When Tiffany asked me to make a guest post on her incredible blog I did not hesitate! I immediately wrote back “Yes!” I gave her an estimate of time I think it would take to get that blog to her, told her about some commitments I had coming up, etc and then… I didn’t write it. I never sent her a blog. I knew I wanted to send her a post, if for no other reason than she supports me and those I adore so well. So why couldn’t I just write a blog for her? Not to mention, I love writing and I write all the time. So why were my actions so far off from my words? A whole month later I stare at my blank screen and I know why. I am a real-time processor. I write as I go. I do not truly know how I feel about a situation until my fingers are at the keyboard and I start to type. And well, my writing isn’t always inspiring in the pretty way we think of it. How could I write for The Inspire Shop when I am at such a low point in my “inspirational tank”.
Tiffany discussed the theme of “Words” and their importance as the post. Oh boy, I thought, could I tell them how hurtful my words to those I love have been lately? I’m not afraid to be the one you all learn from, let me make the mistakes and you glean a better way from what I have already struggled through, please. This time though, this was someone else’s blog. Could I be that honest and have her accept it, have her followers understand how inconsistent I have been with my words and actions? I figured if for nothing else let my last six months be an inspiration like Paul heard “"My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." [Then just like Paul] Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9.
Here is the summary, I have known and loved The Five Love Languages for over a decade now. One teaching on them and I was hooked. Boom, yes, this makes so much sense. We all speak a certain love language and we all receive a certain language, sold! Also in order to effectively love those we actually love we need to speak the language they receive or our words and actions fall on deaf ears, reaping no benefit for the relationship we are cultivating. If you had asked me if I was a master of the love languages before I got married I would have given you a side eye look and told you I am THE master of speaking them correctly. Don’t nobody love their people like I love my people. Then on May 20th 2017 I made a vow to love and cherish my husband. I vowed that I would continue to pursue his heart for better or for worse. And I hit the ground running. At one point I was reading three marriage books at once. I had this down to a science. He is words of affirmation, I got this. I would say one impactful word of affirmation before he left for work, I would send two cute texts while at work, then I would thank him for at least two things a night. Come on now kids, this is easy. And then, almost suddenly, it wasn’t easy.
Day after day I could feel my desire to fill his love tank diminishing. Mercy Multiplied, a ministry I love dearly, has a common saying “Your past gives you an explanation, but not an excuse”. And readers I have an explanation for all of this I do, but I do not have an excuse for giving up, for taking offense, and deliberately choosing to withhold words of affirmation from my Husband. David and I spoke about this very topic this afternoon and I told him after what felt like beating a metal wall with boxing gloves, I gave up. I forfeited and I have retreated to the corner of the boxing ring and been pouting ever since. I was speaking words of affirmation for a year and a half but without David having what our counselor calls his “receiver” on David was not able to hear the words. He was not taking my genuine love and appreciation to him to heart and I got tired. I stopped fighting and we both suffered.
Then after about a year of super hard inner-work on David’s end his “receiver” was back up and working. David used truth statements, leaned into the Lord, fought through the pain of past wounds and pushed forward. He was getting healed, but simultaneously I was getting even more bitter and sad. The progress was there but we both agree it was slow. So as of today, the right now, it is almost as if David is beating that same metal wall with boxing gloves and I am the one on the other side.
Am I willing to start using my words again? Words like, “I forgive you. I love you. I am proud of you. Thank you for being a great example of perseverance. Thank you for being the head of our household. Thank you for forgiving me when I took my anger out on you this year. I am excited for the future. And I will be here for better or worse.” Now is the time to be strong. God promised He would shine through my weakness. I have set up a great support network and I vowed to always be honest in my writings. Now is the time to speak those words of affirmation again, no matter how I FEEL.
Words matter y’all, I don’t have to convince you of that. I know you remember that one time that girl in sixth grade said something hurtful to you. You hear it, I know you do. Then your first heartbreak, you believed them, you did. When they said they would love you forever and then forever ended at four months, how could that even be? We matter and therefore the words we speak matter. Thank you for letting me share a weakness of mine with you may God continue to fill you up so you can be empowered to speak life to those around you.
Proverbs 12:18 NIV
The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.
Proverbs 12:14 NLT
Wise words bring many benefits.
Proverbs 16:24 NIV
Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.
Ephesians 4:29 NIV
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.