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How Positive Words Can Change Your Life

How Positive Words Can Change Your Life

Author and speaker Sharon Jaynes discusses the hard lesson she learned about the power of her words, and offers the wisdom she gained from that to encourage you to align your words with the heart of God so that you can bless others, as well as yourself.
Original Air Date: January 11, 2021

John Fuller: So, when was the last time someone gave you a genuine compliment and really brought a smile to your face? Or, uh, on the opposite end of that spectrum, they said something that crushed your spirit? You know, words are powerful, and today on Focus on the Family we’re gonna give you ideas for using your words to improve the lives of others around you. Your host is Focus president and author Jim Daly, and I’m John Fuller.

Jim Daly: Hey John, there’s a verse in Proverbs 16 that says, Kind words are like honey: sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.

John: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jim: And it’s so true, that’s what you’re saying. So I- I’m sorry if I’ve thrown a few darts your way.

John: Oh, you on- you only give me honey, Jim. (Laughs).

Jim: I- I do it in love. (Laughs). But it’s true, even when we’re joking around and jabbing each other, that can be hurtful to the recipient. Um, every time I call my wife, Jean is so, uh, joyful on the phone. You know?

John: She is an upbeat person.

Jim: She doesn’t answer like, “Hello? You’re bugging me again.”

John: (Laughs).

Jim: It’s always positive, and I complimented her on that the other day, ’cause sometimes I can be in the middle of something and I’m not always as sweet to her as she is to me. So I’m working on that, you can hold me accountable.

John: Dena calls, uh, calls that in me, business mode.

Jim: (Laughs).

John: You’re in business mode.

Jim: That’s right. It’s exactly it. Uh, you know, and sometimes she’s so playful. I can remember when Dr. Dobson said, “Hey, we want you to be president.” I came home and said to her, “Hey, guess what?” And I remember her saying, uh, “Who’d have thunk it?”

John: (Laughs).

Jim: And I laughed, and then she said, “Hey, could you take the trash out?”

John: (Laughs).

Jim: And I was like, “I’m not sure I can still do that!” And she gave me that wife eye, you know? Like, oh yeah, you can still do that.

John: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jim: But today we do want to talk about the power of words, and specifically a wonderful book by Sharon Jaynes, uh, The Power of a Woman’s Words.

John: And Sharon is a writer, she’s former vice president of Proverbs 31 Ministries. Uh, she’s a wife and a mom, and has written over 20 books. As you said Jim, this book that we’re gonna really zero in on today, uh, we do have it at the website. It’s called The Power of a Woman’s Words: How the Words You Speak Shape the Lives of Others. And I’ve gotta say, I’m thinking through the lens of a guy. These are gonna be really good, uh-

Jim: (Laughs)

John: … conversation points for me to keep in mind.

Jim: We want you to get the book, but I wouldn’t put it on your wife’s pillow. (Laughs).

John: (Laughs). I don’t think I would do that. But think of another clever way-

Jim: Yeah.

John: … to do it. And didn’t.

Jim: But Sharon, welcome back to Focus.

Sharon Jaynes: (Laughs). Thank you, it’s exciting to be here.

Jim: It’s so good to have you again. And it’s been a long time, but, uh, man, the power of words, what a great topic. I want to start with the voicemail incident.

Sharon: You would do that to me, wouldn’t you? (Laughs).

Jim: I would, I’m gonna put you right out there.

John: (Laughs).

Jim: Because I shared that with Jean as I was getting ready early this morning, and she loved that story.

Sharon: (Laughs).

Jim: I think mostly because it connected with her heart. She, you know, had lived that in a different way. But share that incident with us.

Sharon: Well I had gone on a walk with one of my neighbors-

Jim: (Laughs).

Sharon: … in my neighborhood. We would… it was summer, we usually go about three miles … And we were talking about our husband’s jobs and about raising boys. And then when we got to her house, sh- she was talking about decorating and she was talking about paint swatches and fabric swatches-

Jim: (Laughs).

