The time has come to wrap up Kindness. This week is has been the hardest one for me to write…probably because it is one that I am still struggling to conquer. I believe that kindness has just as much to do with how you say something as what you actually say. You could be speaking truth, but if it isn’t spoken in love it causes the other person to become defensive and reject it. What you are saying may be needed, but you could be hardening the other person’s heart with your tone of voice. What you are saying may be factual, but you could be damaging the other person’s feelings by your facial expressions.
It really isn’t just the words but also your tone of voice and facial expressions that matter. All three work together to send the total message.
If people could just overlook my face and tone, a decent number of the words coming out of my mouth are actually good. However, sometimes my face and tone override the words and give the conversation a meaning I didn’t really intend.
In Colossians 3:12 (NIRV) it says, “You are God’s chosen people. You are holy and dearly loved. So put on tender mercy and kindness as if they were your clothes. Don’t be proud. Be gentle and patient.”
We are supposed to wear mercy and kindness. That means that our facial expressions are supposed to represent mercy and kindness. Our tone of voice should represent mercy and kindness. Is that the impression you are giving your kids when you speak? Are you wearing mercy and kindness on your face and body posture?
I know there are times when my tone expresses disappointment, anger and frustration. I know my face can also communicate annoyance, irritation and tiredness. Even if my words are fine, my facial expressions and tone of voice speak my heart’s true feelings loud and clear.
But how do we overcome our flesh’s desire to let them have it? How do we instead pass along kindness and mercy? I think one answer is confidence. We need to be confident in who we are as their mom and who we have on our team.
Do you believe that you have the authority to call the shots, to make the decisions for the team? Sometime our strict, mean voice comes out when we feel like we have lost control. But remember, God gave you these children to raise and He has given you the authority to train them. When you feel like things are getting out of control, take a step back, take a deep breath, ask God for help and calmly take control of the situation. When you do this, you will not feel the need to use your face and tone to control them.
Are you confident that you have what it takes to lead them in the direction they need to go? You should! God doesn’t make mistakes. He handpicked you to be their mom; He will equip you to do all that He has called you to do. If you don’t feel like you know what you are doing ask for help. Seek out a trusted friend or mentor that can help you make wise decisions. And remember, you have the best coach in the world, listen to His calls. He always wins!!
Is your self-esteem affected by what your children do or don’t do? If so, you may need to reevaluate how you see yourself. You are who you are because of what you do and because of what God has done for you. Your self-worth should not be based on how well your children behave at the grocery store, how well they can read or how they compare to someone else’s kid.
Remember that your children aren’t out to get you. They are just selfish little humans who are learning how to be more holy and more Christ-like. They are doing their best but still have a lot to learn. Just like you and me. We need to give them grace when they make mistakes and then guide them in Godly wisdom so they can learn from them and do better the next time.
Our children want to know that we are proud of them, that we accept them and love them. When our tone of voice is cutting, we can cause them to doubt our level of acceptance. How we say things is so important! We need to be careful to not damage their little spirit. Of course, discipline and sternness are needed, sometimes more than others! But even your sternness and discipline can be delivered in love and kindness. In fact, that will make it all the more effective!
As you get ready for the day, make sure to clothe yourself well! Let’s say it together: Face and Tone!
This week’s assignment:
1.) Pick one last Kindness verse to memorize.
2.) Start paying attention to HOW you say things. Is your tone of voice full of mercy and kindness? Does your face express love? Try to really work on your delivery for the next few days and see how your children respond to your kindness? Maybe you can notice yourself in the mirror, or even practice. Are you able to smile? Do your eyebrows look angry? J Practice making a face that is firm, but kind. Serious, but warm. You can do it!