When I was a little girl, my mother would always remind me to “be kind,” and “play nice.” As I grew up, those reminders stayed with me, although the meaning was much deeper. “Be kind” now resonates as “encourage and uplift,” and “speak the truth in love.”
Now that I’m a mom and am raising my own children, these are small but meaningful reminders that I use to teach and train them. I want them to demonstrate the gospel through the smallest acts of encouragement.
I use “be kind” with my preschooler while I remind my middle schooler to “speak truth and love others.” However, how does that practically play out in life? Do we really understand the value of the words speak every day and how they affect those around us?
Am I Speaking Life?
When I consider my words, I often think of Phillippians 4:8. This reminds us to think on things that are “true, good, and beautiful.” If I’m doing those things, then good and beautiful words should pour out of my mouth.
As a mom, I need to think about how my words affect those around me, especially when talking with other moms and my own children. I want my words to encourage other moms and give them strength rather than judgement. I don’t know what another woman is dealing with in life. A moment of encouragement can make a huge impact.
Just offering a kind smile and nod at a passing stranger does a world of good. Whether it’s the mom in the grocery store with the 3 screaming kids, or the elderly woman who lives across the street; it matters.
Chances are you’ve been that mom in the grocery store with screaming kids. Think about how you felt with your kids in the cart, (or out of, on top of, hanging on, etc) things falling out of your purse, and list in your hand (which the toddler probably just ripped).
All you want is to get the things you need and go home! But, the day is just not going well at all. Would it make a difference for a stranger to kindly smile at you? Or even offer you a hand with your groceries while you deal with other matters at hand (i.e. the screaming kids)?
Lending A Hand
I recently saw a post on social media and it really hit home with me. It was a message about helping out when another mom is “about to lose it.” I’m sure you can think of a friend (or 2 or 3…) in need of some help and encouragement.
Instead of saying, “Oh wow, I’m so sorry about that,” try asking, “How can I help you?” Or better yet, tell them you’re coming over to clean their house or make dinner and ask what the best time is for them. What if they don’t “need” any help? If that happens, don’t be offended! I’ve been there many times. Sometimes moms are so stressed out, they don’t know what they need in the moment. Just let them know you’re there if they need anything. It also doesn’t hurt to bake something yummy and leave on their doorstep. They can’t really refuse that, now can they?
When we take the time to encourage others, we’re making small steps to lead others to the grace and love of Christ and we’re demonstrating the Gospel in a beautiful way.
Even if you never know what impact your words or smiles have for another mom, just know they do in some way. Encourage another mom today!