Sharon: … and she said, “You know, can you come in and- and look at that with me?” And I said sure, and as it is with, with girls, you know, I went in and the next thing I knew it was 10:00 and I thought, “Oh my goodness. My husband Steve is gonna be so worried about me. I’m gonna call him and let him know I’m at your house, and that everything’s fine.” Well, I called home and the voicemail picked up. And I will tell you, at the time it was an answering machine, it was right before we had switched over to voicemail. And that just ticked me off a little bit.

Jim: (Laughs).

Sharon: (Laughs). And I thought, oh my goodness, he doesn’t even care, it’s 10:00. And I left this message, very caustic, and I said, “Steve, I called to let you know I was at Katherine’s, but obviously you don’t even care because you won’t pick up the phone.” And I hung that up and I started walking home in the dark, and you know, the way a woman’s mind works, I’m sure you’ve picked up on this…

Jim: (Laughs).

Sharon: I went from, he didn’t pick up the phone, to he doesn’t care where I am, to he doesn’t even love me anymore.

Jim: Right.

Sharon: So… (Laughs). So yeah.

Jim: The ruminating is quite amazing.

Sharon: And then I- I saw him coming, he was riding on his bicycle, and he said, “Where have you been? I’ve been looking all over for you!” And I was like, “Oh, you do care!” He said, “What are you talking about?” And I’m like, “Oh, nevermind.” So, what was the first thing I did when I went in the house?

Jim: You got- you’ve gotta get to the phone! (Laughs).

Sharon: I went to the- to the phone and erased that voicemail, be- of course before he could hear it. Well, two days later he called me from the office, he said, “Have you listened to the message on the voicemail lately?”

Jim: (Laughs).

Sharon: I went, “No?” He said, “Use your cellphone, call the home phone, and listen to it.” So, I call the home phone, and this is what it says. Little sweet southern voice, “Hello, you’ve reached the Jaynes residence. We’re unable to answer the phone right now.” And then it switched to this. “I called to let you know I was at Katherine’s. I thought you’d be worried about where I am, but obviously you don’t care because you won’t pick up the phone!” And then the sweet voice came back on.

Jim: (Laughs).

Sharon: “At the sound of the beep, leave a message and we’ll get back with you as soon as possible.”

Jim: That was almost like a God intervention. (laughs)

Sharon: Oh, my stars.

John: (laughs)

Sharon: You know, and I called the phone company, I said, “What in the world happened?” Well, I’m in the South. It was the summer. We had a thunderstorm lightning, apparently struck our house.

Jim: Oh, so it was a God thing.

Sharon: It was a God thing. And it got those two messages combined and I’m like, Oh, I am so embarrassed. And in that still small voice of God, I heard in my heart, God saying to me, “And so am I.” You know, and I wonder how many people had heard that, but it was such a reminder to me as how quickly we, as women can go back and forth between blessing and cursing. I mean, and just… and I don’t mean swearing. I mean, just saying positive words and saying negative words and s- in just a few seconds and how that was such a picture to me that I need to be careful with my words and how quickly I can go back-

Jim: Right.

Sharon: … between positive and negative.

Jim: Yeah. And I so appreciate that. And of course, men do it too, and I get it. Um, we don’t need that, uh, correction, if you’re feeling like you need to email us about that. (laughs) Because today we’re just concentrating on the power of a woman’s words because that’s the title of Sharon’s book. And again, maybe someday your husband might write the other end of this, right? The power of a man’s words.

Sharon: Well-

Jim: But-

Sharon: … and our ministry is toward women.

Jim: Yeah.

Sharon: So that’s why it has that on the cover.

Jim: I know, but I, I-

Sharon: And, and it works for men too.

Jim: Right. And I know someone’s out thinking, Oh, you know, we’re bashing women today, not at all.

Sharon: Yup.

Jim: Um, but I do, uh, I do want to highlight that, how that resonated with Jean too. I mean, she has had a couple of examples, something like that, and that rumination that catastrophication, I’m creating a new word there.

