Words Create Reality: You Speak Your Child’s World Into Existence

In the beginning was the Word. The Word spoke the world into existence. The Word gave us words to shape our reality and the reality of those around us.

When two people get married, they exchange words, then words are pronounced to declare them husband and wife. When babies are born, parents give them a word to call them by. And from that point on for the next couple of decades, every word that comes out of their mouths shapes that baby’s world.

As my children are getting more verbal, they are saying things that I never said as a child, asking me things I never asked, and I am constantly taken off guard, searching for the right words. I need to take time to choose my words, because my words have the power to show them Love.

For the next few years, my words are how they know God and how they know themselves. My words, at least during their formative years, shape their reality.

And when they fight, and hit, and bite, and do all the things that kids do, I want to talk to them. I want to talk to them about love, Jesus’ love for us that makes it possible for us to love each other, love everybody else. I want them to know that love is the most powerful thing, more powerful than hate, more powerful than the sword, more powerful than death.

(Sidenote: If words are more powerful the sword, then they are more powerful than spankings, too. God’s Word is a two-edged sword and there’s an argument to be made that the rod of correction is His Word as well, not a literal rod.)

I’ve noticed that they already know this without realizing it. When they fight, one of the first things they say to each other is, “I don’t love you.” Or when they come crying, tattling, they say, “He doesn’t love me.” And I tell them that some words must never be spoken, some words must never, ever cross their lips. “I don’t love you” is not something we say in this family, because it is not true. I tell them, “It was wrong of him to do that. But he still loves you.” (Sometimes, that’s followed by a punch and I suppress the urge to slap everyone involved or run away screaming and crying, and I have to start all over again about kindness and the Golden Rule, blah blah blah.) But usually, after I tell them they love each other and tell them to hug, they start hugging and giggling.

I haven’t yet told them that if they keep saying something, it will become true. That is the power that words hold. If someone, anyone, is told the same thing over and over again, that will become true for that person, whatever it is. That is why there are some things that I don’t let them say.

The more you tell someone, “I love you,” the more you will love that person. And the more you tell someone, “I don’t love you,” the less you will love that person.

People use words in set ways and repeat things over and over again. We were created to say the same thing over and over again. We can choose what we say over and over again.

And that is why I want to sing. Songs are glorified words, words with extra power because they are beautiful and easy to remember and repeat. I am not doing a good job of singing anymore. We used to sing every day. I need to start that up again.

There are some things I tell my children and I try to tell them every day. I didn’t get to tell them today. I was too exhausted and then they all fell asleep. But last night, this is what I said to Thane as I held him before he fell asleep. He usually loves it when I start saying this and snuggles in close.

These are the words I tell my children. These are the words I want to shape them with. As they get older, what I repeat will change and grow. But for now, I think this is what they need: love and assurance of love.

God loves you. God loves you so much He sent Jesus down to this earth. Jesus loves you so much He paid for all your sins and conquered death and Satan. (Mama! The dragon! He killed Satan! Like Saint George!) And then the Holy Spirit came down to be with us always, everywhere.

You are my favourite Thaney. You are my favourite 2-year-old in the whole wide world. I will always, always, always love you.

Daddy loves you. Mama loves you. Bubu loves you. Buddy loves you. Baby Prester loves you.* We will always love you. Always, always. Forever and ever.

*(Occasionally this section becomes really long as he starts adding grandparents, uncles, kids from church, random strangers at the park, characters from books and Netflix … “Spiderman loves me? Clifford loves me?” “Ahhh, uhhh, yeah, Thaney.” Let’s go back to “Daddy loves you. Mama loves you.”)

 

These ideas pretty nearly all came from the books by Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy that my father introduced me to (I miss you, Papa!). All my books are sitting in boxes after my third move in 8 months and because Life keeps chucking things above the bookshelves in the priority on our shopping list, I can’t get to them yet so I have no quotes or anything from him.

If you enjoy having your mind blown away and then put back together in a way you could never have imagined, start reading some of his books.

You can order all his books and find out more about him at ArgoBooks and at the Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy Society.

Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be cowboys….

What if I came before a group of Christian mothers at a home school convention and asked this question?

Would you spend money to buy a curriculum program based on a philosophy of education that assumes the following?

