I also could speak as ye do: if your soul were in my soul's stead, I could heap up words against you, and shake mine head at you. But I would strengthen you with my mouth, and the moving of my lips should asswage your grief. Job 16:4-5
I have this thing with my husband where I often ask him why he loves me. He used to hate it. Well, hate is a strong word, but it was not his favourite thing. I used to hate his answers. That might be slightly too strong, but not too far off. It seemed like he was always telling me things that were out of my control, and therefore, not “me”.
I wrote a whole chapter in my book on how I realized it was really a control thing for me, that I was really asking, what can I continue to do to make you love me? And I went on to talk about dwelling on God’s love for us.
But just because you write and have your own website, doesn’t mean you have your whole act together.
So I still ask. All the time.
The other night I handed him a doozy. I said, “I think you should tell me 15 reasons why you love me.” I was mostly joking because I knew he would hate that.
But he did it. All right in a row. And they were all sweet and wonderful. And you know what?
Its like it filled my soul. I was amazed how much those words meant to me.
Its been a tough couple of weeks. I started working part time, we had missions conference, I’ve been really sick, you know…life. And those lovely words filled me back up.
As I’ve been studying Job lately, I’ve been amazed by the amount of chapters that his friends take up. They berate him, tell him everything is his own fault, tell him to repent of his sins, basically, they decide they can speak for God.
In chapter 16 he gives them some advice. I can’t decide if he blows up and loses it on his friends, or if this is said in a weary voice with tears. But he basically tells them they’ve been terrible friends and he needs their kind words. Their strengthening, edifying words.
How we speak to people in their grief, in their sorrow, in their hard times, is so important. Every time, we are given the opportunity to add to their load or to strengthen them for the task ahead. Even when the week ahead is as simple as trying to get the laundry done and kids lunches made and music picked out.
Maybe you would join me this week in striving to build others up with my words?