When we brought the youngest one home from the hospital, our third son asked, ‘What’s his special name, Mom? What are we going to call him?”
Then he rattled off all the boys’ special names I’d given them. They were a combination recipe of love language, spiritual gifts, and just plain old what God had put on my heart as the special ingredient that was the core of who He created them to be.
I am a firm believer in what you speak is what you get. As mother’s we need to take every opportunity to speak hope, love, and blessings over our children.
For years, every New Years Eve, my resolution was not to talk so much. When I got hold of Don and Katie Fortune’s Discover Your Children’s Spiritual Gifts and discovered that my ability to communicate was a gift, not something to be ashamed of or hide, I started liking who I was.
I want my sons to like who they are—not a false sense of build-up, but to understand that God put everything in them, designed them to feel the way they felt, laugh the way they laugh, and solve problems the way they solve them (Psalm 139).
There’s a double-edge to each gift, though. Just as a sword can be used to protect and promote goodness, it can also be used to exploit and promote evil. That’s where our job as mothers comes in to play. Our job is to help them recognize, develop, and use their gifts in a way that brings joy to life.
Our words do just that.
Sometimes, it’s hard to pull out the good words, especially when we don’t see goodness shining in our children at particular moments or points in their lives. That’s when we speak faith over them: “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1).”
I started speaking faith in little ways, by the nicknames I gave the boys. I thought I would introduce them to you by these names, instead of always using the oldest, youngest, 3 of 5, 2 of 5, or the second, and so on.
Joyful, the 3rd son, who was five at the time, said, “What are we going to call him, Mama?” ____ is Perceiver of Truth. _____ is Faithful. I’m Joyful. _______ is The Fire and the Power of the Holy Spirit.” What’s he gonna be, Mom?
Hopeful, I answered, “Peace?”
“Oh, no, Mama, He’s Love,” and he said it in a way that pulled out that loooove, as if he were in awe. He was right. The littlest guy is our Human Resource Department. He pulls everyone together.
Maybe your son or daughter has a personality trait that is driving you nuts. Make a list, then try looking at it from a different angle. Go to dictionary.com. Use their thesaurus. Find antonyms for those pesky traits. From a different angle, maybe you’ll see how beautiful that trait is. Then, start whispering about the beauty of that trait. As it grows into a beautiful gift, you’ll be shouting about it!
If you want to like the results, speak the results you want to see first!