Do you ever cringe at what comes out of your mouth. I know I do. One day I learned a valuable lesson…at a funeral of all places. I’m sharing over at Proverbs 31 Ministries today. I thought you might like it too.
One day, when Everett came home after a long tiresome day at work, he was surprised to see candles lit throughout the house. The kitchen table was set for two and danced with candlelight in their modest home. In his gregarious teasing fashion, Everett turned to his wife and said, “What meanest thou this?”
“Well, we’ve been married exactly six months today,” Jane explained, “and I thought we would eat by candlelight tonight.”
That sounded like a welcomed romantic idea to Everett, so he went to the bathroom to wash up for dinner. Jane hadn’t put a candle in the bathroom, so Everett turned to flip the switch. No light came on. Then he walked across the hall to the dark bedroom and flipped the switch. No light came on.
Everett went back out to the kitchen, looked Jane in the eyes, and said, “Baby, did they cut the lights off?” And she began to cry.
“You work so hard,” she said, “and we’re trying so hard. I didn’t have quite enough money to pay the light bill, and I didn’t want you to know about it. So I thought we would just eat by candlelight tonight.”
When I listened to E.V. Hill tell this story at his wife’s funeral, I cried like a baby. Not because I was sad for his loss but because I want to be that kind of woman—that kind of wife. And so many times I’m not. I want to be a wife who uses her words to build up her husband rather than tear him down, who encourages him to reach for his dreams rather than throws cold water on his enthusiasm, who lets him know that he is loved rather than leaving him questioning his worth.
Proverbs 12:25 reminds us, “Anxiety in the heart of a man weighs it down, but a good word makes it glad.” All through the day our husbands have words thrown at them that could cause anxiety to rise and self-esteem to fall. But we as wives have the ability to make them glad with a word…especially glad that they come home to us.
And here’s more good news: notice Proverbs 12:25 says, “a good word.” We don’t have to have a lot of words. Just one. Just one little word can make all the difference. I’m not all that great at one word, but I can certainly do less than ten.
“I’m so proud of you.”The Bible tells us, “Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones” (Proverbs 16:24 NIV), but “reckless words pierce like a sword” (Proverbs 12:18 NIV). It also tells us that death and life are in the power of the tongue (Proverbs 18:21). I think the death and life of a marriage can be in the power of the tongue as well.
Pastor Hill went on to tell his friends and family about the night the lights went out.
“She could have broken my spirit. She could have ruined me. She could have demoralized me. But she said, ‘Let’s eat by candles. We’ll turn the lights on one day. Somehow, we’ll get these light on. But tonight, let’s eat by candlelight.’”
E.V.’s wife knew something that I want to always remember. A wife has the power to bolster her husband’s confidence or break his spirit with but a word. Click & Tweet! Jane chose to be “his encourager.” I want to be that kind of wife. I bet you do too.
Heavenly Father, help me to keep watch over the door of my lips today. Help me to know what to say and when to say it. And if the words that I’m about to speak would do harm, help me to keep them to myself. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
What is one way that you encouraged your husband when that wasn’t your initial reaction?
My best-selling book, The Power of a Woman’s Words: How the Words You Speak Shape the Lives of Others and Bible study guide are being re-released with new content, including a chapter on the power of a woman’s words to her adult children…it’s complicated! Pre-order before April 21, 2020 and receive a free downloadable e-book of Enough: Silencing the Lies that Steal Your Confidence plus a Powerful Words Bundle! Click here for details.
Words are one of the most powerful forces in the universe, and God has entrusted them to you! They echo in hearts and minds long after they are spoken. How will we use this gift? Your words can change the course of someone’s day…even someone’s life. Learn how to
- exchange careless words that hurt for intentional words that help others succeed
- recognize words that tear down confidence and replace them with words that build others up
- overcome the negativity that pushes people away and become a well of positivity that draws others in
- tame your tongue by practicing practical principles that help you think before you speak
- stop being disappointed in your lack of control by taking hold into the power of the Holy Spirit