Last week I came across a blog post by Tim Challies. The title of the post is “7 Things a Good Dad Says (Link below).” The point of the post, using words to encourage and build up, caused me to share the post on my Facebook page, and it has been one of my most popular posts to date.
In fact, at the time I discovered this post last week I also found myself (without premeditation) sharing and compiling a collection of resources all focused around the theme using our words to encourage or build up. Most, such as this blog post, were aimed at a specific audience or speaker. However, the concept is universal, and even these specific posts, videos, or images can be applied to almost any relationship.
Today, my own thoughts continue toward this whole idea of WORDS and OUR COMMUNICATION and ENCOURAGEMENT and BUILDING UP. Grandparents, God can speak a word of “building up” to your grandchild(ren) through you. Wives, your husbands can receive the gift of “encouragement” through your words today. As we think about the command given to us in I Thessalonians 5:11 (NASB), “Therefore encourage one another and build up one another…,” may we intentionally look for ways to do just that with our words.
Here are a few resources to get your started:
7 Things a Good Dad Says http://ow.ly/vEh7X
103 Words of Affirmation Every Husband Wants to Hear http://ow.ly/vEhNv
103 Words of Affirmation Every Husband Wants to Hear (free printable) http://ow.ly/vEitD
102 Words of Affirmation Every Wife Wants to Hear http://ow.ly/vEidF
102 Words of Affirmation Every Wife Wants to Hear (free printable) http://ow.ly/vEiyO
You are Pre-Approved (Love Idol) –Video http://ow.ly/vdO9Z
The Only Six Words Parents Need to Say to Their Kids about Sports or Any Performance http://ow.ly/vEini
One final thought as you consider the weight of your words and how they might be used in the lives of those most precious to you.
Several years ago I read the book How Full is Your Bucket by Donald O. Clifton and Tom Rath. In this book, the authors use the filling of a bucket as a metaphor for looking at positive and negative interactions during our day. They imagine that we each carry as part of our daily attire a bucket that needs to be filled with positive experiences (words). When we are negative towards others, we are using a dipper to remove from their bucket. When we treat others in a positive manner, we fill not only their bucket but ours as well. The authors also make mention of “the magic ratio” of positive-to-negative experiences (comments) in connection to bucket filling. “The magic ratio” is 5:1 according to psychologist John Gottman. (His ratio is specific to marriages, but in other research that I saw the ratio was listed as anywhere from 3:1 to 6:1. So I think 5:1 is a good rule of thumb for any relationship.) This means it takes five positive comments to “undo” 1 negative comment. Or five fillings of a bucket to outweigh one dipping!
Whatever metaphor you choose, I pray you will begin to intentionally communicate words of encouragement and building up with those you love today. And if you have words, phrases or resources to add to our list, please share them with us as we embrace His design for our communication.