Several weeks had passed. I had given a devotion on pleasant words, and we had discussed Proverbs 16:24: Pleasant words are as a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and health to the bones. Somehow those words kept ringing in my mind, along with a question: Am I a pleasant wife? Because I could not shake the question, I decided to take a little self-examination, so I began to filter everything that I said through the “pleasant words” filter. Were my words really pleasant ones? Were they sweet to my husband’s soul? Did my words bring healing to him?
I knew that in the way that I spoke to my husband there were not angry nor bitter words; neither were there harsh nor loud words. Certainly there were not sarcastic nor demeaning words. Yet, I wasn’t so sure that they were “pleasant” words.
Through the years I had learned a number of scriptures that had greatly affected the way that I spoke to my husband:
It is better to dwell in the wilderness than with a contentious and an angry woman. Proverbs 21:19
It is better to dwell in a corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman in a wide house. Proverbs 21:9
A continual dropping in a very rainy day and a contentious woman are alike. Proverbs 27:15
The contentions of a wife are a continual dropping. Proverbs 19:13
A soft answer turns away wrath, but grievous words stir up anger. Proverbs 15:1
Yes, I had learned many lessons through the years, and The Lord had worked many truths into my life and my manner of speaking, yet this question about “pleasant” words continued to press upon my heart. What I discovered was that for me to be a pleasant wife, it would require even more of me.
Pleasant Words: Pleasant words would be more than just not being angry or harsh. Pleasant words would be agreeable and delightful. Pleasant words would be kind and gracious. Indeed, they would be sweet words.
A Pleasant Attitude: Next, I found that a pleasant heart attitude would be a prerequisite for pleasant words to be spoken. The Bible says that it is from the heart where our words flow, so I would need to keep a pleasant heart attitude toward my husband. My words would surely reveal my heart.
A Pleasant Tone: The next thing that I discovered was often my words themselves were fine, but I spoke with a short, and maybe even impatient, tone. I heard that short tone come out far too often. Sometimes, even an exasperated sigh spoke volumes.
Pleasant Facial Expressions: And then there were the rolling of my eyes, the raised eyebrows, the scornful brow, and even glaring eyes which spoke loudly, even without words. So, pleasant facial expressions were added to my list of needed changes. Even though that may sound foolish, so much is communicated just by our facial expressions and body language. I knew it was important.
So, the self-examination was over, and I was pretty sure that I had not passed it. I began to make a concerted effort to change those areas which The Lord had shown me, as I continued to pray for Him to help me truly speak pleasant words. Within days, I began to see a very positive change occur, not only in my words, but also in my husband’s reactions to me.
I must confess, I am still working toward speaking pleasant words and being a pleasant wife. As with any change, it comes one step at a time. In this case, I guess the change will come one word at a time, one phrase at a time, one response at a time, but I truly do desire to be sweetness to my husband’s soul and health to his bones.
Pleasant words are as a honeycomb,
sweet to the soul,
and health to the bones.