“Children are to be seen and not heard.” “Be quiet and listen.” “I don’t care what you say; you are wrong.” “Would you just shut up?!”
Sound familiar? Many of us grew up in an environment where we didn’t have a voice. It didn’t seem like we were smart or important enough to have an opinion or to voice it.
What happens when we grow up can go two ways. Either we continue to shrink back, feeling like we are worthless or on the outside looking in, or we stand up with great strength and WILL make our opinions known, sometimes even if they are hurtful or inappropriate.
Many of our Chained No More participants come into class timid and hurt and have a very difficult time voicing their thoughts, feelings and opinions. They think everyone else must be smarter, wittier, or more intelligent than they are, so they just talk very little. It is up to the leaders to “draw them out”, give them value and encourage them to talk about what is on their mind.
What a joy, when they begin “to have a voice” and their self-worth begins to rise. As they go through the Chained No More curriculum, they explore and discover how their past has defined them and kept them from being the best they could be. They ARE intelligent, they ARE witty, they DO have valuable things to say and contribute!
Many times, their spouses have abused them in many ways and that also made them lose their voice; sometimes just to survive or not get hit again. The control and manipulation of a spouse can shut them down from expressing any emotion and eventually, they can shut down emotionally altogether. The damage is great, but healing can come as the participant realizes who GOD says they are. He WANTS to hear them, loves and accepts them, forgives and will help them rise as they heal. It is a stunningly beautiful process to watch in our classes.
So, what about you? Do you feel you have a voice in the environment you live and work in? Do you feel valued? Do the people you surround yourself with build you up or tear you down? Do they encourage you or discourage you? Do you feel the best about yourself in your home or somewhere else? What needs to change and how can you change it?
Do you rely on others too much for your self-worth, or should you get into God’s Word and find out who HE says you are?
“I trust in Your unfailing love; my hearts rejoices in Your salvation.” Ps. 13:5
“I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Your works (that means YOU), are wonderful, I know that full well.” Ps. 139:14
You have a voice, whether you did or didn’t have one growing up. Speak up! You need to be heard because you do have things to contribute, opinions to share and words of encouragement for others. Begin with talking to God out loud and let Him know what is on your mind. He wants to hear what is on your heart today!