Words to Live By

I’ve always been a fan of self-improvement and leadership books. From age 16, when my dad promised me $100 if I would read Stephen Covey’s “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People”, I’ve found my reading material always includes something that would inspire me to be more proactive, or to set goals, or any other flavor of motivation I could get my hands on. Of course the distance between theory and action is the space we live in daily, so I can attest that I haven’t followed through with much that I have read. But the wisdom of those words is always only a look away, and when I view those words habitually, I start to form my habits around those words.

While listening to a motivational audio program, I thought about all the times as a teen and young adult that I found myself at critical decision points, and when I should have followed a wisdom point. That led to ruminations about my kids and all the words they are surrounded by. I am blessed that they have many wonderful influences and people to speak into their lives, including our beautiful church family and the wonderful homeschooling support groups we are a part of. But there are always times that those words of life and empowerment are needed, and there may not be a kind soul nearby to speak them. They must be hidden in the heart for their power to be applied when necessary.

We live in a time that we have access to all kinds of apps and games, but do we access the words that we need to make wise decisions? I know many times I haven’t. To combat this,  I’ve recommitted myself to memorizing verses of Scripture. My new goal is to memorize all of Romans. I’ve only made it to verse 7, chapter 1, but the exercise is reminding me how every word matters when you study and apply it to your life. The book of Phillipians speaks of meditating on whatever is pure, lovely, or has any good report. Proverbs, the ultimate wisdom book of the Bible, mentions a word fitly spoken being like a apple of gold. Even my church has a new “Words with Friends” evening dedicated to sharing God’s word in small groups. If my heavenly Father knows the power of words, I must be sure as a earthly father that I’m accessing the same ‘word power’ and implanting it in my family.

It seems my wife was on the same wavelength as me without even us discussing it. Around the same time that I was considering this ‘word’ emphasis, she came home with stencils for placing quotes on the walls, and I came home to find them already adorning our living room and kitchen. Needless to say, I’m grateful that she understands the power of positive words.

Wall words

Each time I look at these words, I remember what’s most important about our family – that we are together, that we dream, love, and pray together, and that we support one another. These concepts are simple, yes, but never are they more precious and sacred than when the pressures of life try to steal the power of making them a priority.

One of the pastors at my church’s recent men’s conference stated this quote: “The choices you make make you.”  When talking with my son on the ride home, he said that those words impacted him the most. So in effect, the words he has chosen to believe and maintain in his heart will then make his choices, and then those choices will make him. All the more reason for me to make sure that the words that he hears, that he sees, and that he will live by are always words of life, of meaning, and of eternal value.


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