When my oldest daughter was three years old, I was struggling with how to address her behavior. One could often hear me saying, “First, the terrible two’s. Now, the terror three’s. I don’t know what to do!!”
I had heard about a parenting class and I jumped at the chance to attend because I needed advice badly. At the end of the session, we were invited to submit questions anonymously to the teacher on an index card. I worked up the courage to ask:
“How do you deal with a child who is in their terrible three’s?”
The teacher read the question aloud and to my surprise, proceeded to ask who wrote it. When I admitted it was me, she asked me to explain. I elaborated by sharing various examples of naughty behavior I had not seen before in my child.
The teacher then encouraged me to address the concerning behaviors, but not to view the entire age of three as a terror. Instead, she told me to speak life over my child:
“Father, thank You for my sweet daughter who obeys right away. I’m so grateful she’s a good listener and speaks with kindness.”
Immediately, my response was, “How could I thank God for things which aren’t true??”
Her wise answer to me was that while it may not be happening in the present, that I needed to speak it into existence. She helped me understand that my words had an impact on the atmosphere, as found in Proverbs 18:21 which tells us that death and life are in the power of the tongue.
This was a mind blowing concept for someone who was accustomed to being a negative Nellie with statements such as:
- I’m unattractive.
- I don’t have any unique skills or abilities.
- My life doesn’t have a purpose.
I walked away that day with a life changing perspective of how to use my words. What I say about circumstances has evolved into speaking hope and love. What I declare over myself has changed to statements such as:
- I am beautiful.
- I am talented.
- I am able to fulfill my destiny.
As a result, I have seen life bloom all around me, including my daughter who truly encompassed those things I prayed over her. The three’s turned out to be terrific! And all because I finally chose to speak life.