• Kerrie Oles

The Secure Voice

“They called me a ‘fail lover’, mommy.” Now, I certainly didn’t know what that meant, but I did know this: they’d better not be calling my boy that.

Apparently, the bullying had been going on for quite a while. There were other adjectives used to describe him, but I will stop with “fail-lover”.

Mothers everywhere describe their sons as sweet, quiet, and docile, but Caleb really is! He has one of the most genuine hearts I have ever seen, and I usually ask God, “How is it that I get to be his mom?” He loves the underdog, and the underdog he made friends with was a boy who was made fun of all the time, and was called a “fail” quite often. Due to their friendship, Caleb was now a “fail lover.”

As I sat and listened to all the ways this particular boy was using his voice to lessen Caleb’s, I was saddened. Caleb has had a rough year. He moved, lost his grandfather, started a new private school, and broke his arm. That’s a lot for a ten- year-old, and now to be bullied—that was tough. With my blue-eyed son in front of me, tears streaming down his face, I knew what I had to do.

I had to help him find his voice.

When I was in my mother’s womb, I started crying and somehow opened my mouth. The embryonic fluid I ingested damaged my trachea. At one day old, I had a tracheotomy, and the doctors told my mother, “If she has a voice, it will be a miracle.” Since that time, the devil has been trying to steal, kill and destroy my voice in many areas. Now he’s encroaching on my ten year old.

He must have me confused with the weak woman I used to be.

My father went to be with the Lord in August, but he was as tough as they come. He always worried about Caleb, because he was so kind. He would say, “I know he’s sweet, but you’re going to have to teach him to be tough.” “Boys are supposed to be tough.” I didn’t want to do that because I thought, somehow, it would change the makeup of him being and acting like Jesus. After all, this was a Christian school, I was in ministry, how could I teach my child to be tough?

What does that look like biblically? This is such a fine line for moms of boys.

Like any mom, I want my child to thrive and “do” all the things that Jesus would do, but this particular problem was new to me. So, I grabbed the only thing I thought would have the answer: James Dobson’s book, Bringing up Boys; surely he would give me a solid solution on this!

While combing the pages, I found lots of helpful information, and even put some of the solutions offered to work over the course of the next few days. Only for my son to return home and tell me the bully was still whispering things to him, pushing him; nothing was working. I wrote the teacher and the powers-that-be a letter to let them know what I was about to do.

I told Caleb, “You need to find your voice, which means I want you to stand up for yourself.” Of course, being the child that he is, he said, “But Jesus turned the other cheek, Mommy.” Ouch. James Dobson. Dr. Phil. Jesus. Where is the solution??

We practiced role-playing for hours. How to respond to each and every name, every scenario that I could think of that might come up, and he went to school to put them into place. I felt like I was sending him off to war!

It began. Caleb stared the bully right in the eye and said, “If we weren’t in the classroom right now, you would be sorry.” At recess, the boy did it again, and Caleb did exactly what I instructed him to do. He looked at him and said, “I love you in Christ, but you are not allowed to talk to me like that,” and pushed him down. The boy did not retaliate.

I know what you’re thinking.

“This mom is advocating violence.”

Absolutely not. I am advocating finding the voice inside you that says, “You are worth more than what is being said and done to you.” The boy that was bullying was not a bad kid; neither is my son, but clearly, they were both suffering from the epidemic that I believe is bigger than the flu. It’s been around since the beginning of time.


In Beth Moore’s book So Long Insecurity, she says this: “We’re going to have to let truth scream louder to our souls than the lies that have infected us.”

Those words scream the solid solution to the problem. It starts in our childhood, and is relentless throughout our life. The devil screams lies at us. The bully was clearly insecure, and believed some sort of lie that he needed to bully to get attention. My son believed that he couldn’t take up for himself, due to feeling shame. It’s a cycle. Since that time, that boy and my son are really good friends. I realize this situation cannot apply to everyone; however, I believe we can apply this picture to our own life.

The devil is a bully, screaming lies to us every day; trying to drown out our voice. Lies that the devil uses to breed insecurity in you come three different ways:

  1. You are not who you have believed you are; it’s a lie.

  2. You are not who someone else said you were; it’s a lie.

  3. You are not the sum total of your past mistakes; it’s a lie.

He tries to steal our voice by robbing us with harmful experiences in our life, kill our voice by crushing our dreams of what we want to do, and destroy it by trying to completely annihilate who we believe we are to the Father. He is a bully that won’t quit. He did that to me for years.

This is not a gender, or boy, problem. It’s a world problem, and we need to look him straight in the eye and say, “You are not allowed to talk to me like that!” We need to find our secure voice, just like Caleb.

Inside every one of us is a secure person, just begging to come out because Christ lives within us. The process of calling that person out began for me when I read 2 Corinthians 4:7: “But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all- surpassing power is from God and not from us.”

The power of Jesus Christ lives within us, and we need to learn how to call that power out to the surface. It first starts with our mind, and how we think. I believed for years that I was weak, and believed all the shameful thoughts the enemy placed on me. As I began to get free, I realized that if I thought differently, then I could make a deliberate choice to tell my actions to act differently.

We have to refuse insecurity the space to grow.

Your new actions are the way you call that deeply entrenched secure person to the surface. By faith, over and over again, you will begin to summon what’s on the inside to the outside.

All the times the devil tried to call me names, I know my heavenly Daddy was up there saying, “He better not be calling My daughter that.” He does that when it pertains to you, too. Begin to think and act differently, and keep calling the secure person within you to the outside.

His voice is the secure voice and it will speak louder than any lie the devil ever tries to give you. In that, you can be secure.


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