9 Truth-Filled Statements We Say Over and Over To Our Children
What will our children remember? What lasting impact will we have on them for their greatest good?
From my own experience, here are at least three categories that have created life-long impressions:
- Out of the ordinary moments. This might include occasions like baptism, birthday celebrations, vacations, a family crisis, etc.
- Seemingly obscure moments that stick. Your guess is as good as mine as to what these might be, but there are memories from my childhood that are mysteriously vivid and enduring. And so it is worth stating the obvious: Every moment matters and our actions in any given moment could create a lasting lesson. So be careful how you talk and walk (Eph. 5;15).
- What is said and done over and over. This might include traditions, family verses and purpose statements, pithy and memorable statements, etc.
What is striking (at least to me) about these three categories is that one of them seems to potentially have a greater qualitative and quantitative advantage. And even more particularly, I would argue that the meaningful and memorable statements in category three are particularly important. I say this because statements can be crafted to carry a maximum amount of precise meaning in and of themselves. Additionally, I (you) can control the frequency of the meaning I wish to deliver. Finally, by crafting short and meaningful statements, memorable truth can be captured and shared.
Here are several statements that we intentionally say to our children, and others I would like us to say more often:
- Only one life, it will soon be past; Only what’s done for Christ will last. (Dont’ Waste Your Life by John Piper)
- There is nothing you can do to turn me away. (Paul Tripp)
- Love is wanting and doing what is best for another person.
- We will always try to do what is best for you. Always!
- Our most important rule is that you must always tell the truth. We can’t help you if we don’t know the truth.
- Daddy and mommy are committed to each other in marriage, til death do we part.
- Daddy and mommy don’t hide things from you. (With the exception of presents, as pointed out by Elijah.)
- We always try to treat others the way we would want to be treated (Matt. 7:12).
- If possible, we finish what we start – even when it is hard.
These may seem underwhelming, but they are especially powerful when applied to a teachable moment like this one: Dad, Do you Drink Beer?
What meaningful truths do you want your children to know and remember?
Sit down together and craft some convictions into a short sentence and say them often and strategically. Be an intentional, proactive, truth-giving parent and help shape the memorable moments of your children.