Wendy Warner is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in private practice at Trinity Family Counseling Center. In addition to working with couples, children, and individuals, Wendy also enjoys teaching the premarital classes for all couples planning to marry at Immanuel Lutheran Church, Macomb.
Whether we are a parent, spouse or friend, most would like to be thought of as someone who builds others up.
If we listened to ourselves, what would we hear? Do we take opportunities to speak appreciation? Do we believe the best about each other? Or in “jest” do we put people down; use condemning words that show exasperation, or communicate we don’t have faith in others? “Could you look up from your phone once in a while?” “I figured you would be late.” “Nice going genius.” “Did it even occur to you to call?”
Colossians 3:12-13 speaks about clothing ourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. It calls us to bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances we have against one another. To be clothed in something implies you can see it on someone immediately. Do my words speak noticeable compassion and kindness? Do my facial expressions and tone represent visible humility, gentleness and patience? Do I typically convey I’m trying to bear with family members and forgive rather than hanging onto grievances?
I have learned in my own relationships and as a Christian counselor the impact of choosing respect and humility over sarcasm. When the effort is made to use kind and patient questions, the other person feels valued and understood rather than belittled.
What are you clothed with? Is it time to change your wardrobe of words? The changes in relationships are worth the effort, but will require practice. Try wearing gentleness tomorrow.