Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Reflection - Your Words

This weekend, Mike officiated the wedding of one of my dear college friends.  During the ceremony, the couple pledged their love to one another.  The bride and groom swore to love one another in sickness and in health, in happiness and sadness, through good times and bad times.  The groom became emotional when he promised to love his bride, the woman that made him a better man.  

During the ceremony, I was emotional.  I was happy for my friend, and I reflected on how blessed I am to have a life partner that has been with me through incredibly difficult times as well as happy times.  I felt my heart swell with love and pride for my husband.  But I didn't tell him this.  Like so many other times, the moment passed, and I began to chat with friends and participate in wedding festivities.

I made the mistake of assuming that my husband somehow knew, through ESP or osmosis, how I felt about him.  Maybe I also thought that if I have been with him for sixteen years, he must know that I love him.  I assumed that if I "think it", others must know it.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  

Proverbs 18: 20-21 says:
Words satisfy the mind as much as fruit does the stomach;
    good talk is as gratifying as a good harvest. 
Words kill, words give life;
    they’re either poison or fruit—you choose.

Our words have the power to give life or to destroy like poison.  Our words can satisfy the mind and gratify the heart.  We can speak words of love and life - reminding the people that we encounter that they are God's masterpiece, that they are loved; or we can poison their souls with destructive words of hate.  

Think of how different our relationships could be if we simply took the time to speak our love and gratitude.  I know the difference words have made in my life.  I don't remember every word my parents spoke to me, but I remember being told EVERY DAY, "I love you".  I remember being told often that I could do anything I wanted to do if I worked hard and had faith in God. My parents said these words so often that I am surprised I didn't try to build a rocket ship to the moon - no task has ever seemed beyond the realm of possibility.  All of this is because of the words that were quietly and consistently spoken to me - I love you; you are special; God loves you; you are intelligent; you are strong.  

My challenge to you today is to speak aloud the kind words that you think.  Tell your spouse that you would marry them again tomorrow, tell your kids that they are miraculous gifts from God, tell your coworkers that you see their hard work and you value their contribution - let the people in your life know how much you care.

Our words are free - they cost nothing - but they mean more than all the money in the world to the people that need to hear them.  Be careful not to sit quietly with words of affirmation - do not try to preserve such words for your wedding day or other days of significance - instead, use each day as an opportunity to give life freely and often.

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