Q: How much influence do parents have on their children?

Denise’s Answer:Thank you for your question! First, the answer is yes. A mother has great influence over her children negatively or positively. You are an authority figure in their lives, and when authority figures speak into young children, their words carry a lot of power

I’ll give you an example from my own childhood. My dad was my authority figure. And in the heart of a little child, their parents can do no wrong — the child believes what the parents says wholeheartedly without a single doubt in their mind. 

One day, my dad looked over at me and said, “Denise, you walk like a cow.” At the time, I knew deep down he was only trying to help me, and he didn’t know his words would have an impact on me, but they did! In fact, this one comment had such a negative impact on me, I turned to Jesus to take those words out of my mind! It wasn’t the truth

The devil uses people in your life to try to put your God-ordained calling to a grinding hault. And I’m sorry to say, but the devil was using my dad in that moment. There was no way my father could have known that I would one day walk across countless stages, but the devil was trying to put a stop to my future. 

You want your mouth as a parent to lift up the heart of your child. Rick and I used to tell our children, “You’re a leader,” constantly. Philip had a hard time with this at a point in his life when the devil was trying to tell him he was stupid. But we pulled him aside, and continued to affirm and encourage him. We would say to him, “Philip, that’s not true! You’re not stupid; you’re smart. You are a leader.” We made it a point to tell our children that they could do absolutely anything God put in their hearts to do.

Proverbs 18:21 says, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” It’s so important to recognize how powerful your words are as parents, and to ensure you’re planting words of positivity, encouragement, and success as opposed to words of negativity or failure. Friend, if you start believing those negative words, you’ll eventually become them. Our words hold either life or death in them, and it’s crucial that you train your mouth as a parent to say good things to your children.