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Posts Tagged ‘Words’

Pleasant Words

Scripture: Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, Sweetness to the soul and health to the bones. Proverbs 16:24 (NKJV)

Observation: Elsewhere the book of Proverbs presents an interesting contrast: “The thoughts of the wicked are an abomination to the Lord, But the words of the pure are pleasant” (Prov. 15:26). By their nature, gentle, kind words, by soothing the mind, give the body health.

Application: The tongue can detect several different tastes – sweet, sour, salty, bitter. Some of us have a preference for one of three – sweet, salty, or sour. For instance, I prefer fruit that has a tart taste but I also enjoy some sweet foods and other salty foods. In general terms, however, most of us don’t care for things that have a bitter taste. The writer of this proverb understands that most of us, from the time we’re children, have a preference for that which is sweet and pleasant and dislike that which is bitter.
In the book, “The Voice in Speech and Song,” we find some important guidance:
“Do you dislike to have harsh words spoken to you? Remember that when you speak such words others feel the sting. Let your praiseworthy example, your peaceable words and unselfish deeds, be a savor of life unto life.
“The talent of speech was given to be used for the benefit of all. Pleasant, cheery words cost no more than unpleasant, moody words. Sharp words wound and bruise the soul. In this life everyone has difficulties with which to wrestle. Everyone meets with grievances and disappointments. Shall we not bring sunshine instead of gloom into the lives of those with whom we come in contact? Shall we not speak words that will help and bless? They will be just as much a blessing to us as to those to whom they are spoken.–Ms 93, 1901. (Ellen G. White, The Voice in Speech and Song, p. 64)
A couple in which sweet pleasant words form part of their communication will have a better relationship than one where yelling, sarcasm, criticism, or bitter words form part of their conversation. Children who hear pleasant, kind, encouraging words will grow with a more pleasant disposition than those who receive from their parents a barrage of attacks or constant criticism.
Let’s practice daily the use of sweet, kind words toward each other. They reflect our relationship with god, and they also help others to experience such a relationship with Him.

A Prayer You May Say: Father God, help us to speak nothing but words that will help and bless others and which will help them feel closer to you.

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Scripture: Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. Ephesians 4:29 (NKJV)

Observation: The word “corrupt” in the original Greek language of the New Testament literally means “insipid,” without “the salt of grace” (Col 4:6), and therefore worthless and then becoming corrupt.: this includes “foolish talking” (Eph 5:4). Its opposite is “that which is good to edifying.”

Application: I just received this from a friend:
A young disciple of a wise man once asked him, “Master, a friend was speaking ill about you.”
“Stop!” interrupted the wise man; “Have you made sure that what you’re about to tell me has passed through the three doors?”
“The three doors?”
“Yes. The first door is TRUTH. Are you sure that what you’re going to tell me is absolutely true?”
“No. Y heard it from some neighbors.”
“Well, at least you have made your information go through the door GOODNESS. Will what you’re going to tell be good to me or anybody else?”
“No, not really. . . the opposite.”
“The last door is NECESSARY. Is it necessary for me to know what bothers you so much?”
“Actually, no.”
“Therefore,” said the wise man smiling, “If it’s not TRUE, or GOOD, or NECESSARY, let’s buried it in forgetfulness.”

When it comes to our relationships with our spouse, loved ones, or friends, we must remember that words can do much harm, so we must think carefully what we’re going to say before doing it. Someone wrote: “You are a slave of the things you say, but Lord of the words you don’t.” It is easier to hold the words we have not said than to bring back those that have already come out of our mouth. The apostle Paul reminds us of the importance of saying only words that serve for the edification and encouragement of others. Think of what positive things you can say to and about your spouse that will affirm them, encourage them, strengthen them. Think of what you can do to help your children develop a good strong sense of self. Most importantly, think of what you can say to your loved ones and others that will help them experience God’s grace in their lives. Don’t be a slave of your words. . . be their master.”

A Prayer You May Say: Father God, help me to use all that I say to strengthen, encourage, and build others up, never to tear anyone down.

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Scripture: But I would strengthen you with my mouth, And the comfort of my lips would relieve your grief. Job 16:5 (NKJV)

Observation: Job had lost all his property, but what hurt him most was the loss of his children. Ultimately he was struck with some skin disease and with the discouraging words of his own wife. To add insult to injury, his friends, who came to encourage him, used words that were more like accusations and a call to repentance.
The words of today’s text are in response to Eliphaz’ boasted “consolations” (Job 15:11). Job would have like words that would strengthen him, words spoken from the hear, with love, words that would bring true consolation. The text could be paraphrased: “Like you, I could also strengthen with the mouth, with heartless talk and the moving of my lips – mere lip comfort could console in the same fashion as you do.”

