“Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers” (Ephesians 4:29).
The son of one of my college professors asked a very profound question about his little newborn brother: he said, “Mom, does he know who he is, or does he just lie there and think he’s nothing?” Well, of course, that little child doesn’t have the slightest idea who he is. The only way that little baby will ever know what he is like, whether he is worth anything or not, is to look in the mirror. And during those early years, that mirror is the significant people who stand around him, primarily his parents. A child’s self image can be either built up or torn down by the ones closest to him.
Criticism creates insecurities, bitterness and rebellion. Praise creates an atmosphere of love, joy and acceptance. A home that has a rebellious youth is often filled with a negative, critical atmosphere. That has to be changed!
It is amazing what a little bit of praise can do to encourage a son or a daughter. And if you can’t think of anything ask the Lord – ask your spouse – to show you areas where you can praise that child. Someone has said that even a conceited person has at least one good quality: he doesn’t talk about other people. So praise your child for even the smallest display of character.
And while you’re at it – it’s amazing what a little bit of praise can do to encourage your spouse as well, or your pastor or another church member. There is so much negativism and criticism around that people are desperate for any kind of praise and encouragement you might give.
Morris Hull, Home Life Miistries