A fight with your spouse.
A busy day where it seems like everyone’s demanding something from you.
Parents who bring their sick kids to the church nursery and infect your kids.
A husband who doesn’t mow the lawn often enough.
A wife who forgets to get the oil changed.
Kids who are bored.
Aging parents who won’t let you help them.
A friend who wants to talk about why they’re leaving your church.
A spouse who wants more sex than you want to give.
It doesn’t take an entire list like this to set us off. Sometimes it only takes one or two or three of them to put us on edge. And then the next one comes along, and we snap. We can only hold back the river of words for so long…
Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body. [Proverbs 16:24]
Some translations call our words “gracious,” others call them “pleasant.” Either way, our wise and kind words can be life giving to others. In biblical times, honey was both medicine and a luxury. If we use our words to tear down, they are nothing like honey, but if we choose our words carefully, they can be both good medicine and an undeserved luxury for their hearers.Here’s what’s even more interesting: The words we speak aren’t just healing to the recipient, they’re healing to us, the speaker, as well.
Gracious words don’t just roll off our tongues when we’re hurting, but just because we’re hurting doesn’t give us a pass on using them. Few things can snap us out of a funk faster than listing the things our husband does well or telling our wife thank you for all of the ways she’s served our family. That doesn’t mean the lack of lawn care doesn’t need addressing or that the oil doesn’t need changing or that sex lives don’t need discussing—they do. And a discussion should take place about those points of conflict. But not one that bears the weight of every other emotion we’re dealing with at the moment too.
Prefacing our complaints or potential arguments with gracious reminders of our spouse’s faithfulness to meet the needs of our marriage and family can do wonders to our perspectives when we all we really want to do is light into him/her. What we say, the tone we use, the time in which we say it, whether or not to obey the Spirit’s leading—all are a choice we make when we speak.
In choosing our words more carefully—choosing to speak gracious, pleasant ones instead of taking out our exhaustion and frustration out on the nearest victim—we’re able to not only build up our spouse or children but to also receive the same healing powers for our own pain.
:: FREE Printables ::In case you need to be reminded of the goodness of using gracious words over harsh ones, we’re giving away FREE hand-lettered printables of Proverbs 16:24. It’s a good verse to memorize with your spouse or for a family-wide Scripture memory initiative.
The packet includes the verse, drawn by Libby Gifford (of Cozy Mosie fame), in a variety of color options. All you have to do is print it out. Libby created it to fit in an 8×10 frame, too, if you want to display it in your house.
The download also includes a FREE graphic for your phone in case you need an extra-close reminder. (No judgment here.)