Thursday, September 22, 2011

Apples of Gold

Proverbs 25:11

A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.

The past few years have given me many opportunities to ponder this verse and the critical importance of words fitly spoken.  Every day we are each given the chance to use our words poorly or wisely.  This can be a huge struggle; as the book of James says, the tongue can be like a wildfire in a forest, a huge force of destruction.  But words can also be used to spread the love of Christ; teach the truths of the Bible; give wise and godly advice; build up and encourage; nurture and love.

The other night our family was talking and laughing and getting ready for prayers before bed time.  As I was snuggling my kids, we were reminiscing and remembered how when they were little and first learning to talk I would constantly have them fill in the words to this sentence.

"God made you special for our family."

I can still hear their toddler voices trying to pronounce the word special and recall smiling as they sweetly said that precious word "famiwy."  It's a fond memory of words that I repeated over and over with them to enforce certain truths... that they are made by God; that they are so unique and special; and that they are loved and valued in our family.  It hit me that though simple words, they were fitly spoken.  Apples of gold.  

Yet every day I have a chance to speak careful, wise, loving words to my kids.  Sometimes I do.  Other times my words are short and frustrated and impatient.  Words not fitly spoken.

We can all think of examples of how we've spoken wisely and spoken poorly.  And we can all recall times we were spoken to with wise, careful words; and those times when we were not, and how that made us feel.

I had been wanting to put a visual reminder in our home of Proverbs 25:11.  I've had a beautiful silver bowl since early in our marriage, and I thought about buying wooden apples and painting them gold to place in it.  However, I was thrilled the other day when I came across large, golden apples for $3 each at Pier One Imports.  They were absolutely perfect for my Proverbs project, and so reasonably priced!  

I dusted off my silver bowl, lined it with burlap, and set my three new apples of gold inside.  The reason I chose burlap was because of the contrast between the rough, plain fabric and the brilliant gold and silver.  I thought it was a great reminder that wise words can smooth out rough situations or help others during a rough time.   Loving words can be comfort in a rough and tough world.

Here are my apples of gold in a setting of silver...

My reminder to strive for words fitly spoken.

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