Everyone has heard the children’s rhyme, “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” (author unknown).
However, God instructs us to treat each other differently. In Ephesians 4:29, he tells us not to “…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.”
Who better to put that lesson into practice on than our husbands, wives, and children? Joking about your husband’s lack of handyman skills repeatedly when getting together with friends, telling that cute story that truly embarrasses your son just so you can get a laugh at family get- togethers, or reminding everyone about your wife’s little problem with tardiness can all wound the soul when repeatedly spoken, no matter what tone of voice is used.
Instead of trying to get the last laugh at your loved ones expense, why not instead work on building up your spouse or your children to others? It may not be the most popular thing to do, but I can guarantee that you will become the hero in their eyes. Complementing the way your wife cooked a special dessert knowing she is overhearing your words, bragging about how your son persevered when learning a new piece for the school concert, or telling others how kind and sweet your daughter’s heart is when she is patient with her two-year-old brother all help to build stronger relationships and stronger family ties.
What specific area are you going to work on in your life to help build up those around you that you love? Even changing one thing can make a lasting impact on the overall atmosphere of your family or with a friendship.