Monday, July 9, 2012

Are You Raising a Nimrod?

Before you answer that, are you sure you would know a Nimrod if you saw one? My guess is that most people would say a Nimrod is synonymous with an idiot. In fact, recent American use of the word lends itself to a negative tone. Some even link its origination to its constant use in the ridiculous battles between Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd (I know, I just dated myself…).  However, that’s not the Nimrod I want you to consider. I’ve used capital “N” because there was a man named Nimrod and you find his story in the Bible, Genesis 10:8-9.

Nimrod was the great-grandson of Noah, the guy who built a giant boat just before the great flood. When you read the back-story of Nimrod’s family tree, you discover an incident where his grandfather, Cush, made a mistake and as his punishment, great-grandfather Noah spoke a curse over Cush and his family. If you take a quick glance over the kingdoms that developed from the line of Cush, you might recognize a few: Babylon, Nineveh, Sodom and Gomorrah. Not to insult anyone’s intelligence, but if you don’t recognize these names, I can simply tell you they weren’t very nice people. Some may recognize the names due to notable stories in the Bible about how God dealt severely with these particular kingdoms.

Back to Nimrod…

The principle here is simple: The words we use with our children can set the direction for their lives. I shared in an earlier post how one father blessed his children with his words. Here we see the opposite…a curse and because we know how it unfolds, we see the damaging impact it had on this particular family tree.

So what is the impact of negative words on our children? I love how Nathaniel Branden puts it: “Be careful what you say to your children. They may agree with you.” I have long believed that our children will become in the future who we tell them they are today. If we tell them they are great kids, then they will be great kids. In fact, we practiced this so much when our kids were little, some questioned whether we were setting them up to be arrogant or conceited. I figured it sure beat the alternative, which would be to tell them they would be losers.

"Our children will become in the future who we tell them they are today."
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Listen to the words of the wisest man who ever lived (Solomon):

“Death and life are in the power of the tongue” (Proverbs 18:21).

I don’t have to give you a list of phrases to avoid with your children. Just start listening to yourself and ask, “Am I building my children up or tearing them down? Am I blessing them or cursing them?” Help them believe they are the blessing God created them to be and that many lives will be better because of who they are and what they will become.

Here’s a two minute short film that illustrates the power of our words.

How has someone’s words to you as an adult been empowering? What does it mean to you to know others believe in you? Who can you empower today?

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