By Danielle Metz
The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman presents the idea that each of us gives and receives love in particular ways. He calls these love languages. My husband’s top language is Words of Affirmation. He feels loved by me when I tell him I appreciate him or something he has done.
This is a struggle for me. I do compliment him, but the perfectionist tendency in me will also tell him what he didn’t do right. I might say, “Thanks for doing the dishes, honey, but you forgot to wipe off the counter.” To him, that negative statement completely cancels the positive one, and he feels torn down instead of built up.
Taming the Tongue
The tongue is the most powerful part of the body. It can release love and disdain in the same breath. For this reason, we must pay particular attention to controlling it.
James described the tongue as a spring of water. “With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring?” (James 3:9-11).
Fresh water is pure. We can drink it and our thirst is quenched. We stay hydrated even when the weather is too hot. But if we drink salt water, our thirst will never be quenched. It could make us sick and dehydrated. The two cannot coexist, neither can they be separated once they are combined.
Fresh Water for Thirsty Souls
When fresh water has even a little salt in it, all of it becomes salty. The same is true of our words. If we pour out praise and affirmation, we can quench the thirst of those around us. But if we are negative, we drain the spirits of others.
Giving words of affirmation is not something that comes easily to me. But as I continue to practice control over my tongue, the more fresh water will pour out.
Danielle Metz lives in Harrison, Ohio, with her husband, Mike, and son, Gabriel. She is a stay-at-home mother who blogs and cartoons about the humorous and not-so-humorous parts of being a parent.