I discovered a blog offering words to communicate to children. No doubt the list would challenge children, encourage them, and motivate them. I would not be surprised if any child who regularly heard such praise and motivation would not grow to be leaders among their peers as long as life’s hard blows didn’t outweigh the praises of their parents.
I marked the blog as a keeper but after a few reads, I was certain something major was missing. There was no mention of the creator, our need for a savior, or our eternal purpose. Yes, we can motivate children to conquer this world but in doing so, they lose everything in the next world.
So I decided to do some tweaking. The bold italics are mine. These I intend to teach Eli and Caleb.
1. I love you! But Jesus loves you more. There is nothing that will make me stop loving you. Nothing you could do or say or think will ever change that. I know this because God loves you through me. My love may fail, but His never will.
2. You are amazing! I look at you with wonder! Not just at what you can do, but who you are. There is no one like you. No one! God made only one of you because He has a special purpose for your life. You were made in His image and because of that you are amazing and wonderful. Without God, you and I are worthless. But in Him we are amazing.
3. It’s all right to cry. People cry for all kinds of reasons: when they are hurt, sad, glad, or worried; when they are angry, afraid, or lonely. Big people cry too. I do. Jesus cried too. God gave us His emotions so they are okay.
4. You’ve made a mistake. That was wrong. People make mistakes. I do. Is it something we can fix? What can we do? It’s all over. You can start fresh. I know you are sorry. I forgive you. It wasn’t a mistake, it was a sin. Everyone sins. A sin is when we don’t do what God wants us to do. We can ask God to forgive us and He will. What can you do to make sure you don’t do that sin again? God will help you if you ask Him.
5. You did the right thing. That was scary or hard. Even though it wasn’t easy you did it. I am proud of you; you should be too. God gives us strength to do the right thing. When we are scared or facing hard choices, God helps us. We should trust God to help and then thank Him for His strength. This gives God glory.
6. I’m sorry. Forgive me. I made a mistake. I sinned against God and against you. I asked God to forgive me, now I’m asking you to forgive me.
7. You can change your mind. It’s good to decide, but it is also fine to change. Always ask God what He wants you to do. When you know it is God’s will, then stay firm no matter how hard it gets. God will bless you for keeping your word.
8. What a great idea! You were really thinking! How did you come up with that? Tell me more. Your mind is clever. Did you pray about that? Isn’t God good for giving you such a great idea. What’s even better is now He will give you everything you need to make that idea work. Let’s praise God.
9. That was kind. You did something helpful and thoughtful for that person. That must make you feel good inside. Thank you! When you do kind, helpful and thoughtful things for others, you are acting like Jesus. Jesus delights when you do His works. When others ask you why you did that say, “That’s Jesus coming out of me”
10. I have a surprise for you. It’s not your birthday. It’s for no reason at all. Just a surprise, a little one, but a surprise. I love to surprise you with presents just like Jesus surprises me with blessings.
11. I can wait. We have time. You don’t have to hurry this time. I’m sorry I often rush you to keep my busy schedule. Today, let’s do things slow and enjoy our time together. God says if we wait on Him we can make us soar like the eagles.
12. What would you like to do? It’s your turn to pick. You have great ideas. It’s important to follow your special interests. God’s word says He will give us the desires of our hearts. Let’s ask God for a special thing to do today.
13. Tell me about it. I’d like to hear more. And then what happened? I’ll listen. Can you imagine that the powerful God of the universe bends His ear close to hear us. He’s enjoying this story as much as I am. Keep talking.
14. I’m right here. I won’t leave without saying good-bye. I am watching you. I am listening to you. Jesus will never leave you. He will always protect you. He will always listen to you. And because you are little, He uses me to let you know He is close. I’m happy to know that we can trust Jesus to watch over us.
15. Please and thank you. These are important words. If I forget to use them, will you remind me? I want to treat you with respect because you are made in God’s image like me. I will use words that build you up and encourage you to be all that you were created to be. When I fail, please tell me.
16. I missed you. I think about you when we are not together! I missed you so much but I knew God was with you. Sometimes I can’t be with you but Jesus never leaves you.
17. Just try. A little bit. One taste, one step. You might like it. Let’s see. I’ll help you if you need it. I think you can do it. With God all things are possible. Let’s pray and ask Him to help you.
18. I’ll help you. I heard you call me, here I am. How can I help you? If we both work together, we can get this done. I know you can do it by yourself, but I’m glad to help since you asked. Just like you asked for my help and I am happy to help you, God loves to help us when we pray. Let’s pray that He helps us do this together.