“A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver” (Proverbs 25:11).
I recently came across an article written by a 76 year-old man. He wrote:
“Late at night, my father waited alone for the train that took him to a factory where he worked the night shift. On this particular night, I waited with him in the dark to say good-bye. His face was grim; his youngest son had been drafted. I would be sworn in at six the next morning while he was at the factory. My father didn’t want them to take his child, only 19 years old, to fight a war in Europe. He placed his hands on my shoulders and said, ‘You be careful, and if you need anything, write to me and I’ll see that you get it.’ Suddenly he heard the roar of the approaching train. He held me tightly in his arms and gently kissed me on the cheek. With tear-filled eyes, he murmured, ‘I love you, my son.’ Then the train arrived, the doors closed him inside, and he disappeared into the night…and I left for boot camp. One month later, at age 46, my father died. I am 76 as I sit and write this. I once heard someone say that memories are man’s greatest inheritance, and I have to agree. I’ve lived through four invasions in World War II. I’ve had a life full of all kinds of experiences. But the only memory that lingers is the night my dad said, ‘I love you, my son.’”
Isn’t that incredible? You’re never too old to tell your children that you love them. And you need to!
How we need to bless and encourage and praise those around us. If all our children are hearing from us is negative and criticism then we are sowing the seeds of bitterness and rebellion in the lives of our sons and daughters. James 3:10 says, “Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.” Someone has suggested that it takes ten praises or affirmations just to counteract the damage caused by one negative, critical remark.
Words are so powerful. We have the opportunity to encourage, to bless and to affirm. Choose your words carefully. Make each one count. Purpose to speak words of life and encouragement to those that the Lord brings across your path today!
Morris Hull, Home Life Ministries