I think I've mentioned before that I have been reading through the Bible, one chapter a day, with a group of believers all around the world. We read the one chapter, someone blogs a few thoughts from that chapter, and we discuss the passage in a forum.
Today we are reading and discussing Proverbs 15. A couple of the verses which stood out in our discussion are:
"A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger." Proverbs 15:1
"The soothing tongue is a tree of life, but a perverse tongue crushes the spirit." Proverbs 15:4
These verses bring to my mind:
"Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged." Colossians 3:21
Also brought up were these quotes from one of my favorite authors:
"Continual censure blights and darkens the life of anyone." Testimonies for the Church, vol. 4 (p. 65), by E.G. White.
"When fathers and mothers are converted, there will be a thorough conversion of their principles of management. Their thoughts will be converted; their tongues will be converted." The Adventist Home (p.436), by E.G. White.
This also brings to mind this lovely hymn, which I am sure is familiar to most.
Happy the Home When God is There, by Henry Ware, Jr.
Happy the home when God is there,
and love fills every breast;
when one their wish, and one their prayer,
and one their heavenly rest.
Happy the home where Jesus' name
is sweet to every ear;
where children early speak his fame,
and parents hold him dear.
Happy the home where prayer is heard,
and praise is wont to rise;
where parents love the sacred Word
and all its wisdom prize.
Lord, let us in our homes agree
this blessed peace to gain;
unite our hearts in love to thee,
and love to all will reign.
If impatient words are spoken to you, never reply in the same spirit. Remember that “a soft answer turneth away wrath.” Proverbs 15:1. And there is wonderful power in silence. Words spoken in reply to one who is angry sometimes serve only to exasperate. But anger met with silence, in a tender, forbearing spirit, quickly dies away. The Ministry of Healing (p. 486), by E.G. White.
And finally, this passage from the SDA Bible Commentary (vol. 3, p. 1159):
Passionate words sow seeds that produce a bad crop which no one will care to garner. Our own words have an effect upon our character, but they act still more powerfully upon the characters of others. The infinite God alone can measure the mischief that is done by careless words. These words fall from our lips, and we do not perhaps mean any harm; yet they are the index of our inward thoughts, and work on the side of evil. What unhappiness has been produced by the speaking of thoughtless, unkind words in the family circle! Harsh words rankle in the mind, it may be for years, and never lose their sting. As professed Christians, we should consider the influence our words have upon those with whom we come into association, whether they are believers or unbelievers. Our words are watched, and mischief is done by thoughtless utterances. No after association with believers or unbelievers will wholly counteract the unfavorable influence of thoughtless, foolish words. Our words evidence the manner of food upon which the soul feeds. (by E.G. White)
I don't know about you, but I have found this all very thought provoking, humbling, and longing the more for improvements in my own home.
May God truly guide and bless in your home, too.
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