like the rest of the country i read “the help” and flocked to the theater to see it with a group of girlfriends.  now before you think i am going to diss the book or movie, you have to know i loved them both.  i devoured the book in less than a week and can’t wait to see the movie a second, third, or fourth time.  🙂

but if i am totally honest, there we three lines in that movie that challenged me to examine my words when interacting with children.  oh you know them.  you have seen them on tweets and facebook statuses for weeks.

“You is smart, You is kind.  You is important.”

the scenes where these lines were being delivered to a chubby, young face cupped in tired, loving hands brought tears to my eyes.  i know this was fiction, but i loved the intentionality of abilene to pause from the chaos to invest into a child’s heart and future.  (she was purposeful to bend down and get eye-to-eye as she gently delivered them.  i long to communicate like that.)  her intentions were great, but i still find myself asking what eternal weight do those words really carry?

again, i understand it was a movie.  i also admit that often times i would rather live in movies than in real life, but these lines provided a challenge and some examination into the words i impart to children.

these words were powerful and encouraging to a timid heart that was seeking affirmation and love.  these words filled a void that this child wasn’t receiving from her parents.  here’s the question i have asked myself – are these words really what this child needed to make it through life?  would these three lines deliver the true hope, strength, joy, and courage she would need as she faced life and all its unknowns?

these words were good, but in my opinion they weren’t great!  i am just not sure they were eternal words.  as i have replayed these words in my mind for a month now, i have to ask what would my three lines be?  my biggest conclusion is that they would be Christ-centered not child-centered.  i would take out the you’s and add God and try to convey life-changing truths that would not only point children to Jesus Christ and a relationship with Him, but would offer the real comfort they would need in the future.  He is all wisdom.  He is the author of kindness, and He is above all things.  that makes Him most important.

i encounter children daily and often times deliver words far less effective and profound as these movie lines.  i waste opportunities to plant eternal truths and replace them with casual, trite, fading, and empty words.  so even though i haven’t completely decided how it could best be said, here is my attempt at three lines.

“God created you and has a plan for you.  God loves you just like you are and gave you Jesus.  God will never leave you.”

i would love to hear your three lines!

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