I’ve been reading this book called God’s Pageantry. I was a little skeptical at first because she puts A LOT of significance on names and words that are spoken. I was thinking, “Words can’t be THAT important are they?” So, over the past few months, I. Have. Done. Some. Research.
First, what does the Bible say? Well. let me tell you!
-The power of life and death are in the tongue.
-Let no corrupt talk come out of your mouth.
-There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts.
-A gentle answer turns away wrath, but hard words stir up anger.
-Gentle words bring life and health, a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit.
-A person’s words are life giving water.
-Telling lies about someone is as harmful as hitting them with an ax.
I could go on, but I think you get the point. What we say MATTERS. It matters a lot. The way we speak about ourselves, can literally destroy or heal our own bodies. Sending out criticism and harsh words towards others can do the same. We are told that there are times to speak and times to be silent. Have you ever gone to post something on social media about things going on in your life and God says, “NO”? There is a reason for that. We all have haters and trolls out there trying to block our blessings or getting excited when we fail.
Let me talk about one more thing that is rampant in churches (well everywhere really, not just in church, but Christians should know better). It’s the spirit of criticism. Criticism is analysis or judgement of someone’s faults. The expression of disapproval. This is something I didn’t even realize I had until God pointed it out to me. How many times a day have you said something like, “Why are they wearing that?”, “Look at the car they are driving.”, “Why would they dye their hair that color?”, “Why hasn’t that person been at church for a month?” “They aggravate me so bad when they talk to me.”, “I don’t know why she is trying to sell us that MLM stuff.”, “Did you hear them mess up during song service?”
Again, I could go on, but you get the point.
The way God told me to combat this was to meet every critical thought with a compliment. Instead of, “Why are they wearing that?” I would change that thought to, “I really like those shoes.” Instead of getting aggravated about someone talking to me, I decided to thank God that people see me as someone they can reach out to and trust. Instead of questioning the motives of someone’s charity, God made me donate to them. And guess what? It worked.
Here’s the thing though, this doesn’t mean you can’t say negative stuff. THE INTENT BEHIND IT IS WHAT MATTERS. If you’re telling your spouse that Nicole really hurt you when she said something at work and you aren’t sure how to approach it, that is completely different. If someone is repeatedly ignoring your boundaries, you are absolutely allowed to tell them that and stick up for yourself. It will almost always come across harsh to the person violating your boundaries, but that doesn’t mean you should just roll over and allow it to happen.
Here is another example. The other day God checked me for asking someone if our mutual acquaintance had found a home yet. God told me not to ask them, but I did. I didn’t understand why because my motive was pure. I was really just curious to see if they had found a home. But then when they responded, I understood why…. I had opened the door for the people I asked to verbally attack this person, and they absolutely did. I knew they didn’t like this person, but by asking them a seemingly innocent question, those verbal attacks are now on me, even though I didn’t say it.
As you can see, this can be a complicated web to untangle, because our society is just not wired to speak life over someone.
If you turn on your TV, the majority is trash talking politicians and trash talking reality shows. Gossip is idolized, and drama is glorified. When we check out at the grocery store, we are bombarded with magazine headlines about scandals and women’s stretch marks and we stand there and we criticize every single inch of their bodies while the cashier rings up our bread and bananas.
What we feed our minds becomes us. Do you see how important words are? Do you see how much of our world is being fed this garbage? And why? Because happy, healthy stuff rarely sells. Statistics show that more people will pick up a magazine that’s tearing women apart than they will about recipes and uplifting stories. Why read about the best fall soups when you can look at another celeb going to rehab? It’s not as exciting, and the people creating our entertainment know that, and they do not have our best interests at heart. They only care about how much money is in their pocket. They don’t care about the mental state of our culture as long as they can buy another yacht.
Let me bring up another topic that is also based on the power of words. Different subject, same importance.
This was written by Anne Hamilton in that same book. This is referring to the covenant made between God and Abraham; the father of many nations.
“The cornerstone is verbally created in this promise. The general word for stone in Hebrew is eben. Now this is the first threshold covenant between man and God alluded to in scripture. It’s the threshold of thresholds- as it were God himself created the stone by speaking over it the words of promise. These words are about father and son here in this house:
Many rabbis have noted eben is effectively formed by overlapping ab for father and ben for son. The place of overlap is the letter ‘B’ which in Hebrew is pronounced bet ‘the house’. The word eben is therefore meant to convey an understanding that the foundation stone of the family is father and son sharing the same house and in case you are concerned about the ultra-masculine overtones of all of this, please note the gender of eben is feminine. Signifying women as the glue holding the house together.”
Do you understand what this is saying? In the beginning of biblical history, God made it clear that in order to have a strong foundation in a home, THROUGH HIS WORDS IN THIS COVENANT, fathers and sons needed to be under the same roof.
The trend of fatherless homes we are currently on is not a coincidence. It is a strategic attack designed by the enemy to destroy families and generations to come….. and it’s working, but we can stop it. Women can stop it. Men can’t have children alone. They need us! We are the ones that decide who will be part of the next generation. WE DECIDE.
Let me explain something. Women accept the love they think they deserve. The same entertainment industry that puts gossip and drama on a pedestal, also tells (See the trend? They use their words.) women they need 345 different beauty products to be wanted or loved. They sell you shape wear, fat sucking wraps, magnetic eye lashes, encourage filtered photos (guilty here), and tell us what the next trendy jeans are *which apparently are low riding pants and PLEASE pray with me this doesn’t happen. I am not built for them.
When women are constantly told they aren’t enough the way God made them, they have a hard time seeing their worth. Their self esteem suffers, and it gets ingrained in their head that they don’t deserve the best. Hence, they choose men who are also not the best.
Women also tend to be drawn to someone who has similar characteristics to their own father. It’s comfortable. Even if they didn’t have the best father, that’s what they know. A woman who is neglected by her father or doesn’t have one growing up, will also make poor choices in men. They don’t know how to be loved properly and will take whatever they can get. They accept the love of first person that pays them attention.
With that said, low self-esteem/self-worth can create an entire generation of children who don’t have the cornerstone of the home present, which in turn creates another generation of women who don’t understand what love even is. Now, in today’s society, we have a double-edged sword. The media telling us we aren’t good enough, and fathers not being present to remind us that we are!
I told you this was a complicated web we’ve managed to get ourselves into. So, what can you do about it?
We need women who will mentor our daughters, who will be role models for young women, and live an unapologetically radical, God-driven life. We can stop our daughters from making the same mistakes we have. We can uplift them, praise them, and pray for them (all with our words!) This means we also have to take responsibility for how we talk about ourselves! These girls will watch and mimic us! We can’t tell them they are perfect while we are complaining about double chins and laugh lines! We can’t tell them to wear something out of their comfort zone and to “rock it regardless of what others think” if we are picking apart other women’s clothes while buying knickknacks at Hobby Lobby!
We may not all have that male role model at home, but we can pray for guidance on how to still show our daughters what being loved properly looks like. This will not be an easy task, but it is one we can do together. It takes a village. Step up with me to show these young queens that they do in fact sit on a throne of heavenly royalty and are worth nothing less than the absolute best. We have a lot of work to do, but we have to start somewhere.