One of the five love language that Gary Chapman advocates is Affirming Words.
Words have awesome power; either to build up or to destroy. Your spouse (and children) can be uplifted or demeaned by the words you speak to and upon them. "The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life, but violence overwhelms the mouth of the wicked." (Proverbs10:11)
I used to be very judgmental and critical with my words. In my youth, my mother commented out of exasperation that I should become a lawyer because of my sharp tongue. Some things that I said must have being a knife to her heart.
Into the early days of my marriage, I continued to be critical. Michelle did not like this part of me. Whenever we had differences or quarrels, hurtful words emerged. And, being human, hurtful words solicit more hurtful words in response. Inevitably, we would end up in a cold war for several days.
By God's grace and the help of the Holy Spirit, I have since learnt to be careful with my words. More importantly, I have learnt not to retaliate when I am at the receiving end. The truth is that retaliation and argument have never helped and will never do.
Cutting remarks, careless words, cynical comments and constant criticisms cause nothing but hurt to your loved ones. "You are so useless! When will you grow up and take responsibility? Why can't you be like him? You are so unreasonable ...." are some examples of words that we must seek to avoid at all times.
Besides such words, people often pass careless remarks about their love ones. Sometimes, they make jokes about their appearances or ability. "Hey lazy bum... My ugly duckling... My dumb husband ...". Such careless words can only erode your relationship with your spouse.
I encourage this practice to cease completely as there is really no fun at all in saying careless words about one another and to one another. Those words do not edify. On the contrary, they erode the foundation of a solid marriage and family relationship.
In place of such unkind words, be generous in heaping praises. Deliberately look out for things that you can praise your spouse and children for. Use words like "Well done; very good; you are amazing; you are so smart; I am so proud of you..."
Additionally, deliberately affirm them with words like, "You are beautiful; you are smart; your eyes enchant me; you cook so well ..."
As Don Moen's song says, "Praise looks good on you." Believe me, it does and it will do you well to speak well of one another.
Whether the love language of your spouse or children is affirming words or not, speak well of them. Edify one another and build each other up by speaking good things of and to them. This will deposit positivity into their self-esteem and emotional account. A good self-esteem is crucial for our spouse and children to wade through the critical and harsh world out there.
Great lovers build their relationship by constantly speaking well of one another!
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