“The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.”
I am sure that you have heard of the above verse, if not read it yourself. Sadly, this verse is often taken far out of context. However, this verse is powerful, especially for us as single mothers.
If life and death lie waiting in your tongue, or your speech, then you can choose what your tongue will say. You see, our words matter. What we say to our children matters. Choosing what to say, thus, matters because our tongue can be used to give life to our children or be a death knell to our children.
Proverbs 18:21 tells us that our tongues possess the power of life. This word “life” is defined in Hebrew as chayyim, which appears in Deuteronomy 30:19-20. Deuteronomy 30:19-20 tells me that God is life. When I speak life, I am speaking God and His Word (see John 1:1). Consequently, when we speak death, defined as maveth in Hebrew, we are literally speaking the opposite of God’s Word. We are speaking destructive words, words that wound our children in unimaginable ways.
Here are practical ways that we can speak life-giving, God-breathed Word over our children:
- We confess God’s Word over our children. For example, I pray that my daughter Raegan will grow up and never depart from the way she should go because I train her up in the way she should go (Proverbs 22:6). I pray that she exhibits the fruits of the Spirit even now as a four-year-old (Galatians 5:22-23). I pray that she honors God for the rest of her days, lives righteously, and carries forth the Great Commission.
- Be intentional in discipline. Oftentimes we can speak out in anger or belittle them (“Don’t be stupid!” “Are you crazy?” “You are just like your father!”). However, I reference Scripture for discipline and point to verses discussing why a behavior is or is not pleasing to God. For example, she knows that when I tell her to do something, she needs to be obedient and do it because she must honor her mother and her father so that it may go well with her and she will live a long life. (Deut. 5:16). Raegan knows she better listen to her teacher at school because she must show proper respect to everyone. (1 Peter 2:17).
- Be mindful of what we say to and around our children. I tell Raegan that she is beautiful, she is the righteousness of God, she is smart and has the mind of Christ, and that she is important and loved beyond comprehension. I am also careful about who or what I allow around my child – this means ungodly influences (music, people, shows, etc.) cannot be around my child. I discuss this in more detail on my personal blog.
So, what choice will you make? I pray you choose to speak life, and not death, to your children.
From special education classes to single motherhood to graduate of Emory University School of Law, Melonie Wright is proof that God is a Redeemer. When Wright was in preschool, her parents were told she was a slow learner and was placed in special education classes, citing she never talked in class and didn’t respond as others her age did. Melonie encountered God after experiencing much heartache and adversity. As a former college athlete, abuse survivor, and single mom who once had only cents to her name, Melonie knows what it is to be an overcomer through Christ and has a passion to teach other single moms to do the same thing. Melonie lives in Birmingham, AL with her daughter, Raegan, where she practices commercial litigation.
The Life of a Single Mom is a national organization headquartered in Baton Rouge, Louisiana that focuses on seeing no single mom walk alone. The organization serves more than 50,000 single mothers annually from around the United States and more than 2,000 in Greater Baton Rouge through their support group network, outreach event, educational classes, online communities, and more. For more information, visit www.thelifeofasinglemom.com