Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. Proverbs 16.24
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. Ephesians 4.29
Words of affirmation are one of the ‘5 love languages’. They demonstrate approval, appreciation and respect. They can be powerful when spoken privately to each other – and even more powerful when spoken publicly for others to hear.
The flip side of that of course is the public remark that criticisesor diminishes the other – even, or perhaps particularly, when wrapped up in a joke – maybe about the other’s cooking, DIY skills or driving. What a great verse that is from Proverbs to dwell on as we speak to, and about, each other.
Prayer (as a couple)
Father, help us in our conversations to recognise the tremendous power we have to build each other up. Help us to speak words that bring ‘sweetness and healing’ to each other. Amen
Prayer (for others)
Father, we pray for ____ and _____ as they so often seem to lapse into negative comments about each other. Help them to see how hurtful it is and give them positive words that they can say to build each other up. Amen
Criticise less. Discover the power of praise.