I remember when I couldn’t WAIT to hear what our girls’ first words would be. I’m blessed that they both said, “Ma ma” first, quickly followed by “Da da.” And, I think my heart just melted when Anna finally told me, “I love you.” It’s so exciting as well as terrifying to hear our kids talk with one another and to us, sharing their thoughts and feelings. Anna has recently been my little parrot, saying things that I usually say. She regularly calls Josh my nickname for him, Joshy Poo, and she loves to say “Whoa, Nellie!” at random times throughout the day.
I take what I say pretty seriously because I know from personal experience that words from a loved one can either wound or encourage. One of my favorite passages of scripture is Ephesiahs 4:29b, “Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words may be an encouragement to those who hear them.” (NLT) Trust me, I don’t have total victory in this area of my life, and I know that I say things I shouldn’t. However, knowing that “the tongue holds the power of life and death” (Prov. 18:21) sure does put my words into perspective.
Additionally, it’s important for me to focus not only on what I say, but HOW I say it. Just ask my husband, he often doesn’t like my “tone.” 🙂 Many times, when I’m frustrated, tired, sick, or busy, my “tone” can be clipped and sharp. It’s important for me to remember that while I cannot always feel happy, I should at least sound respectful! 🙂 When I find my “tone” isn’t what it should be, it usually means my thoughts aren’t what they should be either. I find that when my words and thoughts are negative, angry, or loud, my focus isn’t on living a Spirit-filled life or being a good example to my family. It’s during those times I pray this prayer prayed by King David in Psalm 19:14, “May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be pleasing to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.” (NLT)