It is true women like to talk.  Whatever is near and dear to our hearts, where there are a group of women gathered, we will talk about it.  We really love talking about our children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, husbands, boyfriends.

If they’ve done great, we will brag about them. If they haven’t done so great, if we are Christian women, we will ask for earnest, heart-felt prayer and will even stop on the spot at times and pray with a sister for that request.

It is so true that out of  “the fullness, the overflow, the superabundance of the heart, our mouth speaks” (Matt. 12:34, Amp.). What is in your heart?  Examine your words and that should give you a clue.

Since we’re women and we’re going to talk anyway, perhaps we should think about what we should be saying. Here are five suggestions for the type of words we as Christian women should be using.

Truth

The world today has so disguised the truth that it is hard to tell it from a lie.  We live our lives with a get-rich quick, get-everything-I-can grab-for me-and-mine attitude.  Because we have talked ourselves into selfishness being truth, we fail to see the difficulty in cajoling and manipulating others to go along with our schemes.

Sometimes we even tell ourselves it is God’s will for us to be rich. Which, by the converse, would mean that it is God’s will that the rest of the world be poor.

In the Old Testament, God set out a decree to the people.  “Tell the truth, the whole truth, when you speak. Do the right thing by one another, both personally and in your courts. Don’t cook up plans to take unfair advantage of others. Don’t do or say what isn’t so. I hate all that stuff. Keep your lives simple and honest” (Zech. 8:16-17).

Speaking the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15) is not an easy thing to do. It means to express truth in all things speaking truly, dealing truly, living truly.  It actually means to be grown-up Christians and not be selfish in the way we look at the gospel.

Knowing the truth and expressing it freely will set us and those around us free (John 8:32).

Question: How do I speak the truth in love?

Wise

We called my great-grandmother, Mammaw. I was privileged to know her for a short time.  I considered her to be a woman of wisdom mainly for the picture of her that is burned in my memory.

Four Generations—Donna Shields, Maydene Carr, Mary White and me.

Her house had a large front room.  But she was never in that room with the comfy chairs and couches. That was only for when she had company.

When I came to see her, she was always in her dining room.  I would walk in the front door.  I knew where she was and what she was doing.

She would be sitting on the opposite side of the table where we couldn’t see her from the door.  In the mirror of dining room bureau, though, I would see her white hair bowed low, pouring over the pages of her large-print Bible.

It’s a picture of wisdom.  Proverbs says that gray hair is a crown of “beauty and glory if it is found in the way of righteousness, moral and spiritual rectitude in every area and relation” (Proverbs 16:31, Amplified).

At Mammaw’s funeral, the pastor read Proverbs 31.  In part, it says “When she speaks, her words are wise and she gives instructions with kindness” (Prov. 31:26, NLT).  I was 14 when she died.  I thought, yeah, I want to be like that.

Question to ponder: What words do I speak that are wise?

Encouragement

Life is hard.  The economy is failing. People are losing their jobs. We find out someone we love has failed in some way.  Health issues arise. The car breaks down.  The roof needs repaired.

Sometimes it’s nothing major, we just don’t like life at the moment. It’s not one thing it’s everything.  We want to just run away.  I have heard those very words from many women.

Of course, we don’t run away. We stay. We slug it out. We medicate ourselves with something—alcohol, drugs, and food, whatever works at the time.

Statistics say as many as 30 percent of women in the United States today are depressed. These statistics were based on information from the National Institute of Mental Health.

Speaking encouragement can actually be speaking life into a friend.  Find the silver lining. We don’t have to be Pollyannaish but we can find something positive.

1 Thessalonians 4 talks about the Second Coming of Christ in glorious and rousing tones.  The verse says simply, “Comfort and encourage one another with these words.”

In the final analysis, the things that so discourage us today will be meaningless in the light of the glory of Paradise.

Encouragement doesn’t even have to be words.  Listening with one’s whole heart and being concerned can mean more than almost anything.  Being in tune with another’s feelings can speak volumes. Romans 12:10 in The Message says it best, “Laugh with your happy friends when they’re happy; share tears when they are down.” As the song says, “Life is hard, but God is good.”

Question to ponder: Am I an encourager?  Do I leave people better than when I saw them?

Gracious

The dictionary defines gracious as characterized by charm, good taste, kindness, and generosity of spirit.  Proverbs says that gracious words come from wise people.

“Gracious words add to one’s reputation” (Proverbs 16:21, The Message).

Many women in my life have been gracious but none more so than a kind woman who was in my church when I was a feisty teenager.

My mother was experiencing some emotional troubles. Betty and I worked at the same place.  She saw me every day and would quietly ask about mom and tell me she was praying for her.

I remember the summer before I left for college.  She stopped me one day and said the normal things she usually said. I retorted, “Well, you can just stop praying for her because I’ve been praying all my life and she’s not any better.”  Betty, the picture of graciousness, said softly, “I will remember to pray all the harder.”

I was angry at the world at that time. I wanted her whole and healthy. I wanted her complete but she was not.  It was a tremendous difficulty in our home. One thing I knew for sure that despite my mean-spirited words, Betty cared deeply.

The next time I saw Betty was Thanksgiving break, through a miracle that I will share with you in another post, God touched my mother and put her on the road to healing. I sought Betty out. I told her the good news. I hugged her and thanked her for praying. And I apologized.  I’ve never forgotten her.

Sing

My daughter is home from a month of being gone. One thing I missed about her is her singing.  She sings whenever the mood strikes her.  Most of the time it will be a contemporary Christian song. Sometimes it is a show tune or a song from a Disney music track. Always it is something that makes those around her happy.

I’m not a great singer, just ask my daughter, but I do love music. I try to sing in a crowd so no one can hear me. Or I sing along with the radio so no one can tell how off key I am.

Speaking scriptures to one another such as the Psalms and singing spiritual songs is mentioned in Ephesians 5:19.  I’ve always sort-of wondered why that is in the Bible. I mean what if you can’t sing?

I believe it goes back to the first thing I mentioned.  Out of the fullness of your heart, your mouth will speak.  If your heart is full of God, songs of praise to Him will flow out.  So also will scriptures and Psalms.  It is as natural as breathing; at least it is for my daughter.

Question to ponder: How can I make sure my heart is full of God?

Golden

So many words; so little time. Make sure your words count for eternity.

I love the picture created by Proverbs 25:11.  A word spoken at the right time is like apples of gold on platters of silver.  Lord, help my words to be golden to someone today.

10 Seconds in the history of my world
From Depression and Addiction to an Extraordinary Future
Teresa Shields Parker
Teresa Shields Parker is a Christian weight loss author, coach and speaker, who has lost more than 260 pounds. Her book, "Sweet Grace: How I Lost 250 Pounds and Stopped Trying to Earn God's Favor", is the number 1 Christian Weight Loss Memoir on Amazon. She has three more books, "Sweet Freedom: Losing Weight and Keeping It Off With God's Help", "Sweet Change: True Stories of Transformation" and "Sweet Hunger: Developing An Appetite for God." Sweet Grace and Sweet Freedom study guides are available as well. All books are on Amazon. Her Coaching Programs can be found under the Weight Loss tab at TeresaShieldsParker.com. To book Teresa for your next event, check the Speaking Tab.