We all know the hard lesson our mothers taught us, “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.” Even Thumper’s momma taught him the value and importance of choosing your words wisely. This was one of my greatest take away’s from Bambi when I was a kid. Of course, it is very difficult to do and requires great determination.
After my divorce, while I was single and spent a lot of time thinking and praying about my life, I knew I had a lot to work on within myself. After the anger subsided and the pain had dulled, I could take a new perspective and saw many of my own flaws. I knew that if I wanted to love again and have a relationship that withstood the tests and trials of this life, I needed to learn how to love better.
I decided to read a book someone had given me, The Five Love Languages. I determined my own language, Acts of Service, and could see where my own love tank had been dry for some time. This book opened my eyes to many possibilities of where I could also be a better lover, to everyone.
About this time, Gary Chapman released a teen version of his book. I had my daughter read some of it and take the test to determine what her language was. In the divorce, she had been torn and damaged and our relationship was broken as much as she was. It was revealed that her love language was Words of Affirmation. Wow! How much pain had I caused my precious little girl from my words? How many times had I raised my voice and watched her spirit suddenly downcast? I recalled times when she did something, spilled milk on the floor for instance, and her little eyes looked at me with angst waiting for my reaction. Oh God, forgive me! Many times, I was the one sucking my little one’s love tank dry.
It isn’t just the words we say, but also how we use them and our tone. We can fill our loved ones’ love tanks full and overflowing by watching our words. Let’s challenge ourselves to be careful and encouraging, full of love and gentleness when talking to those around us.