John: That’s a good word.

Sharon: I like it.

John: It works for me.

Jim: You know, but making a catastrophe out of something that’s because women, you know, their brains are wired. You guys are firing in every direction. Uh, guys, we kind of fire on one line. You guys are firing on a dozen. (laughs)

Sharon: Right. (laughs)

Jim: I think that’s part of the reason is just our brain chemistry. But uh, why do we so often act like the person described in James 3? I mean, that’s really it where you mentioned it, on the one hand we’re blessing people and then with the same mouth as the scripture says, we’re cursing people. Is that just sinfulness?

Sharon: Well, I, I do th- think it is the, the sin nature and that can cause us to do that. I think also it can come from words we, we have heard growing up.

Jim: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Now, that’s true.

Sharon: How our minds have been programmed. How our minds have been programmed to react to different situations. So we know that when we come to Christ, nobody pushes that, that delete button for all those old messages to go away. And that’s why we have to reprogram our minds with the truth. And not only that, but we have to practice to change the way we speak.

Jim: And this is what’s so practical about your book, The Power of a Woman’s Words, because you, you start with an acronym, think, and which I think is to help people think. What does think stand for when you look at the T-H-I-N-K?

Sharon: Well that… this is an acronym that will help you think, uh, again, think before you speak, but the T stands for, is this true? H is it helpful? I, is it inspiring? N, is it necessary? And K, is it kind?

Jim: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Sharon: Now that is a lot to think about before the words come out of your mouth.

Jim: It is a lot.

Sharon: It is. And there is a verse in Philippians also that is a very long sift to sift our words through, to think about before they come out of our mouth. But if this is a good… the THINK acronym is a, a good way to look at our words, to- but we have to take the time to do that. And I think also we have to reprogram our mindset, as I mentioned earlier, with this acronym, so that our knee-jerk reactions and the words that come out of our mouths quickly, can be- become different. And that’s why I have these lists in the book. So many practical lists, because these lists will help us to reprogram our minds and to practice saying these.

Jim: Right.

Sharon: So there’s some words not to say in a list of words to say.

Jim: And we’re going to get to those, but I, I want to build the background a little bit here, because something you mentioned in the book too, that these things can start early in your life. And, you know, I come from kind of an Irish oriented family and this isn’t, you know, disparaging at all, but we’re pretty quick to cut each other down in a humorous way. And we laugh at each other and that kind of thing. But some of these patterns can get set early in your life. How you banter with your siblings, how your parents interact with you, et cetera, is, uh, you know, joking at another person’s expense, kind of the way your family operates. Uh, but you were impacted by the power of loving words as a young person. Uh, describe what happened and maybe both the negative aspect and then the positive and how it was like a drop of water to your thirsty soul?

John: Hmm. Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Sharon: Well, let’s, let’s talk about the negative first. Um, I was raised in a home where, um, my parents fought a lot, both verbally and physically. And, and when I’m talking about my parents in this negative way, uh, you know, none of us have a standalone story. They had their own struggles with the way they were raised.

Jim: Sure.

Sharon: Um, my dad was the youngest of six children. He was raised by single mom. His dad died when he was five. Um, this was, uh, on the heels of the depression when they were struggling to survive. That was tough. Um, my mom was a middle child of 12 raised on a farm.

John: Hmm.

Jim: Wow.

Sharon: Um, that was tough. So they brought the struggles that they had into the marriage. So we- we’re not a standalone volume, our parents had struggles too. But they didn’t really know how to do family or marriage. They got married at, at 18. Um, had two kids pretty quickly. And, um, they fought, they were angry at each other all the time, it seemed. Um, they fought verbally and physically.

Jim: Yeah.

Sharon: So, I watched my dad hit my mom. I watched her, hit him back and they used horrible words with each other. Words were basically a weapon in my home. And consequently, the words they spoke to their children were very harsh. I don’t remember loving words from either one of my parents growing up. I remember instructions. I remember being criticized. Uh, I always felt as a child that I was just not enough.

