Brandon has been working a lot lately (80 hours a week.) Why is it that when he comes home I sometimes end up complaint to him about all the stuff that he doesn’t do around the house rather than applaud him for all the things he does do? It doesn’t make me feel any more joyful to be mad at him.
A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. —Proverbs 15:1
I know this to be true. SO true! If I speak harshly or even impatiently withBrandon, chances are I won’t get a cheerful response. Negative words beget more negativity. And quite honestly, that’s no fun at all. For anyone.
What can I do when fiery words are on the tip of my tongue?
* take a deep breath
* walk away from the situation
* count to 10
* think of another way to say it.
Wise Words with Others 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. — Ephesians 4:29
It even matters how I say things to Grace (9 months old.) Even though she may not understand my words, she understands my tone. Many times I can be unaware that I’m speaking in less than uplifting ways to this sweet little baby. Today, I’m trying to weigh my words carefully and to say what I really mean. Mostly, “I love you” does the trick. And it’s true!
Here are some examples from TODAY (and it’s not even 10am):
To Grace who is in need of a diaper change, “You stink,” conveys the wrong message. However, saying “Your diaper needs changing,” more accurately conveys your meaning and doesn’t confuse Grace with the circumstances of her diaper. Grace and I also recently learned how to do baby sign language for when I need to change her diaper.
“I love you Brandon, but you didn’t wash the dishes like you said you would. (or fill in your loved one’s transgression).”
As a human, I tend to dwell on the last message I hear. The “I love you” can fall on deaf ears, while the “you messed up” message lingers, surely not how I want to communicate with the person I love most in this world. I’ve felt convicted to turn it around.
“You made a mistake, but I love you,” is a much more powerful and encouraging message.
How do YOU watch your words?