As I sit on the sidelines of the sports field, I am engulfed with the noise of those around me cheering on the players. It is a sea of voices and I wonder if my voice will be heard–why even bother? Yet when I join my voice with the crowd, my child turns and our eyes lock. They have heard my voice above all others.
It is a strange and curious thing the way this happens, but yet it happens time and again and I cannot discount it as a fluke. My children hear my voice and can distinguish it from others. This is what I want. Isn’t that what you want? For your child to be able to discern your voice from the crowd?
From the time my children were conceived, they have been hearing my voice and they know it well. I have used it to speak into their lives in good times and bad. I have used it to tell them how much I love them, to encourage them, to teach them, laugh and even sing with them. Sadly, I have even been human enough to misuse this gift to speak in harsh tones or let my sarcasm get the best of me. That is certainly not the voice I want them to hear the most, but sometimes it happens.
This gift did not just happen overnight. It is a gift that was earned over time, with much hard work and practice. A lot of blood, sweat and tears went into it–a pouring out from both sides. It is a foundation that has been laid with each stitch of training I have sewn into the relationship between they and I.
Obviously it began in the womb, but beyond that–when they finally made their grand entrance into this life–I labored to speak words of life into them, shaping and molding who they are. I also purposely set up “games” that teach them to come when I call and to respond to me with a simple, “Yes, Mommy”, “Coming, Mommy” or even just an acknowledgement of “Just a minute, Mom.”
When I laid out these opportunities to train them to the sound of my voice, I knew what I was doing, but yet I didn’t know what I was doing. I knew that I wanted them to be obedient, but I greatly underestimated the power that my voice has spoken over their life and how that simple training permeates everything. My voice is powerful. My voice makes them turn and respond. My voice encourages them and helps them to press on when they are uncertain. My voice sings over them. My voice laughs, giggles and experiences joy with them. My voice comforts. My voice displays how I am feeling so they know without even seeing me how I am doing and vice versa.
My voice speaks life to my children, well…most of the time. My voice has the power to speak life, but sometimes, in my humanness, it speaks death. My voice has the power to cut my children to the quick. Especially since I know them so well, it can penetrate them right where it will hurt most. My voice is a powerful weapon that can be mis-used to wound if I am not careful. I must think first and choose my words carefully because my voice weighs heavy in their life. Even greater power comes to those who know and understand the magnitude of the power they have in their voice and work to use it appropriately and well. I have had times of wondering if my hard work will pay off–will I even see any fruit from my labors? I have wondered it rotten fruit will be the harvest.
As I sit on the sidelines of the sports field, I lock eyes with my child and realize that I am eating the fruit and it is sweet.