“A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” Proverbs 15:1
Have you paused lately to check the tone in your home? I did. I listened to those around me and paid close attention to what was coming out of my mouth. I wasn’t pleased with my findings; my daughter and I have been exchanging harsh tones these past few days.
Taking inventory of the words spoken in our homes is a good exercise, especially when we include ourselves. Sometimes we don’t even realize what has crept in or what is missing. Tones of disapproval, sarcasm, or annoyance can warp the words we say and impact the way they are received, often creating an edge of hostility.
After reading my morning devotional, I wrote out the scripture in my Bible and drew a bandaid to represent healing and a sword to represent wounding to let it sink in that our words can bring either hurt or healing.
They can sting and cut or they can strengthen and build. Words are very powerful. The tones they are spoken in imply so much. A soft answer can turn away anger, but harsh words can stir it up. Words and tones create the atmosphere in your home. Start with yourself and watch the results. You won’t be disappointed as you invest intentionally in your words and your tones.
Today I showed my daughter Janelle the scripture in the Bible and my drawings and explained what it meant. Throughout the day if I was developing a sharp edge to my tone, I softened my voice right away. And when Janelle started getting loud or snippy I’d say, “your tone.” She knew exactly what that meant and changed her tone immediately. I told her that the saying goes, “you catch more flies with honey than vinegar.” So true. Not only was this concept easy to understand and internalize, but it was a reminder that what comes out of our mouths reflects our attitude. This is my hope: that our words and attitude will be sweet to those around us and the atmosphere in our home be peaceful.
Peace out 🙂
Father God, in these hurried and changing times, I want our home to be an oasis where my family can refuel to face the challenges of the day. Please help me to be aware of my words. Help me to inventory the words and tones in our home and to become the change agent to move the bar higher. I need Your help, Lord. Remind me to speak softly and kindly and to model the words and tones that can change the atmosphere in our home. Thank You, Lord. I ask this in the name of Jesus, amen.
Today, take inventory of the words spoken in your home. Are they hurtful? Bitter? Kind? Generous? Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal how you can change the atmosphere in your home through your words.
Gail Rodgers/Brigitta Litfin