  • (1) The legitimacy of homosexuality, especially the seduction of teenage boys by men over age 30;
  • (2) warfare as a man’s supremely meaningful activity;
  • (3) polytheism;
  • (4) a personal demon as a philosopher’s source of correct logic;
  • (5) slavery as the foundation of civilization;
  • (6) politics as mankind’s only means of attaining the good life, meaning salvation;
  • (7) the exclusion of women from all aspects of public religion;
  • (8) the legitimacy of female infanticide.

Greek society and Greek wisdom were based on all eight of the characteristics I listed above. Classical culture, which flourished for about two centuries, 600 B.C. to 400 B.C. Its primary religious and cultural document was the Iliad, and during the Peloponnesian war, the city-states fought themselves to exhaustion. Greece was easily conquered by Alexander the Great in the 330’s. And why not? His tutor had been Aristotle, who taught him all about Greek culture. Alexander learned its weaknesses, and he took advantage of this. But Christian parents don’t know its weaknesses, so they encourage their children to have respect for the culture that Paul called to repentance in Acts 17.

Click here to finish reading the article. It’s a good, little article. Oh, mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be cowboys … or pater familias.

Memorization Priorities

We were invited over to my pastor’s house for dinner this week and I had a stimulating talk with Jana.

Rinah is almost “old enough to go to school” as she says. I need to start thinking about what I’m going to do with my children.

We talked about a lot. I can’t put it all down here but I’ve had thoughts buzzing around my head for the last few that I need to write down down bit by bit.

So nakking notes … here goes.

I’ve seen firsthand and heard of different classical Christian schools requiring very young children to memorize a lot.

  • the pharaohs of Egypt
  • the emperors of Rome
  • the kings of England
  • the presidents of America

And then I came across a school (not classical, obviously) which had its students memorize this.

  • the genealogy of Jesus

What do you want your children to memorize? What are your priorities in educating your children? What are you going to require first? Or is memorizing even necessary?

Eventually, I would love for my kids to know all the pharaohs, emperors, kings, presidents, etc., etc. That would be great! But not if they spend more time studying the writings of pagan homosexual pedophiles and perverts than they do the Bible. Besides which I find it quite racist to concentrate on Western Europe to the exclusion of the rest of the world.

I was never required to memorize lists of pharaohs and emperors and kings but I loved studying history so much that at one point I did know all of them except for the presidents. (My knowledge of US history was fuzzy after Lincoln.)

Right now, Ben is reading Genesis 1 with the kids almost every night and they also know the Lord’s Prayer (in chant form) and Confession of Sin from the BCP. We want to start saying the 10 Commandments, too.

In theory, at this point, I must say I don’t believe in rote memorization. I think cramming and forcing people to memorize things is a good way to make them dislike it and/or forget it pretty quickly.

Right now, my kids do remember a lot of things, but it’s not because we have made them memorize anything. They remember because they are so familiar with it.

I want them to live and breathe the things they remember. I want them to be so familiar with the history of the Old Testament that they are able to list the kings of Judah and Israel or the ancestors of Jesus like they list the names of their siblings, with love, without effort.

I want them to love and remember fewer, more important things forever. I don’t want to force them to memorize a lot of irrelevant, disconnected facts and then forget it all.

Publish Your Own Book

blurb-logo.gifblurb-books.jpgMy friend Miwaza just told me about Blurb, where you can publish your own books and photos in softcover or hardcover. (Guess which I’m getting. LOL.) I’m so excited! I wanted to make a baby book but I’ve never done scrapbooking before and I’ve thought what a pity to put all that work into making a scrapbook and only have one copy to show for it in the end. Here’s the perfect solution!

Even better, I can publish my own books for my babies to study from instead of writing everything out by hand onto notebooks and sketchbooks. I’ve been planning and laying out a scrapbook for Rinah with all the basic stuff we’re working on now (like Genesis 1, 10 Commandments, Apostles Creed, Te Deum, Magnificat, etc., etc.) and trying to practice calligraphy with a little tot running around the room or squirming in my lap and it was NOT working.

Now I just need to upload pictures and text and hit “publish” and I’m done! And it will look better than anything I try to do by hand. And I will be all done before the next baby is here! And my babies will each have their own copies! Ooooh, maaaan. I can’t wait to start! Thank you, Miwaza!