Our Words Matter
Posted in Parenting/Marriage
Scripture – “Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another.… Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” – Ephesians 4:25, 29
I was drawn in by the title. It’s what I crave. I so often feel like I struggle and second-guess myself. I feel regret far more often than I ever hoped I would. Yes, the book I am currently, slowly working through has an intriguing title, Parenting With Words of Grace. As a parent of two boys, ages 12 and 5, arguments and disagreements happen.
I wish I could say that every time is calmly and appropriately worked through, but so often I get to the end of an exchange or a day and wonder what in the world happened. How did we get there? Why did it escalate so quickly? I find myself critiquing my side, wondering how I could have said things differently or handled the situation better.
In the very first chapter of this book, the author talks about how our words either invite or discourage long-term relationships from forming. It is an encouragement to be intentional in our interactions with others. As this book and today’s Bible verse reminds us, our words matter. With them, we can invite others in or push others away. We can build up or tear down. It’s amazing how powerful a series of letters can be when put just so, isn’t it?
Maybe recently you have been on the receiving end or even the giving end of some unkind words. Maybe for you, parenting isn’t your current struggle, but the book title just as easily could read [Co-working, Friending, Familying, Supervising, Following, or Critiquing] With Words of Grace and have it be the exact topic you need.
Friends, I encourage us all to consider the words we use and the way in which we use them. I challenge us to be grace-givers, especially when balancing the call to be truth-tellers. I hope that we all seek to go through life being intentional in our conversations with others. I pray that we would be people marked by the words “compassion,” “grace,” “mercy” and “hope” especially in our interactions with others.
Prayer: Lord, give us grace, wisdom, and humility this day. Help our interactions with others to be life-giving. And Lord, when we fall short, give us the courage to say, “I am sorry,” and work towards reconciliation. Thank you for the gift of your Son, Jesus, and the hope we have through him. Amen.
Submitted by Rev. Brian Marsh