The other day I spent some time talking and listening to a member of the family. She's had some rough times in the past year all of which can be classified as 'marital problems'. After 15 years of marriage, she called us - she didn't know what to do anymore and she wanted to move out. Long story short, she now lives in our apartment building. It's been over a year since the big move and sadly, no vast improvement on the part of her estranged husband.
After listening to her laments, I realized that we all possess a very valuable weapon: the power of words. I heard over and over 'he never follows through'. Words can encourage, bring smiles, bring tears, plant seeds of doubt and if we're good enough with words & the listener is receptive - change the course of a life.
We all have free will and we choose so many courses of action - all part of God's plan. No sense in blaming others for choices we make in life. The power of words can destroy - if we choose to let them. However, we also have a responsibility to spread God's word - and the commandment to love is above all His commandments. That includes the words of encouragement, love and faith.
My only words of advice were: no more "you never follow through' - start with 'I knew you could do it'. Who knows what the power of those six words can do. Maybe it will make a difference - may it won't.
But said enough times, I believe those words will at least plant a seed in the heart of the speaker. Who knows what it can do to the listener.
I know I can do this ....