and there are plenty of chances to speak LIFE into them, instead of just correction.  I am filled with gratitude at their health, their intelligence, their kindness — it’s not right that I would let anything cast a dark shadow over those things.

Here’s to biting my tongue more often – when the chores aren’t done quite right, when the hair isn’t combed or the clothes don’t match, when homework time doesn’t go as smooth as I’d like.
Here’s to speaking up more often – to tell them they are always loved, always accepted, always mine.  Always enough.
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, 
but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, 
that it may benefit those who listen. 
Ephesians 4:29

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