Have you ever been in conversation with someone and wanted to say something, but didn’t? If so, why? Could it have been because you were leery of what the other person may think or say? Or were you concerned about offending them? If you’re anything like the much younger me, I’m guessing the answer is yes. Thankfully, I’ve learned quite a bit since then and I owe my son, Montana for part of that. For he has inadvertently taught me what it looks like for a young person, like himself, to speak up despite what others may think or say. And living in the 21st century, he has shown me what it looks like for a young person to do so respectfully without fear of offending anyone.
Although I was raised in a what I consider to be a “good” home with a loving family, I never felt like I had a voice. I didn’t feel like I could say the things I truly wanted to say without them being frowned upon or discounted. I don’t think that anyone intentionally set out to hurt me at all with this behavior and that they were only doing what they had been taught through life experiences. But none the less, it did effect the way I responded to others, and it left me with feelings bottled up inside as a child and young adult.
That said, as a mother, it was imperative for me to teach my children at a young age that they do have a voice and that the world is a better place for having them speak their truth respectfully, without fear of what others may think or say. For the word says in 2Timothy 1:7- God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love and self discipline. In regards to our voice; although, we should speak with love and compassion to all, we should also do so without fear of how they may respond to it. It took many years of modeling this for my children, but I am proud to say they are all much further along than I was at their age.
Montana, for one, has had several times over the course of the past few years where it would have been much easier for him to shrink back quietly. But, he chose to have his voice heard when necessary. Thankfully, as his mother, I was not only able to witness it first hand a time or two, but I was able to learn from it too. Thank you for that, son! For I now know from many years of experience that a strong relationship between a child and their parents is built on a foundation of teaching & learning. Whether you are the child or you are the parent, there will be times when you are the student and other times with you are the teacher. Embrace them both!