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10/9 Special Column: Parents are encouraged to be encouragers

By Anita Blake, Rehoboth Baptist Church

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Charles Stanley in an article entitled "The Making of an Encourager" begins with the question: "What does encouragement mean to you?" Have you received encouragement today? Have you passed it on to others?

Parents need encouragement and so do our children. Charles Stanley goes on to say "sometimes it takes only one word, a smile, or a grasp of the hand to hearten someone who is experiencing a trial".

To encourage is to give courage, hope or confidence. It also means to give support and to be favorable. The Apostle Paul in speaking to believers in Thessalonica describes the parent/child relationship as he would expect it in 1 Thessalonians 2:11-12a (NLT) And you know that we treated each of you as a father treats his own children. We pleaded with you, encouraged you, and urged you to live your lives in a way that God would consider worthy. This is a means of demonstrating unconditional love.

Ephesians 4:29 (NLT) 29 Don't use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.

You have heard the saying "it's not what you say; it's how you say it". I would suggest it "is" what you say and "how" you say it and "when" you say it as stated in Proverbs 25:11 (NLT) Timely advice is lovely, like golden apples in a silver basket.

The world beats us and our children up enough with criticism and discouragement. Heed the apostle Paul when he says in 1 Thessalonians 5:11 (NLT) So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing. Our homes and our world will be a better place as a result.