“Do everything in love,” 1 Cor 16:13-14.
My precious husband, Dale, and I just celebrated our 12th wedding anniversary. What a joyful journey it’s been being married to a man who tries his best to do everything in love, even when it’s not that easy. It’s been a journey full of twists and turns, ups and downs, and it’s been the most wonderful years of my life. And the sweetest part of it all? Redemption has been the hallmark of our 12 years together.
We both try to “do everything in love”—especially to use loving words, even when we have disagreements or differences. It’s a choice we make every day, sometimes every moment, and that makes all the difference in the world. Because of these choices, our marriage has been a journey of peace, healing, and hope precisely because we choose to speak and do all we can through the purpose and plan to love one another. And even when we fail, when we get snippy, snarky, sarcastic, or short, we apologize and set our sights back on choosing love.
As with any relationship, it’s not always easy. At times we disagree on lots of things—what to eat and do, where we go and what we want, and countless other things. But in the midst of everything, we both choose to weigh our words and our wants. Will what I say or how I say it help or hurt our relationship? Does what we want really matter?
So how does this translate into every day life and in our writing life? I think it’s the same whether it’s about choosing loving words with your spouse, your kids, your friends, your foes, or in your writing for your readers. The answer is that we choose words that help and not hurt, that bring life and not death, that will bless and not curse.
When we speak, write, and interact with others, listen to that still small voice inside guiding you to button your lips or measure your words or have the right attitude. Sometimes it’s a stern warning bathed in love. Other times it’s a compassionate suggestion. Still other times, it’s telling a story that makes a point, just as Jesus told parables so often. Clothe your words in love. Speak them plainly. Share them abundantly. And show them fully. Love is a powerful language!
How do you speak the language of love? I’d like to know!
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