Words are not simply sounds caused by air passing through our larynx; words have real impact and power. We can use our words to encourage or complain; praise or put down. As we enter Spring, many people give their homes a “spring clean”; clear out the dust, the items that no longer serve us and the clutter we have accumulated. What if we also spring cleaned our vocabulary?
It starts with a word
You may be familiar with the well-known account of the world’s creation where the world was created by a mere word from God. “And God said let there be light” Genesis Chapter 1. God himself is also referred to as ‘the word’ in John 1:1. We could all learn something from these well-known Bible verses. Even beyond the religious overtones, there is a message to be found in this for everyone. Everything begins with a word.
It’s our words that provide a bold affirmation of our innermost thoughts. Our words confirm to the world how we see others, our lives and ourselves. Our words provide the means to enable our thoughts to manifest into reality. So why do we so often choose to misuse our most powerful asset on both ourselves and to others? Our words have the power to destroy and the power to build up (see Proverbs Chapter 15), so we need to choose them wisely.
Watch our words
As a Sisterhood of Mums, our words are the foundation of our relationships. We all know the fatigue, tantrums, chaos, busyness, and interruptions that come with raising children. Sometimes we don’t feel like being with even ourselves, let alone being around other people AND watching the words we use! We also know that just because we have little kids or a busy job, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t make time for our friendships. And the words we use around our friends can have a great impact.
Build up others
Lysa Terkeurst, a well-known Christian author, suggests some simple phrases that we can use to help build and maintain our relationships. Whilst they aren’t incredibly profound, they are a good way to remind a fellow mum that you see her. When a friend steps in with a gentle smile and a few simple words of encouragement, suddenly you’re not alone.
With Spring finally upon us, perhaps we can consider a “spring clean” of our words in this season of life for the benefit of those around us and ourselves. Consider these encouraging words:
“You’re wonderful” – In a world full of negativity and competition, what a precious gift to remind a friend of specific ways you notice that she’s a wonderful mum, friend, wife, co-worker…
“Me too” – It acknowledges that I’m no better than you, but together we can get stronger. It is such a loving and disarming admission that we’re all in this together.
“I’ll pray” – When you have experienced the power of a friend faithfully praying for you and/or your circumstances, it is a powerful gift.
“I’ll share” – When we notice a need in a friend’s life, might we be willing to step in and at least be a small part of the solution? A meal, baby-sitting, a smile. (Romans 12:13, “Share with God’s people in need…”)
“Come over” – The floor hasn’t been swept in a week and the laundry is piled high but, hey, come over with the kids and we can just chill for a bit. We can share our broken hearts and celebrate the small parts of us that are still intact. (Romans 12:13, “Practise hospitality.”)
Being a mum is a tough job. Let’s lift each other up by choosing kindness in our words and in our deeds.
Natalie is a wife, mum to 3 grown children (and mother-in-law to 3). She is a part-time primary school teacher, small business owner and Mentor at Humeridge Church of Christ MOPS.