Jim: Hmm.

Sharon: I wasn’t a good enough daughter. I wasn’t smart enough. Um, I remember going off to school and struggling with spelling. I was a terrible speller. And, um, I remember my teacher making me wear the word THE because I had trouble with “the.”

Jim: (laughs). Oh man.

Sharon: I had over, for two weeks. And my friends saying, “What’s wrong with you? Are you stupid?”

Jim: Oh.

Sharon: And, um, so these words were ingrained in me. And I watched how my parents responded to each other. And I had those negative words spoken to me and I felt like I am not enough. I will never be enough.

Jim: Well that sounds insurmountable, Sharon. I mean, that’s a lot emotion.

Sharon: It was a lot emotionally, but God, don’t you love those words?

Jim: Oh, yeah.

John: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Sharon: Favorite words in scripture, but God didn’t leave me that way. When I was about 12 years old, I started spending a lot of time on the next block with my little red headed friend, Wanda, and she had a different family. They were happy. Uh, they hugged and kissed each other in front of the kids. I’d never seen that before.

Jim: Right.

Sharon: Um, but here’s the thing is that Mrs. Henderson showered me with positive words. She would tell me, “You look so pretty today.”

Jim: Oh.

Sharon: “Oh, I’m so proud of you for doing this. I’m so proud of you for doing that.” And she told me about Jesus. And eventually I began to tell her what was going on in my home. And I would spend a lot of my nights at the Henderson’s home. And then she began to tell me about a heavenly father who loved me so much that He gave His son for me. And you know what? My family is bad as we were. We went to church on Sunday, but I had not heard that message.

Jim: Interesting.

Sharon: So I started hearing this message about God’s love with me from this woman.

Jim: Yeah.

Sharon: And when I was 14, I was at her house one night. She asked me if I was ready to accept Jesus, that is a much longer story. We don’t have time for it today.

Jim: Yeah, that’s amazing. Yeah.

Sharon: But I accepted Christ through this woman. And here’s the mirac- miraculous thing. After accepting Christ through the words of this woman, I go back home into this violent family.

Jim: Right.

Sharon: And-

Jim: That part didn’t change.

Sharon: That part didn’t change. But I was praying.

Jim: Yeah.

Sharon: My little group of 14-year-old friends that were Christians were praying. And this is a story for another time, but I’ll give you the cliff notes. When I was 17, my mom accepted Christ. And when I was 21, my dad accepted Christ.

John: Wow.

Sharon: But where did it start from the words of this one woman on the next block that changed a little girl’s life. And those words eventually changed that mom’s life and that dad’s life.

Jim: Right. And that’s powerful. That’s the whole point of the program, right?

Sharon: Yes.

Jim: I mean, uh, the power of a woman’s words. Your Mrs. Henderson was my Jean’s, Mrs. Anderson.

Sharon: Wow.

Jim: And she had that neighbor too. She was best friends and it was her friend Linda’s mom who really poured into her to just kind of accepted her for who she was and loved on her and gave her positive words, just like Mrs. Henderson-

Sharon: You know.

Jim: … did for you.

Sharon: And when we have children of our own, especially teenage children, they might have some friends that come into our home and we have a decision to make. They might not be the kind of kids we particularly want our children hanging out with. I’ll admit, I don’t think I was the kind of kid that I would have wanted my 14-year-old girl hanging out with.

Jim: Hmm.

John: Hmm.

Jim: But she looked past that. And we have that question to ask ourselves, are we going to knock this child down who’s already been knocked down by life? Or we’re going to use our words to build that child up and help them to see the potential that they have.

John: Some great encouragement to consider your perspective as you’re interacting with others. And our guests, Sharon Jaynes, has this book, The Power of a Woman’s Words: How the Words You Speak Shape the Lives of Others. Uh, do get a copy of this from us. The number is 800, the letter A and the word FAMILY or online, we’re at focusonthefamily.com/broadcast.

