The words you use are vital to the SOAR concept for your family — Supported, Optimistic, Active and Achieving, and Responsible. In fact, the words you use are vital in all areas of your relationship with your family. Consider these three Scripture verses:
“Pleasant words promote instruction.” ~Proverbs 16:21
“Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.” ~Proverbs 16:24
“A man of knowledge uses words with restraint, and a man of understanding is even-tempered.” ~Proverbs 17:27
Do you see the importance of the words you use to communicate SOAR concepts and your demeanor while presenting them? You want your attitude and your words to be pleasant, not critical, and your demeanor to be even-tempered, not frustrated.
Now, you may ask, Why all this focus on my words? What does it matter what I say, as long as I tell the truth? The answer is found in Job 6:25, which says, “How painful are honest words! But what do your arguments prove?” When family members are resistant to positive changes, confronting them with the truth about their negative behavior and your positive changes may be necessary.
But, as Job says, it’s important to be aware of what your arguments will prove.
You don’t want to win your argument by crushing or belittling your opponent, especially if that “opponent” is a reluctant child or reticent spouse. SOAR is not meant to be coercive, nor is it meant to give you “ammunition” to blast your family for past mistakes or behaviors.
Your family will listen to what you say and how you say it to determine its validity and how to respond. Your words will be either your greatest ally or your greatest enemy in motivating your family.
“Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” ~Proverbs 12:18)
Be a healer to your family through the wise words you choose.
SOURCE: Chapter 2, “S is for Support,” in Healthy Habits, Healthy Kid: A Practical Plan to Help Your Family by Gregory L. Jantz, PhD., founder of The Center for Counseling and Health Resources Inc.
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