A Man of Few Grunts
By Sabrina McDonald
My husband, Robbie, is a man of few grunts. He has one bad ear from years of shooting in the military, and sometimes I can’t tell if he really doesn’t hear me, or if he just doesn’t feel like talking. Could be either one at any time.
After years of forcing conversations, I decided emphatically words were not his language of love. To him, verbal communication is a necessary evil.
Then I wanted to give him a special gift on a milestone birthday. His whole family was unavailable due to distance. But they could be here in spirit.
I secretly asked family, friends, and church members to send letters of encouragement for Robbie. I pasted them into a book with some appropriate ephemera and a few photos of the letters’ authors.
I learned something about my husband that day. Words do matter! He was so moved he could hardly choke back the tears. And he was immensely proud of that book. He talked about it for the rest of the year. He still brings it up as the best gift he was ever given.
Proverbs 18:21 (KJV) says, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.” You can bring life to your spouse just by speaking blessings out loud. Everyone loves to be appreciated for who they are. Those words can reach in and soothe a hurting soul.
The next time you have an opportunity to honor your spouse—birthday, anniversary, Mother’s/Father’s Day—do something special. Put together a book or speak words of blessing over the guest of honor. You could ask a close friend to prepare a blessing, or several people to give a scripture. Have everyone around the room, even your kids, give “popcorn prayers,” short prayers said out loud.
Proverbs 16:24 (KJV) says, “Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.” No one would have a birthday or anniversary party without a cake, so why not something sweet for the soul, as well?
The good stuff: A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver. (Proverbs 25:11)
Action points: Look over the calendar and start planning for the next holiday to honor your spouse. Make a list of your spouse’s positive qualities. Be specific and give examples. Consider making a list of scriptures that you can pray over your spouse regularly, and/or use them in a written gift.
Visit the FamilyLife® Website