Your words have power and more than likely you keep them to yourself way too often.
You’ve heard the story of the husband who gets frustrated with his wife asking why he never says I love you…to which he replies “Honey, I told you I did when we got married, if anything changes I will let you know.”
I watched once again this past weekend, the power and significance of words. Without going into too much detail, I witnessed what happens when people are asked to speak their words of love and encouragement to someone they care for. One girl shared that she felt she now had a new direction in life based on one sentence from a friend. Another person shared they had years of guilt and shame lifted off their shoulders from a single sentence on a yellow post-it note. I’m sure you know stories similar to these in your own life.
Words have power.
Words move people.
Words give direction.
Words shape people.
I see this with my kids all the time. I say they are good at something and they believe it and it brings confidence and further exploration of their abilities. They may not be all that good at doing a somersault, but they are young enough to believe it from their dad and it allows them to continue to test the waters of their gifts and abilities. In fact, I would wager that most kids don’t know what they are good at until someone tells them. Someone speaks life and direction into them.
It’s even more important that we aren’t stingy with our words, when you consider this — Did you know research from the Gottman Institute found that:
For every 1 comment of encouragement we receive, there are 7 comments of criticism.
So, on average you and I hear 7 comments of criticism with only 1 positive comment in the mix. No wonder you might be feeling a bit down today.
Unspoken Love Isn’t What We Think It Is
You’ve heard the phrase, “actions speak louder than words”. It’s true if your actions don’t match your words – actions win. The only problem is we think our actions are speaking much louder than they actually are. At some point along the way, we stopped speaking words and decided to let our actions do the talking and it’s not working.
While my wife appreciates everything I do for her, she wants to hear my voice. She wants me to stop what I’m doing (actions that I think show my love, but are really just part of life together) and look her in the eyes and tell her what she means to me. She wants my words.
I think this happens in families all the time. I imagine many parents feel like they are showering their kids in love, while their kids are just waiting for a moment to hear how special they are. This disconnect is common in most homes with the busyness of life, school, work, sports, activities, etc. We DO a lot for each other, however, if we don’t stop, look each other in the eye, and speak words of life, I’m not sure that the message gets through – at least not with the weight we might hope in a world where 7:1 is the ratio.
Your words have power.
Your words are needed.
You words carry potential for change.
So what are you waiting for? Speak up! You might just change someone’s life!
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