One of my fond memories from childhood is of my grandfather donning a “bee suit” and robbing the hive. My grandmother would break off pieces of the honeycomb, give it to the kids and send us outside to enjoy the sweet treat.
This memory often comes back to me as I read Prov. 16:24 each month: “Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.”
Honey has many characteristics but one of its main traits is – it is sticky. Sorta like our words. What we say to our spouse “sticks“. What we say to our children “sticks“. If the words we share with our loved ones are pleasant, they will feel loved and secure. If we abuse them with our words and point out their weaknesses over and over, they will feel unloved and insecure.
At one of the churches we pastored there was a young lady who grew up being told such things as, “You’re so dumb you can’t get out of a shower of rain”… “You’d forget your head if it wasn’t attached to your body”… Needless to say, as a young adult this girl felt quite inadequate and inept.
But thankfully, honey has another wonderful characteristic: it is a healing agent. It has antibacterial properties and can even reduce scarring. The lady I mentioned above married a wonderful man who believed in her, built her up with his words and helped her to overcome the wounds of the past.
What a privilege we have to speak positive, life-giving words into the ears of our family and friends, helping them to feel loved and accepted.
So… the next time you spread honey on a biscuit or drop a spoonful in a cup of tea, remember that your words and influence can be just as sweet.