Application: I know that for the most part people have good intentions when they say some things. I have heard people say things, particularly at funerals or to bereaved families that make me cringe. Probably the most commonly used are the words “I know how you feel!” By that they mean, “I have also experienced pain, so I know what your pain is like. The reality is that no one can possibly know the pain we feel because pain is a very personal experience. Just because I lost my father or mother I can’t tell someone else whose father or mother has just dies that I know how they feel.
Have you heard someone say to a parent whose child has died, “well, at least you have other children”? Or, “You can have more children”? Or have your heard someone tell a person whose relationship has ended, “There are plenty more fish on the ocean!” Our careless words, intended to bring consolation, may sometimes do more harm that they can help.
In dealing with people who have experienced great loss, your presence is often more helpful than any words you may say. Later, after the funeral, when you visit those who are still going through the process of recovery from grief, let them talk about their loved one. In fact, encourage such conversation by asking about their loved ones – their favorite memories, etc. After six to twelve months, friends and family go back to their own life and routine and inadvertently leave those grieving alone. It is at those times that your presence and encouraging them to express their feelings and to talk about their loved ones can become one of the most helpful tools for healing.

A Prayer You May Say: Father, help us to become instruments of healing through our presence and through our heartfelt words.

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Scripture: (Prov 16:24 NKJV)  Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, Sweetness to the soul and health to the bones.

Observation: Another practical bit of marriage advice from Solomon.

Application: While these words don’t seem to be directed specifically to married couples – in reality they can apply to anyone and to any relationship – they are wonderful advice to a husband who wants to connect emotionally with his wife.  My mother taught us, from the time we were small, to express public appreciation for even the simplest of acts – cooking, doing the laundry, mowing the lawn, putting up a nail on the wall to hang a picture, etc.  In marriage, sometimes we begin to take each other for granted and eventually end up neglecting one another or neglecting to express appreciation for what each does for the other.
So, how do you praise your wife?  Think about even small things she does, even the ones you think are normal, everyday, maybe even expected acts or responsibilities, and thank her and compliment her for them.  Here are a few ideas and examples of what to thank her or compliment her for, and how to do it:
– Thank you for dinner; it was very good.  Thank you for making an effort to prepare good, healthy, nutritious, good-tasting (your own words) meals.
– I appreciate you washing and folding my clothes; they smell good, it makes it easier for me to put  them away, I’m glad I have clean clothes to wear . . . etc.
– I’m grateful that you are so careful with our funds, that you watch carefully our budget, that you don’t spend money unnecessarily, that you check with me before making large purchases. . . etc.
– I love the way that dress looks on you, that you take care of yourself, the way you conduct yourself  around others, how kind you are to the kids, how sweet you are to me. . . etc.
– Thank you for keeping the house clean, I appreciate the way you decorate the house, the flowers/plants you got make our house look so nice and fresh. . .etc.
– Thank you for the many hours you work to help us with our finances, for the long hours you work outside the house (or at home), for your great contribution to our life (or home, or family). . . etc.

Dennis Rainey, in his Family Life Marriage Bible, writes: Speaking pleasant words to your spouse helps to establish and strengthen emotional connections.  As you work to make a genuine connection with your words, go below the surface to the real issues of life.  Share with her, for example, what goes on at work.  Most women love hearing all the details.  You’ll also discover that she can provide wise counsel on the issues you face.
Make a special effort, then, to use pleasant words with your spouse, words that build them up and  encourage them, words that build emotional connections between the two of you, words that are “sweetness to the soul and health to the bones.”

Prayer: Father, use our mouth and the words that come out of it to build up our spouse and thus strengthen our relationship.

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Scripture: The wise woman builds her house, but the foolish pulls it down with her hands. (Proverbs 14:1 NKJV)

Observation: One of the many proverbs or sayings written by King Solomon.

Application: Dennis Rainey, in his Family Life Marriage Bible, comments on this text: Every wife has the power to create or destroy her relationship with her husband. “The wise woman builds her house, but the foolish pulls it down with her hands” (14:1). . . Every man needs his wife’s respect; it’s one of his deepest needs.  He has others, but your respect – or lack thereof – impacts his whole life.
He goes on to say: Respecting your husband includes really listening to him, not simply hearing the words that come out of his mouth.  Take seriously what he says! . . . Some wives do not realize how powerful they can be in their husband’s life when they truly respect their man. . . and a wife should look for ways to affirm and respond to her husband’s leadership.  It starts by praising him for those areas in which he deserves genuine respect.

I’m baffled at times to hear how some wives speak to and about their husbands and then complain  that their marriage is not what they would like it to be or that they’re not treated like they think they should be.  Applying the Golden Rule, if wives begin by affirming and showing appreciation and admiration for their husbands, even for the smallest of things they say or do, can build them up and in turn result in better husbands.  Willard Harley writes that Admiration and Respect are among a man’s most important emotional needs, not a selfish desire.  Showing admiration and respect for your husband is a gift to them, but it can also become a gift you give yourself.

Prayer: Father, may we show and express more appreciation toward our spouse and thus meet their needs, and while doing so, may our marriage be strengthened.

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