The Worth of a Good Word

Sharon Jaynes Lovestruck, Power of Words 44 Comments

Have you ever said something to someone and immediately wished you could take it back? That happened with me when I snapped at my husband in the worst way. I don’t write many posts about marriage, but I feel some of my married sisters might need to hear this today. (If you’re single, don’t leave me! I don’t do this very often.)

Steve and I were on a trip to celebrate my birthday. He’s not a very techy guy, so I did most of the reservations online. One night, we were trying to get tickets to a show using our hotel Internet. I kept getting kicked off and grew frustrated.

In a huff, I said, “I wish you could do this! I feel like I’m having to do all the work and it’s my birthday!”

With the saddest face ever, Steve looked down and said, “Well, I am good at some things.”

That broke my heart. Of course, he’s amazing at many things. He’s a fabulous husband, a hard worker, a great friend, and a godly man. He’s handsome, gentle, and strong. At the moment I was focusing on the .0001% negative rather than the 99.9999% positive.

In the Song of Solomon, Solomon and his Shulammite bride had a little spat. Even though she couldn’t wait to be intimate with her man before they got married, she was indifferent about the bedroom after they were married. One night he knocked, and she didn’t answer.

When she realized how she had rejected him and ran to open the door, he was gone.

Trying to console her, the Shulammite’s amazing friends said, “Girl, tell us, what do you love about your man. Let’s talk about that.” (my translations)

My beloved is radiant and ruddy,

outstanding among ten thousand.

His head is purest gold;

his hair is wavy

and black as a raven…

 His mouth is sweetness itself;

he is altogether lovely.

This is my beloved, this is my friend,

daughters of Jerusalem. (Song of Solomon 5:10-16)

She recalled that he was ruddy and radiant—glowing and tanned by the sun. He had wavy black hair, seductive eyes, and cheeks that begged to be kissed. Even though he was gentle and tender with her, she admired his strength.

She compared his arms with rods of gold set with topaz, certain parts of his body with polished ivory tusks decorated with lapis, and his legs with pillars of marble set on bases of pure gold—all the finest resources that the land had to offer.

Most likely “his mouth is sweetness itself” refers to the words he speaks to her—tender, loving, kind. I envision her wanting to hold his face in her hands and giving him that kiss he wanted earlier.

Her conclusion? “This is my beloved, this is my friend, daughters of Jerusalem,” she sighs. “Thank you for reminding me.”

So where’s your focus. The .0001% or the 99.9999%? Tomorrow, look at your husband. Really look at him and admire his wonderful qualities rather than focusing on his worst.

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, your husband has words thrown at him that could cause anxiety to rise and self-esteem to fall. But you have the ability to make him glad with a word…especially glad that he came home to you.

And here’s more good news. Notice Proverbs 12:25 says, “a good word.” You don’t have to have a lot of words. Just one. You don’t have to wax eloquent, write a discourse, or make a speech. Just one word of encouragement can give a man’s hungry soul nourishment. I’m not all that great at one word, but I can certainly do less than ten.

  • “I’m so proud of you.”
  • “I missed you today.”
  • “I love you so much.”
  • “Thank you for working so hard.”
  • “I’m so glad I married you.”

Robert Louis Stevenson said, “Make the most of the best and the least of the worst.” Too many times we flip what Stevenson said and make the most of the worst and least of the best. Let’s change that. Today. Right now.

Heavenly Father, I don’t know why I focus on the bad rather than the good, but I want to change. Help me to see the best in my husband and in other people. Help me to be a person who builds others up rather than tears them down. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

When is the last time you told your man that you loved his smile, or admired his talent? Can’t remember? Well, today could be the day! That’s your homework. Make a list of 10 qualities that you love about your husband…and then give it to him.

If you’re single, consider making such a list for a significant someone in your life. It could be a child, a friend, or a parent.

The Song of Solomon is a confusing book. What does the writer mean when he’s talking about pomegranates and locked-up gardens? Well, when you break the code and decipher the romantic language, it all makes sense. In my book, Lovestruck: Discovering God’s Design for Romance, Marriage, and Sexual Intimacy from the Song of Solomon, you’ll see God’s design for one of His greatest gifts. Parts of it will have you saying, “Is that really in the Bible?” Yep, God made sure of it. (Also has a companion Bible study guide.)

