I can still remember the mocking and hurtful words I endured as a child. Iíll bet if you have ever been through ridicule from someone, you can too if you think about it. Many times when I came home crying from school, my Mother would say: ďNow remember, Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.Ē Itís a lie. Words do hurt. They hurt children deep in their little hearts and the echoes of the painful words never go away.
I was in 4th grade when I began to develop - very quickly. By 5th grade I was fully developed much like a normal 15 - 16 year old girl, but I was only 11. In my mind, I was becoming a woman. After all, thatís what I was told by my Mother and other women close to me. So I began wearing make-up and teasing my hair.
The kids mercilessly taunted me at school. All the girls talked and accused me of padding my bra. I hated it! But even worse, I had a 5th grade teacher who thought the same thing. On one occasion when I had put lipstick and make-up on, she drug me out of her classroom, through the hall to the girls bathroom by my hair and scrubbed my face and lips until she had it all off. I can still feel the rough paper towels being rubbed harshly across my face until it was red. She said some very painful and mean things to me. Her eyes looked at me with disgust. I have never forgotten the things she said or the way she made me feel. I was still just a little girl at heart, but trying, in my mind to be whoever fit this body. I didnít know who I was yet. But she sure thought she did.
Itís bad enough when children are verbally ridiculed, humiliated or abused by other children, but when itís done by a grown-up, it is devastating. A child has a very tender heart that when broken, feels like a knife being sliced through the very middle. It is much like a trauma and can negatively affect them for the rest of their life. A responsible adult should always have the childís best interest at heart, right? An adult should know better than to say mean and hurtful words to a child. They should protect a child from being hurt both physically as well as emotionally. We were children too at one time. Donít we remember how it felt? Adults should be people that children can trust Ė with their hearts and their very lives. Itís a shame they canít always. It must cause God great sorrow.
As I grew into my early teen years I developed a tough outer shell Ė to keep the hurt out. By this time I had been through my parents divorce and a move to a new city. These were major life-altering events that were crushing to my vulnerable child heart. I am ashamed to say that the hurt I was holding inside now was being spewed from my mouth like an oil gusher. The very thing that had hurt me so badly at 10 Ė 11 years old was the thing I was doing to other kids I came in contact with. I became a mean-spirited bully.
I canít imagine how hard it must be to be a child in todayís society. I grew up in the 60ís and it was tough then Ė so many changes going on in the world that caused a lot of confusion. But, we really havenít come very far. As a matter of fact, I believe thereís more confusion in the world now than ever. Kids may have more stuff, but many of them have so little love, so little encouragement, so little mentoring, so little hope. As adults, are we failing them?
I look around and I see a lot of grown-up bodies but inside these bodies are hurting little childrenís hearts.
The thing that caused me to develop my tough shell as a teen-ager was the same thing that I put back on other people. When people are verbally abusive to children or anyone for that matter Ė I believe itís their own hurting hearts coming out. Itís that child-like heart that has never matured in the nurturing of the Lord.
Jesus said ďCome unto Me, all ye who labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest.Ē We all need rest for our souls Ė adults and children alike. But as parents, we especially need Jesusí rest. Until we receive true love and forgiveness only Christ can give, we can never give it back to others. When we as adults do not confess our sins before a holy God and receive deliverance from those sins, our hearts never mature. We are grown-ups with childrenís hearts. We continue to carry around all that old baggage from childhood Ė all the hurt and pain that are a part of everybodyís life. So, how can we nurture our own children correctly and raise them to be kind, loving and responsible adults when we are still hurting children inside?
The answer: Jesus Ė the only Way. When Jesus saves us He sets us free from all the sin, the pain and hurt we have endured over a lifetime. Itís freedom! From all of it! He puts a love so real in our hearts and souls that we canít possibly hurt anyone, much less an innocent little child. He can take a foul mouth and make it a mouth full of blessings. He can take a pessimist and turn him into an optimist. He can take the lowest of the low and make him a child of God. He can take a stony hard-shelled cold heart and mold it and shape it like a piece of play-doh in His gentle hands. He will mold it into the image of His own heart. He is God. He can do anything! All it takes is repentance, belief in Jesus Christ and obedience to Him.
Sticks and stones may break my bones
And words can scorch my soul
But as long as I give it all to Jesus
In Him, I am made whole!
this is a very touching article. I can't imagine such an insensitive teacher as that. Praise God that you found him and even though times may bring that hurt back, you have learned to lay it at the feet of Jesus.
Powerful Testimony of what Jesus has done in Your Redeemed heart and Life,My Dear Sister.Thank You for sharing that Hope that is found in Christ through the Cross and in the Power of His Spirit Abiding in an Adopted child's life.Hard to believe that adults can treat children like that,truly does sadden the Loving Heart of God...Hope every soul that reads this that is looking for healing will be healed and encouraged through the Loving Embrace of the Saviour...Keep writing for the Glory of God!!!Jesus is the Healer of the soul,for this I know!!!:)
With Jesus Love,
Sis Dee&Brother David