When I was in year 10 at high school, I was a School captain. A boy in our grade had mental development issues and he used to hang around me because I was nice to him and I took the time to say hello. I can remember being teased about how people thought he was my boyfriend. To make it clear that that was definitely not the case, I would say, “I am never going to marry a boy with red hair and glasses.” Eight years later, I married a guy (not the same one) with red hair and glasses.
When we say, “I will never…”, we are pronouncing a ‘self-fulfilling prophecy’. Self fulfilling prophecies will always come back to bite you.
Can you ever remember being embarrassed by your mother as a teenager and you would say, “I can’t wait until I am an adult. I will never….”Twenty years later, you suddenly realise that you are now doing exactly what your mum did.
We can help our children by modelling a life that is free of these negative statements. Do you ever wonder why people who say “I never win any competitions” never actually win anything? Are there times in your life you are using those words now? Have a listen to your children. Do they ever say it?
One of our tasks as a parent is to help our children not fall into the habit of stating “I will never…”. I encourage you to take a few moments to look back on your life and see if there were any times you said, “I will never…” Share these with your kids. Help them to see that it is not in their best interest to speak these negative words into their life.
If we slip up, we say sorry and make amends. It is important to cut off or neutralise the effect of those words. We need to realise that when we say these words, we are releasing into the atmosphere something that puts into motion the very same thing to happen to us.
An effective prayer I find useful is, “Lord Jesus, can you please bring to my mind any negative words I’ve said that I will never do…. Lord, I am so sorry I said that. Please forgive me. In Jesus’ name, I cut off the effect of those words. Amen.”