My wife and I have eight grandchildren. The oldest is ten and the youngest will be two in November. It has been a wonderful experience watching them grow up. There have been a number of milestones like taking their first steps and saying their first words. I actually got my name from our first granddaughter. She couldn’t quite figure out how to say grandpa so she started saying “Pop Pop”. That has been my name ever since!
Some of our grandchildren live out of the area, so we did not get to experience some of these milestones firsthand. However, the youngest of the eight lives nearby and we actually babysit her and her older sister once a week. So we have been able to see some of her first steps and hear some of her first words. In the past few weeks, this little one has started saying a lot of new words and putting some of them into sentences! She repeats words that she hears from us and her parents and from her olde sister. We are continually amazed at the words and phrases that she comes up with.
One day we were startled to hear her count from one to ten. One, two three….and on she went! I don’t think she actually understands the counting part of what she was saying, but there were the words in the correct order – one to ten!
Another time I asked her to say the word “entertainment”. I don’t remember where we were, but I just said, “Janie, can you say the word entertainment”? She did not hesitate. She repeated the word exactly as I said it! I think there are three or four syllables in that big word and she got every one of them right. I should also add that she has leaned some other words quite early – words like “no” and “mine”. I suspect that your kids and grandkids learned these words too. It is amazing to hear the words that come out of the mouths of young children. But, I wonder what kind of words do they hear from your mouth? Do they hear harsh words of criticism and anger? Or, do they hear kind words and compliments? Do your words strengthen their confidence or do they sow seeds of insecurity?
There is a verse in the Bible that says, “Do not let any unwholesome words come out of your mouths, but only words that are helpful for encouragaging others” Ephesians 4:29). I hope your vocabulary is filled with words of affirmation, appreciation and encouragement. I hope that the words you say to others are not selfish and critical, but kind and thoughtful. Let me encourage you to watch your words this week. I hope you will add some new uplifting words of praise and thanks to your vocabulary. You will be glad you did and others will too!
This article was written by Pastor Mark Hopper, Efree Church of Diamond Bar, 3255 South Diamond Bar Blvd, 909-594-7604, Sunday Services: 9:00 & 10:45 AM, Efreedb.org