In this first post, I would like to take the extra time to introduce the theme of my blog. Hopefully, my future posts won't be as long and time-consuming to read! I really aim to keep them short and readable in less than 10 minutes; especially since we mothers have so little time in our day to sit down, let alone read a super-long devotional! In each post I will share a Bible passage that you can look up in your own Bible, followed by whatever thoughts and message I feel God showing me personally in that passage. I encourage you to write down in a journal what you feel God is showing you as you read His Word. And always feel free to share with me these thoughts in the Comments section below! I would love to read what God shows you through the same passages we explore together! My hope and prayer is that here you will find pleasant words to uplift and bless you, so that in turn, you may be better equipped to uplift and bless others.
As mothers, we have the extremely important responsibility of training our children, step-children and grandchildren in doing what is right. We can be much more effective in this endeavor if we speak to them with pleasant words, as opposed to unpleasant words (yelling, complaining, harsh criticisms, etc.). It is a well-known fact that people respond better, even while being criticized or reprimanded, if they are spoken to in a positive, respectful, loving way. Therefore, I have named my blog "Pleasant Words" after Proverbs 16:21, a verse that God has used to speak to me many, many times in the past few years. To better instruct my children, God wants me to use pleasant words. Not only when I am instructing them in how to do something, such as baking cookies or making their beds, but also in teaching them moral lessons. I have made this verse my homeschool motto. I have it written in green pen (to match my green window coverings, of course!) on a 3x5 card, taped to the side of the cupboard in front of my kitchen sink (where I spend countless minutes a day), so that it will be a frequent reminder of how God wants me to talk.
But why has God put this verse so heavily on my heart, you may ask? Well, everyone has good and bad personality qualities, right? Unfortunately, one of my worst qualities, against which I struggle daily, is that I often say whatever is on my mind at the time. I speak before I think. I stick my foot in my mouth frequently. I complain out loud a lot. I can have a sharp tongue when someone upsets me, annoys me, or if I just happen to be in a bad mood. Maybe you struggle with an impulsive tongue, too.
Since committing my life to Christ at the age of 19, the Holy Spirit has been working a great deal on this part of my personality, shaping me to be more like Him. God's best for us is not to let us stay bogged down by our sin nature. He wants us to seek Him for grace and strength to overcome our weaknesses. Just because my natural tendency is to speak impulsively, this does not give me an excuse for that behavior. Only I can control what comes out of my mouth! As James 3:10 says, "Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers (and sisters!), this should not be." God wants only positive, kind, loving, respectful, edifying, encouraging words to come out of our mouths. Words of praise for Him and for others. Words of thankfulness, not complaining and grumbling. Words to build others up, not tear them down.
Have you ever read the book The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman? It's a life-changing book which I highly recommend. One of the main 5 love languages is that of Words of Affirmation. We can effectively and positively impact others in our lives by showing love in how we speak to them. Christ commanded us to love others as we love ourselves (Matthew 22:39). How do we like to be spoken to? With put-downs and jabs and complaints? Or with words that make us feel loved, respected and accepted for who we are? We can shine our light in a dark world, showing Christ's love to everyone we have contact with, simply by speaking loving words. Oh, it's so powerful! So simple! Yet, it can be so hard!!!
How many times in your life has your mood and attitude been brought down by someone else's bad attitude or mood? I read once that the wife and/or mother sets the mood for the rest of the family. Whenever I'm in a good mood, it rubs off on everyone else. And when I'm in a bad mood, complaining and letting my sharp, impulsive tongue get out of control, then everyone's mood goes downhill and fast! We mothers need to daily remind ourselves to set a good mood for the rest of our family. So for today, read James 3:1-12. Pray that God will open your heart to how He wants you to control your tongue in order to bless others and be blessed. Then, by His grace and strength, you can be a woman who speaks pleasant words.