Our 24 Family Ways #7
We encourage one another, using only words that build up and bless others.
Memory Verse Ephesians 4:29
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
Like apples of gold in settings of silver is a word spoken in the right circumstances.
No matter how you picture a gold apple, you would probably think to find an apple gilded in gold and wrapped in silver settings something of worth, delightful, an elegant display of a fruit so commonly loved.
That is the magnitude of words spoken at just the right time—of great worth, something that stands out and sparkles, reflects light, gives a sense of beauty and design. So, if we really think about our words and how to aim them at the heart of others, we can have that valuable of impact. Solomon is saying that such words aimed at the heart at the right time with grace will have great value and great impact. Don’t underestimate the value of learning to speak in a loving, encouraging, gracious way. I have been thinking about the importance of words lately - they bring life or death.
Jesus was called the word or “the Message” and His life brought hope and redemption and truth and guidance and blessed all who understood his message with grace and eternal worth..
I have met so many young 20 somethings in the past few years who have scars from their parents--mainly, I have heard stories of parents who never encouraged or had time to listen or believe in dreams or sympathize. "My parents never listened to me. They never understood me. They were always angry at me," is often what I hear.
“I wish you had never been born,”
“You are such a disappointment to me.”
“I hate you.”
“You are so dumb.”
“You embarrass me.”
These words are like knives that cut deeply to the inside of a heart and leave ugly scars on those who have heard them over and over again.
But if we were to look at the Word, Jesus himself, we would see intentional encouragement. "Peter, you are the rock. Thomas, a man in whom there is no guile. The centurion--no one has had faith like you. Mary, your story will be told about you for all times." Jesus always took time to show love to initiate words of life--even to believe in Peter and encourage him as he was about to rebel against him. Peter, Satan has desired to sift you like wheat. But I have prayed for you......"
It is almost as detrimental to withhold words, though, as to say angry words.
“I never remember my father saying anything kind about me in my whole life.”
“I don’t remember my mother ever saying she loved me. When I told her I loved her when I was 27, she said, ‘I do, too.’” That was the extend of her love verbalized. I always wanted to know if I was worth being loved.”
A word held back could keep a person from hope, faith, affirmation, a sense of worth. We also know that negative words building a wall, separate friends.
And so words have power and influence over who and what a human being becomes. That is why we must deeply consider how very important it is that we consider how to invest words of love, hope, truth, encouragement and practice saying them regularly. It is also why we must teach our children to ponder what words of life are and how to give them to others, as though we were giving them apples of gold.
James tells us that we should be very careful of our words and that we will be held accountable for them someday. Here are just a few thoughts on words from The Ministry of Motherhood.
Words are powerful; the Bible is full of that message. The whole universe came into being because God spoke the words. God's written word in the form of Scripture is central to his ongoing communication with his people. Jesus himself, God's ultimate form of communication, is described as the Word of God. And the Bible is clear that our words are important too. Many verses instruct us in the importance of words spoken as a source of life and encouragement. A few of these verses from Proverbs describe how precious words can be:
A soothing tongue is a tree of life. (15:4)
A man has joy in an apt answer,
And how delightful is a timely word! (15:23)
Like apples of gold in settings of silver
Is a word spoken in right circumstances. (25:11)
Encouraging and affirming words -- words of life, as I like to call them -- have the power to give hope, to strengthen others to keep growing in righteousness. And if I, a grown woman, need them to keep me going through hard times, my children need them even more. Positive words act as water and sunshine to our souls to help them grow strong. taken from The Ministry of Motherhood, p. 41
In Proverbs 15:4, how is a soothing tongue a tree of life? How do bitter words stunt growth?
Proverbs 15:23 says a timely word is delightful. How can you encourage one of your children with a "timely word" today? Have you received a "timely word" in your quiet time lately? How did that encourage you?
Gold and silver are precious metals mentioned in Proverbs 25:11. Read this verse to your children and have them illustrate what they think this would look like. Discuss how our words can create a picture of beauty for others. End your time with an apple snack. =)
What about you as a parent?
If she engages herself in meeting the needs of others and reaches out with the redeeming message of Christ, her children will learn not just to hear words of the gospel, but to learn what it looks like to live the gospel.
A mom is a mentor--a coach in all things excellent in life. If she is not growing in excellence, kindness, humility and gentleness, she cannot pass on to her children what she herself has not stored up..
Don't worry so much about the right rules, the best formula, what are the right books to buy. Be concerned instead, for your soul--what are you planting there? What are you watering in the depths of your heart attitudes? Whatever you water will grow. Nothing in your heart will be long hidden--as all things hidden eventually will come to the fore.
So the starting point of your influence is the state of your own heart, mind and soul. If there is purity, wisdom, strength, faith, love and righteousness there, then when you pour out your life, those around you will be blessed indeed.
No money, things, training and activities can replace the importance of Children finding the very essence of Christ spilling out in our lives, and in our words, from what we have carefully taken the time to place there inside.
May the Lord bless you with creative ideas on ways you can speak life to your loved ones this week!