Are You an Encourager?

My husband is an attorney. From time to time, I tag along with him when he has to be in court. This week he was appointed to represent a mother who was trying to regain custody of her teenage son. After some poor decisions by this mom, her son was now in the care of foster parents. His name was Maverick.

When Maverick sat down outside of the court room, dressed all in black, it was clear to me, his body language screamed, “Leave me alone and stay away.” Yet, his whole demeanor saddened me.

I couldn’t help but overhear as his social worker sat down beside him, and began talking with him.

“I just finished reading your reports Maverick. I am so proud of you. You are doing great! You are my shining star.” she said, while smiling from ear to ear.

It was almost as if I was watching a deflated balloon fill up with air. With each word of encouragement and praise, this young man’s whole countenance changed. The once wilted flower began to stand tall after a long and much needed drink. I wanted to cry for him. God’s Word says,

“The tongue has the power of life and death…” Proverbs 18:21

It reminded me of how important words of encouragement are to our children. We see a perfect picture of an encouraging parent in Matthew 3:17, after Jesus is baptized, His Father makes it clear to all of us, just how He feels about His precious son.

“And a voice from Heaven said, ‘This is my Son, whom I love, with him I am well pleased.’”

I make a point to tell my children how precious they are to me and how proud I am of them. No matter how old my children are, from time to time I will peek my head in their room at bedtime and tell them, “How in the world did I get the best eight-year-old in the whole wide world?” My children usually respond in a giggle or a joyful wiggle under their covers. One night after I’d asked the same question to my ten-year-old, she answered, “Because God loves you.”

My child had learned that encouragement is a two-way street. Now, it was my turn to grin from ear to ear.

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