Forward to a Friend

Comments 44

  1. I’m single but in a relationship. I’m going to share 10 things I like about my boyfriend:
    1. He makes me laugh
    2. He’s tall
    3. He is dark and handsome
    4. He’s respectful
    5. He’s considerate
    6. A good worker with good ethics
    7. He’s honest
    8. He’s disciplined
    9. He’s a gentleman
    10. He fears God

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    2. Oh man if I could make a list of things thats good about him, I would. I really would. But with so much hurt he put me through, so much anger that build up inside me, I cannot have the answer for this.
      Just cannot.
      I do pray others have it better than I do. Because the pain I feel, the suffering I face in this marriage is not something I ever want on anyone.

      1. I hear your pain! God knows your pain too. He wants to help you go grow through this pain and come out in a much better place. How about we pray that God can show you one good thing about this person that has hurt you so deeply? And after God has done that, because he will, how about we ask that he help you see two good things? Baby steps. Praying for you, hurting sister.

  2. This is so great.Thanks for putting this out there for us all on the home front to bring it home where the grass is greener with one word or two,based on covenant marriage in the life of two,knitted together in His likeness.Sweet grace and pace will lead you home.

  3. Yes. Thank you for sharing this and including the prayer in there as well. I needed to hear/read this as well .

  4. Your ability to be open and honest helps me relate to your teachings. This was definitely meant for me today. Thank you!

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    1. Thank you for your transparency. It helps me to find more good in those I love, serve, and lead. Be blessed.

  5. Wish I could make a list. My husband eats, sleeps and works part time. He does nothing with me. We are roommates, sleeping separately. He doesn’t listen when I do talk. He shuts me down or rolls his eyes. I’m sorry I cannot come up with a list.

    1. Close your eyes and remember. Remember the man you fell in love with. Remember his kind eyes, his strong hands, the way his mouth curled when he smiled at you. Now remember the woman he fell in love with. The way your eyes lit up when he walked into a room; how you couldn’t wait for him to call. It’s so easy to get caught up in life; tangled up in work, kids, parents, responsibilities, and that neverending stack of laundry and bills. It’s even easier to only see fault and heartache and disappointment. But friend, you have a choice. Remind yourself of all the wonderful things you have forgotten…about yourself. You have a kind heart, a ready smile, a hand to lend. Remind yourself that you love this man. Gently, consistently, everyday, remind him that you love him. Remind him that you value him. Go out of your way to be the woman he fell in love with. Most importantly, pray for him. Right now. Everyday. I’ll be praying for you! Much love!

      1. Connie,
        You are so RIGHT!!😊 Thanks for reminding me how precious my husband was to me back then (43 years ago) & how much I do want to continue to be that (young) woman for him!!!
        Your sister in Christ,
        Jannan

      2. Thank you, Connie, for words well spoken. What a great reminder for when the times are tough!
        Blessings to you!

    2. I prayed for you and your husband, Kari. It may seem hopeless now, but I pray that God will provide you with something to praise your husband for. It might be the thing that starts turning your marriage into something amazing. It could even be as simple as greeting him at the door with a hug and saying, “I’m glad you are home.”

    3. I feel you, Kari. Like you I am there too. I could probably come up with a partial list. My husband is a very hard worker and he works alot. I knows he loves me, he does tell me. As far as initimacy that is zero. I do pray for him but not as much I should. Sometimes I think God is waiting on me. I do not how many times I screamed, cried out to God. Doesn’t seem far does it? But I believe our God is a good God and has wonderful plans for both of us. Hang in there, praying for you and your husband. Don’t give up. God hears you.

  6. Thank you for these words. I have been so negative in my thought life to my husband and it fills me with bitterness. Thanks for the whack on the side of my head to change my focus.

  7. Thank you Sharon for this. We take so many things for granted especially our loved ones. I will definitely do the list. God bless you!

  8. This morning I was so in need of a reminder that there is much to be thankful for about my husband. I have been feeling a lot of stress lately and I find it hard to focus on the positive. Thank you for your story and teaching on marriage.

    1. I feel you Mary cos I have been in that same situation but today I was intentional and affirmed my husband for his determination and hard work and it was such a joy to see see him step out encouraged and said that those were very kind words.

  9. I am blessed to have discovered your posts. I am trying my best to be better to my husband everyday. I now treasure him on a daily basis, because I don’t know how long I’ll have with him on this life. A cardiology said the, not based on facts but on his heart condition, that he’ll probably lived till the age of 58 or so.

  10. I have been married very close to 33 years but have never done this. Recently my husband reminded me in a not so happy way how great my life is but all I seem to do is focus on the negatives. Today that changes!
    He is kind
    He is loving
    He is affectionate
    He is giving
    He works so hard
    His biggest focus on life is making me happy
    He does so much with a seemingly never ending list
    He tries so hard to juggle life with my PTSD
    He’s always been an amazing father to our no grown daughter
    He’ll drop everything if I need him, all I have to do is say something.
    I have an incredibly amazing husband who’s been by my side through some wonderful times and we’ll as some pretty rough patches, I definitely need to completely reverse my focus. Thank you Sharon I am going to get your book and study guide I don’t believe there are many women who obviously need it more.

