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.
My son, Lee and I have an inside joke that goes something like this: I’ll want him to do something, but he’s not very enthusiastic about it. So I begin to recount all I have done for him – “I carried you nine long months, went under the surgeon’s knife and through the ‘valley of the shadow of death’; I lugged you around and changed your diapers…” (You get the picture? 🙂 ) He rolls his eyes and stops up his ears! We laugh about it and move on. Sometimes it works; usually it doesn’t!
Lee knows I’m just teasing and that I would’ve gone through anything to bring him into this world. (35 years ago today!! Happy Birthday Lee!) Humor aside, our silly little repartee illustrates a deep longing inside each of us – the longing to be appreciated and valued.
One of the quotations in my marriage journal says, “A glorious marriage is sometimes only an appreciation away. “ ~ Debi Pearl. Oh, how true this is! The writer of Proverbs certainly knew about the power of words. In just one passage, out of many, we are reminded that: “Words satisfy the soul as food satisfies the stomach; the right words on a person’s lips bring satisfaction.” (Proverbs 18:20 NLT)
Think of eating a fine meal, followed by a yummy dessert. You may sigh and think, “That was awesome!” Now think about this: words of appreciation and affirmation make your spouse and loved ones feel the same way – awesome. Words of appreciation, spoken in love, feed the need inside each one of us to be valued and honored.
Think of it this way: Men never outgrow their need for a cheerleader… Women always want to be the cherished princess. What a privilege we have to speak into our loved ones’ lives and bring them the satisfaction of knowing that no matter the negative, unkind words that may be spoken into their ears, there is someone who believes in them and appreciates all they do.
I love and appreciate you,