We need to encourage our children in every way we can. The world is against them. The enemy is trying to distract and undercut them. We need to train them in the truth, but also intentionally encourage them to do the right thing and applaud when we “catch” them doing it.
What tokens of encouragement do your children have to remember you by? I have birthday cards and a couple letters from my grandparents. I love seeing my grandma’s handwriting on anything. It’s like comfort food for my soul. I have some sweet letters from my parents encouraging me in my faith and as a wife and mother. Their words and encouragement are a tangible reminder that they are for me.
Early on, I learned the importance of writing little notes to my children. Sometimes I will stick them in their lunch boxes, put sticky notes on their Bibles or mirrors, or write them little Scripture encouragements. Sometimes I find them on the floor or the garbage – not in a disrespectful fashion, they were simply finished with reading them. But sometimes those notes find their ways to special boxes, bulletin boards, or to be used as bookmarks.
Before each of my children was born (yes, including #4), I started writing them letters in a journal. I started when we found out they existed and included their ultrasound pictures. I told them about how I was feeling, things I was looking forward to doing with them, etc. Through the years, the journal entries become less frequent, but I shoot for writing in everyone’s journal at each child’s birthday, at Christmas, and at the end of the year (“Highlights of 2021”). If something significant happens (a hospital visit, special acknowledgement, etc.), I’ll write a quick note in their journal.
I also keep a “Special Box” for each of them. There are files for Pre-K-senior year with a school picture for that year on the front of each folder. I am a keeper. I have a VERY hard time throwing things away my children make, so this forces me to save only the most special and important projects, awards, and pictures. It’s a fun way to use those extra school pictures, too. I think the boxes are manageable for storage and I’ll pop their journals in the boxes when they graduate from High School.
The written word is powerful and can be very inspiring. There is a letter a friend wrote me that I keep in my Bible to encourage me to keep going in ministry when I get discouraged. I keep a specific note from my husband in my planner at all times to remind me of his love and support as I plan for my week. Whose words do you keep handy to encourage you?
Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. 1 Thessalonians 5:11
What words of encouragement can you write for your children today?