Gracious words are a honeycomb,Sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.Proverbs 16:24
My words aren’t always gracious or even nice for that matter. This is especially when I’m talking to my children. I forget that my words mean something. I get tired of the attitudes and the mouthy-ness (is that a word?) sometimes coming from them that I just want to bite back. I want to defend myself and show them who the parent is.
But, that’s not necessarily the way to go about that. Even when I’m feeling that way my words need to be gracious.
The definition of “gracious” is:
pleasantly kind, benevolent, and courteous
but another definition is:
merciful or compassionate
The first definition seems to be surface level kindness with our words. But the second…well now…that seeps to a whole other level.
Compassion I can do. I can be compassionate. I think empathy goes along with compassion and I’d like to think that I can feel empathy towards what my children are going through and I can be compassionate towards them (even though it’s not that easy sometimes). But, merciful? That’s difficult for me.
Merciful - full of mercy - forgiving
That's hard for me. When my children do or say something to me in a rude or cruel way, I want to give it right back to them. I start feeling a burning sensation inside and I want to get them back for what they did to me. I know, I know…this sound childish. I know! I’m working on it. Notice that I WANT to do that, but I don’t always give in to what I WANT to do. I have learned to bite my tongue and try to be gracious towards them. I’m just telling you that it’s very difficult for me.
The next day, after a rather difficult day, is hard for me as well. I have a hard time letting it go (does anyone else have the “Frozen” song running through their heads right now?) and moving on to a new day. I have a hard time moving on from what they DID to what they are GOING TO DO.
That’s where this verse really hit me:
How sweet is a honeycomb? VERY! I think of the story in the Bible about Saul’s army and how Saul had told them not to eat anything. Well, Jonathan didn’t hear that command and at the end of the day all of the soldiers, including Jonathan, were drained and exhausted. Well, Jonathan found some honey in a hive and ate it. He felt refreshed again, while the rest of the soldiers continued to be exhausted and drained.
I want my words to be that for my children. I want my words to be uplifting and encouraging to them. This doesn’t mean that they don’t need discipline and direction…of course they do! But, I can do it in a way that is sweet to their soul and bring healing to their life.