Jim: Uh, Sharon, when it comes to words in marriage, I mean, you know, we talked about the power of being that child that, uh, received affirmation, words of affirmation, if I could say it that way. Uh, you learned a powerful lesson. I love the simplicity of this from your family dog.

Sharon: (laughs)

Jim: And what did you observe that your dog could do that somehow you were struggling to do?

Sharon: Well, when my son was five years old, we gave him his first dog, um, Ginger, golden retriever.

Jim: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Sharon: And it was his pet, but I was the one who took care of it.

Jim: (laughs) Of course.

Sharon: But Ginger loved my husband more than anyone. So, she had a very cushy life, chased a few squirrels every now and then, but mainly she would just lie around in the driveway. But it was so amazing, even though she was so lazy.

Jim: (laughs)

Sharon: At 5:30, three blocks from my home, when my husband would turn the corner to come into the neighborhood, she would jump up. She had so much energy. She would run around in circles and whine. Yeah, she would whine like… (Whining noise)

Jim: He’s coming down the street.

Sharon: He’s coming, he’s coming, the best part of my day.

Jim: (laughs)

Sharon: And then Steve would come into the, the garage, open the door. They did this every day, open the door. She would put her head on his lap, and he would rub her head and her tail would whack, whack, whack (laughs) the garage wall. And it was just the best part of her day. And I was watching that, and I thought, no wonder a dog is called man’s best friend. But you know, when God created man and said, it is not good for man to be alone. He did not create a dog. He created a woman with words, and I had to ask myself, do I react to my husband the way that Ginger reacts? Shouldn’t I be a little bit more excited when he comes home from work?  And it was kind of our joke now.

Jim: Yeah, I bet. I’d really love to imagine.

Sharon: That you know, you know. (laughs)

Jim: You know, again, some people, y- you know, they get offended by that. A woman is not… we’re not saying that. You’re not saying that, but it’s the attitude, right?

Sharon: Right.

Jim: That’s the lesson-

Sharon: It’s an attitude.

Jim: … that you caught was, wow.

Sharon: Yeah.

Jim: And then let me ask you, I mean, did that change your behavior? You observed this, but how did that translate into your life, toward your husband, Steve?

Sharon: Well, we actually had a conversation about it. Uh-

Jim: Well, that is risky.

Sharon: … I brought it up.

Jim: That was risky though.

Sharon: I might… it really… it’s, it’s risky for him.

Jim: (laughs) Risky for you.

Sharon: Yeah. (laughs)

Jim: That kind of put it on the line.

Sharon: Well, that’s true. And I said, what do you, what did you like now? You know, sometimes I get home after him. So, it’s not always him-

Jim: Right, right.

Sharon: … just coming home from work.

Jim: Sure.

Sharon: And I’m sitting there eating burnt buns, you know, waiting for him.

Jim: (laughs)

Sharon: So, don’t think that at all.

John: I don’t [crosstalk 00:17:52] occasionally, no.

Sharon: Yes, (laughs).

John: Not all the time.

Sharon: No ’cause I, I worked too, so. But I said, when you come home, what kind of response would you like, you know, from me? And you know, it was very simple. “Just give me a hug, don’t tell me every bad thing that’s happened during the day.

Jim: (laughs)

Sharon: Um, which-

Jim: Not yet.

Sharon: Not yet. Give me, give me a little time, but just give me… a stop what you’re doing and give me a hug.

Jim: Aww.

Sharon: That’s all he wanted. And you know, now when I’m… I might be upstairs working, writing, and I hear him come home and I just stop what I do and go and give him a hug. It, it’s not a big deal, but that’s what he wanted. And so that, that had, affected a little bit-

Jim: Okay, so I’m hearing in my ear (laughs), you know, that that spouse that’s saying, well, you don’t know my husband, or you don’t know my wife. She’ll never change. He’ll never change. What about that defeatist attitude? When it comes to observing through maybe that love of a dog-

Sharon: (laughs)

Jim: … for its owner, um, attitude, how do we have hope for our spouses and how do we express it in a way that’s kind and encouraging?