  11. Thank you soooo much, Sharon! I think I used biting words more often when we were younger, but even though I try very hard to accent the positive, I still sometimes slip.
    I wish, though, he would say a word or two to bring it to my attention, as your hunny did, instead of slipping away into silence. If I’m rolling along to the next thing, I don’t realize my error until later.

  12. My husband and I are on the verge of divorce. We don’t speak, nor has there been any touch sexual or not in months. I feel that this list should have been made a long time ago. I don’t know if it can be helpful now? I will at least make the list for myself and try to concentrate on the good qualities I used to see in him.

    1. Mm – God can and does heal marriages and I do not think it was an accident you came across this blog post today. 🙂 Have you ever seen the movie “Fireproof”? I would like to recommend that movie for you. From your post, I think you will see similarities in that film. It is a beautiful story that shows just what God is capable of in our marriages. I am praying for you and your husband, my sister.

      1. I have seen fireproof. It’s a wonderful movie. I will re-watch it, it’s been years. Thank you for your prayers and encouragement.

  13. This is a so timely message for me. I went to bed last night angry at my husband and before i got out of bed this morning, he was there in the living room watching the morning news. I didn’t even say good morning or goodbye before i left for work and as i drove i felt guilt and not happy with myself. Thank you Lord for reminding me and thank you Sharon.

  14. Anna Rose
    5 things about me
    1. I am one of 11 children
    2. We were raised Catholic and sent to Catholic schools
    3. Mama said if you want it bad enough you find the money
    4. My daddy was the Milkman
    5. We never knew we were poor!

  15. My husband is my rock, a year and 1/2 ago I suffered a spinal injury that left me in a wheelchair,,he makes sure I have everything I need for my care,he treats me with such kindness, and the words that touched my heart were,” you are the same woman I married, and love”If I had any doubts,I don’t anymore,and I thank God for blessing me with him.

  16. I love this, Sharon. My husband is my best friend and I love, honor, and respect him immensely. In fact, I am writing my first ever book – and it is about his life. He is amazing and a true gift from God. I typically am very loving and encouraging towards him. But yesterday I was cranky. I believe I have been called by God to accomplish something (not sure what yet!) but it revolves around this book and a new blog I recently launched. My husband has been so supportive. Every step of the way – and we are in accord with these projects. But I get a little impatient. I get frustrated that I struggle with the technology surrounding social media and the website – anyway, I snapped at him yesterday. He was only trying to help and I let my frustrations out on him instead of going to God and asking for wisdom and understanding. I didn’t sleep last night. I am never disrespectful to the man of my dreams. Thank you for this. I am texting him a love note and apology right now even though he seems to have just blown the whole ordeal off. This is a great reminder.

  17. Thank you Sharon for sharing this. What a great reminder.
    I have been married for 4 years, indeed married life is such a big change in my life.
    Sometimes I am a perfectionist to my husband, I see myself that every wrong action he did I got mad or correct him.
    But thanks be to God for his grace, He helps me and reminds me always that my husband is a gift from God.
    Help me Lord to see him and admire his wonderful qualities rather than focusing on his worst.
    My husband is a Man of God.
    He is hardworking.
    He is respectful.
    He is a good friend.
    He is compassionate.
    He is a provider despite many challenges in our finances.
    He is handsome.
    He treats me like a princess.
    He is loving and kind.
    He is affectionate.
    He prays for me all the time.
    He cares for me all the time.
    and most of all my husband loves Jesus.
    I thank God for giving me a man of God who loves me all the time despite our differences. My husband is a blessing from the Lord.
    Bless our marriage all the Lord. Always remind us with our covenant to each other and You oh Lord. Amen.

  18. Oh wow! God sent this to me today! We have gone through some tough stuff in the last few months, but we are working hard everyday. I have to keep my eyes on the Lord and make sure that He is where I find my strength and courage. Sharyn I just opened your book “Becoming the Woman of His Dreams.” I am looking forward to it. We all get complacent and life happens. We have to stop and make time for each other and communicate. Most of all we have to love like Jesus.

  19. My husband:
    Is the most wonderful man
    He is kind
    He is a good man !!!!
    He is a man that loves God and try do his best everyday with his life and family. I praise God for putting in my life this beautiful man.

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