I met a friend for coffee recently and she wanted to know how she could pray for me. I can think of 101 requests. Hanissa’s upcoming surgery, our house needing to sell in China, ministry opportunities, and on and on the list goes. But, none of that came out of my mouth. Without hesitation, I responded, “I need to increase the grace in my communication.”
It is vital that this be more a part of my life, especially at home. Grace speaking is one of the best ways to encourage, discipline, and challenge those in my life. I want to, no, I need to speak grace over, to, and about my children and husband. Often, I get caught up in my checklist for the day, my work, my thoughts and my responses are, well…less than graceful and more selfish than I’d like to admit.
To rediscover grace, I go back to Scripture. There are so many wonderful lists in the New Testament describing the ideal I’m striving towards.
Romans 12:9-21, Galatians 5:22-23, Ephesians 4:31-32, Philippians 4:8, Colossians 3:12-14, and of course, many others. As I look through these passages, a few words and phrases stand out. “Gentleness, Love, Tenderhearted, Kind, Pure, Compassionate hearts, Meekness, Humility, Rejoice, Live peaceably…” I want these things to be recognized in my conversations.
I want to purposefully speak God’s Truth over my family. When I don’t like a situation or an attitude, I need to speak peace and forgiveness, even in the midst of discipline. When my husband or children disappoint me, I need humility and gentleness to escape my lips. I need my speech to be praiseworthy. I want to speak about my children and my husband so that listeners know how blessed I am. I don’t want words of dissension or discontent coming from my mouth. When others are frustrated and spew unkind words, I want to model kindness, gentleness, and love.
Grace, we desire it, and often expect it, from others, desperately need it poured out from God, but are hesitant to let it flow from us. Remove grace and we end up with bitterness, skepticism, doubt, mistrust, and anger. Not a way to build a family. Proverb 14:1 says, “The wise woman builds her house, But the foolish tears it down with her own hands.”
This month, I’m striving for more grace to flow through me and touch those around me so I can be a woman who builds up her house.