Sharon: You know, I think it’d be an interesting question if you do have a dog. Why does my husband love that dog so much?

Jim: (laughs)

Sharon: I mean really seriously. And I ask that question. The dog doesn’t nag. It’s always happy to see him, you know, ask those questions. But for that defeatist attitude of my husband is never going to change. Um, you know, it’s not my job to change my husband. It’s my job to love and respect him. And it’s God’s job to change my husband.

Jim: Yeah. Sharon, uh, we’re coming in for the landing, but I want to ask you to outline four steps to controlling your words. Something very practical for the listeners, starting with rely on the Holy spirit, uh, walk us through those four?

Sharon: Well, the first thing we need to do is to rely on the Holy spirit. Here’s some good news and some bad news. The bad news is, scripture says that all kinds of animals can be tamed, but no man can tame the tongue.

Jim: Yeah. There you go.

Sharon: That’s bad news.

Jim: Yeah.

Sharon: But the good news is, says, um, that nothing is impossible with God. So, while we not… we cannot do it on our own. We can rely on the Holy spirit to help us. The second thing is to examine our hearts. Uh, my country grandmother used to say, what is down in the well, will come up in the bucket.

Jim: (laughs) that’s so cool.

Sharon: You know, Jesus says, what is down in the heart will come out of the mouth, but we have to examine our hearts. What is in our hearts? And when I say the heart, the Bible uses that word to mean our thoughts, our motives, our feelings, our characters, our seat of emotions. And we have to examine what is in my heart. The third thing is we ne- need to renew our minds with the truth. Renew our minds with that acronym, we used at the beginning of the broadcast, this is true, helpful, inspiring, necessary, and kind. We renew our mind with God’s truth. You know, toxic thoughts produce toxic talk or, or toxic words. And here’s the thing we want to change our actions, but you cannot act differently than you think.

Jim: Hmm. That’s true.

Sharon: So, if you want to change your actions, it starts with the mind. That’s what the Bible says. It doesn’t say change your actions right away. It says, change your thoughts by the renewing of your mind. Then your actions will follow. And finally retrain your reflexes. And this comes with prayer and practice. That’s where we’re going to put those lists up on the website. So, you can have the words to look at and then practice saying them. And I’m going to say, if you are trying to get ahold of your, your tongue and your words, don’t get discouraged and give up if you still blow it. We’re going to always blow it.

Jim: (laughs) That’s true.

Sharon: You know, I love the picture of Jesus cleaning out the temple. He cleaned out the temple in the beginning of his ministry. And then, you know what? He cleaned it out again at the end of his ministry, he did it twice. And I think what happens is we clean out the temple and then, you know, the other sheep coming back in didn’t happen at once, here come a few sheep, here come a few cows, here comes a little more sacrificing. Here comes a little bit more with the money changer. And it got louder and louder and crazier and crazier. And Jesus had to come back in and clean it out again.

Jim: Hmm.

Sharon: So, don’t get discouraged.

Jim: To get [crosstalk 00:22:05]. Yeah.

Sharon: And if Jesus needs to come and clean it out again.

Jim: Sharon, let’s end with a powerful story, uh, that you share about a third-grade teacher who had no idea that her words changed a young man’s life forever. Um, share that story with us.

Sharon: There was, um… I, I love this story and I, I remember it often to help me to remember how important my words are. But there was a teacher named Maria, Sister Maria. This was, um, obviously a Catholic school and she had a class of kids that she loved in the third grade, but one of the boys Mark Ek- Eklund, he was a talker.

Jim: (laughs)

Sharon: And she would constantly correct him for talking. And he was so polite. He would always say, “Thank you for correcting me teacher.”

