July 22, 2021
The Worth of a Good Word
“Anxiety in the heart of a man weighs it down, but a good word makes it glad.” (Proverbs 12:25 NIV 1985 ed.)
Friend to Friend
Steve and I were on a trip to celebrate my birthday. He’s not a very techy guy, so I did most of the reservations online. One night, we were trying to get tickets to a show using our hotel Internet. I kept getting kicked off and grew frustrated.
In a huff, I said, “I wish you could do this! I feel like I’m having to do all the work and it’s my birthday!”
With the saddest face ever, Steve looked down and said, “Well, I am good at some things.”
That broke my heart. Of course, he’s amazing at many things. He’s a fabulous husband, a hard worker, a great friend, and a godly man. He’s handsome, gentle, and strong. At the moment I was focusing on the .0001% negative rather than the 99.9999% positive.
In the Song of Solomon, Solomon and his Shulammite bride had a little spat. Even though she couldn’t wait to be intimate with her man before they got married, she was indifferent about the bedroom after they were married. One night he knocked, and she didn’t answer.
When she realized how she had rejected him and ran to open the door, he was gone.
Trying to console her, the Shulammite’s amazing friends said, “Girl, tell us, what do you love about your man. Let’s talk about that.” (my translations)
My beloved is radiant and ruddy,
outstanding among ten thousand.
His head is purest gold;
his hair is wavy
and black as a raven…
His mouth is sweetness itself;
he is altogether lovely.
This is my beloved, this is my friend,
daughters of Jerusalem. (Song of Solomon 5:10-16)
She recalled that he was ruddy and radiant—glowing and tanned by the sun. He had wavy black hair, seductive eyes, and cheeks that begged to be kissed. Even though he was gentle and tender with her, she admired his strength.
She compared his arms with rods of gold set with topaz, certain parts of his body with polished ivory tusks decorated with lapis, and his legs with pillars of marble set on bases of pure gold—all the finest resources that the land had to offer.
Most likely “his mouth is sweetness itself” refers to the words he speaks to her—tender, loving, kind. I envision her wanting to hold his face in her hands and giving him that kiss he wanted earlier.
Her conclusion? “This is my beloved, this is my friend, daughters of Jerusalem,” she sighs. “Thank you for reminding me.”
So where’s your focus. The .0001% or the 99.9999%? Tomorrow, look at your husband. Really look at him and admire his wonderful qualities rather than focusing on his worst.
Proverbs 12:25 reminds us, “Anxiety in the heart of a man weighs it down, but a good word makes it glad.” All through the day, your husband has words thrown at him that could cause anxiety to rise and self-esteem to fall. But you have the ability to make him glad with a word…especially glad that he came home to you.
And here’s more good news. Notice Proverbs 12:25 says, “a good word.” You don’t have to have a lot of words. Just one. You don’t have to wax eloquent, write a discourse, or make a speech. Just one word of encouragement can give a man’s hungry soul nourishment. I’m not all that great at one word, but I can certainly do less than ten.
- “I’m so proud of you.”
- “I missed you today.”
- "I love you so much.”
- “Thank you for working so hard.”
- “I’m so glad I married you.”
Robert Louis Stevenson said, “Make the most of the best and the least of the worst.” Too many times we flip what Stevenson said and make the most of the worst and least of the best. Let’s change that. Today. Right now.
Heavenly Father, I don’t know why I focus on the bad rather than the good, but I want to change. Help me to see the best in my husband and in other people. Help me to be a person who builds others up rather than tears them down.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Now It’s Your Turn
When is the last time you told your man that you loved his smile, or admired his talent? Can’t remember? Well, today could be the day! That’s your homework. Make a list of 10 qualities that you love about your husband…and then give it to him.
More From the Girlfriends
The Song of Solomon is a confusing book. What does the writer mean when he’s talking about pomegranates and locked-up gardens? Well, when you break the code and decipher the romantic language, it all makes sense. In my book, Lovestruck: Discovering God’s Design for Romance, Marriage, and Sexual Intimacy from the Song of Solomon, you’ll see God’s design for one of His greatest gifts. Parts of it will have you saying, “Is that really in the Bible?” Yep, God made sure of it. (Also has a companion Bible study guide.
© 2021 by Sharon Jaynes. All rights reserved.
Originally published Thursday, 22 July 2021.