There is a prescription available that will improve the physical and spiritual health of your family. This prescription is what the Proverbs call “pleasant words” or “gracious speech.” The Holy Spirit says this kind of talk will bring spiritual and physical health to your family. Failure to use this medicine as directed may result in frustrated parents, children who resist instruction, drained emotions, as well as the physical and spiritual exhaustion for the entire family. Yes, pleasant words are that important!
However, there is a heavy cost for this prescription. Parents have to relinquish their pride and embrace the path of humility. God’s remedy to heal the evil that plagues your children is not anger, intimidation, control, or force of will. Sarcasm, frustration, and cynicism are toxic counterfeits to pleasant words spoken in love and truth. The medicine of the Spirit is loving discipline administered with the gentle grace of pleasant words. This is what brings healing to the heart and to the body.
Proverbs tells us that pleasant, gracious words are a fountain of life and this is what promotes discipline and growth in your children. The Proverbs teach us that it takes a cheerful heart to provide God’s healing grace to your children.
So, what does this look like?
- “Do it now, because I said so.”
- “Stop fighting, now!”
- “I am losing my patience. How many times must I tell you to stop?”
- “Why are you so cranky all the time?”
- “You could at least say something, occasionally.“
- “Don’t talk that way to me.”
- “Is this how you plan to spend the rest of your life, on your phone?”
Each of the above phrases and attitudes is driven by anger and frustration and will crush your children. They will drain energy from your family and do not bring healing and correction that edifies.
Here are some healing substitutes for these toxic responses:
- “Please take the garbage out now. I am grateful for your help.”
- “Let’s stop right now and ask God to help us act in love and not anger.”
- “We have asked God to help you obey quickly. I am not loving if I allow you to continue to ignore me.”
- “Hey, what is going on? How can I help you and pray for you?”
- “I know it is hard sometime to say what is bothering you. I am here for you.”
- “Help me understand how I am frustrating you. I really do want care for you.”
- “Hey, I love you and am so thankful for you.”
These healing words reflect the positive loving spirit of Proverbs 15:13:
A glad heart makes a happy face;
a broken heart crushes the spirit.
Remember your goal is to address the deep issues of the heart and not only the behavior of the moment. Parents who are overflowing with God’s love and grace for their children, who consider their children a blessing rather than a curse bring hope and encouragement to their families. A despondent parent brings words that are toxic and crushing to the spirit of their children.
Follow Solomon’s wise counsel: Pleasant words promote instruction!