Jim: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Sharon: But, um, one day she was so frustrated, and she said, “Mark, if you talk one more time, I’m going to put tape on your mouth.” Well, so other kids were just excited to see if he would talk, and if she would really follow through. This was the time when you could actually do this.

Jim: Yeah.

Sharon: But he did talk. She went back there, put masking tape, but X across his mouth. And she looked at him and he winked at her. So, she just couldn’t stand it. She took the tape off and he said, “Thank you for correcting me teacher.”

Jim: (laughs)

Sharon: Uh, he was a delightful child.

Jim: A nice guy.

Sharon: But, uh, but then he went on to, to middle school and, um, she was changed to a middle school teacher and taught him math. And it was a concept that was really difficult for the kids. And they were, they were just really tense, and they were not talking kindly to each other. And so finally on a Friday, she said, “Okay, put your books away. And I want you to write down every one’s name in the class, cross the… down, make a list. Now with that list, I want you to write one nice thing about that student.” So, they spent the time put one nice thing about each classmate. Then she took up the papers and over the weekend she wrote the name of the student at the top of the paper. And then all the nice things that the classmates had said about them. Well, many years passed, and she didn’t hear anything about those kids again, Mark Eklund or the family. But as her parents picked her up from a vacation, um, her dad said, “You know, the Eklund’s called last night.” And she said, “Really? You know, I haven’t heard from them for so long. How is Mark?” And he said, “Actually, he’s in the army. And he was killed in battle. And the funeral is coming up in a couple of days and they want you to come.”

Jim: Oh.

Sharon: So, she went to the funeral, she saw that handsome man in his military uniform, in the coffin. And she thought to herself, I would give all the masking tape in the world to hear him talk again.

Jim: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Sharon: Well, after the funeral, they went to a farmhouse where everyone congregated and his father said, “I am so glad you came. I want you to see that this is what they found on Mark when he was killed in service.” And he pulled out this tattered list that had been folded and refolded, and it was just dirty and soiled. And it was that list from middle school of all the good things.

Jim: Wow.

Sharon: And as they showed it to her, some of the other now adults came up that were in his class and said, “You know what? I saved my list too.” One girl said, “Chuck made me put his list in our marriage photo album.” And another girl said, “I have my list and when I change purses, I change it from purse to purse.” And another one said, “You know, I think we all saved. We all saved our lists.” And what a profound example of the impact of positive words on a child’s life and on an adult’s life.

Jim: Right. And that’s the case of, uh, a little teacher, a woman who had some powerful words and sharing your wonderful book, The Power of a Woman’s Words. There’s no better place to end than on that story.

John: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jim: Uh, you know, people keep it in their heart for sure, even if they don’t keep that in their wallet. And that’s your point, um, you know, to speak positively, to speak, Godly things over people. And I just want to say, thank you so much for sharing that with us. Thank you for being here.

Sharon: Thank you for having me.

Jim: And let me turn to the listener. Um, this is a resource that I think you need. (laughs) I know, Jean and I are both gonna read the book and finish reading it. And I know you’ll benefit by reading it as well. So, get in touch with us. Join us in ministry here at Focus on the Family and make a gift of any amount and we’ll send you a copy of Sharon’s book, The Power of a Woman’s Words, as our way of saying thank you for standing there for others and helping them to, um, have a marriage that is God centered, be a, a parent that is focused on that child’s future.

John: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jim: And be that positive person in their lives.

John: Yeah. And you can donate get the book when you call 800-A-FAMILY or stop by focusonthefamily.com/broadcast. And, uh, while you’re at the website, be sure to listen to the extra audio that we have with Sharon about, talking to your adult children who have different political views than you do. And, coming up next time on Focus on the Family, how you can respond when your spouse wants to abandon the marriage.

Teaser:

Dr. David Clarke: And when you hear those words, I don’t love you anymore, unless it’s followed by and let’s fix this, that’s a sinful statement. You don’t get to say that and to not be sin. So, you have to respond as if they’re sinning and confront the sin.

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