Many years ago, when we were missionaries in the Philippines, we decided to buy a family pet. Kelly the Dalmatian joined our family, and our children were thrilled to pour their love on this newest family member.
The first night we had Kelly, she was whimpering. Our 8 year old son cradled her like a baby and spoke words of comfort to the puppy.
He said, “We’ll take you home tomorrow to see your mommy. Don’t be sad.” Then he buried his face into the puppy’s neck and cuddled with her.
I heard him say this and simply stated the facts. “She won’t ever see her mother again. We’re her family now.”
The next thing I heard was heart breaking, shoulder shaking sobbing. I immediately regretted my blunt communication. To a child who had just been uprooted from all he knew and plopped down in a foreign country—he couldn’t handle anymore simple truth.
My words were true, but my delivery was abrupt causing another pain. I went over and sat next to my son and wrapped him up in my arms. I took a bit more time to communicate the message to his tender heart. “We’re her family now. We get to love her, play with her and care for her.”
It wasn’t long and that little puppy grew into a great big dog that loved us and was a protector.
Ephesians 4:29 (ERV) When you talk, don’t say anything bad. But say the good things that people need—whatever will help them grow stronger. Then what you say will be a blessing to those who hear you.
This week, take a moment to think before you speak. When you do speak the simple truth remember this—we’re family, so take the time to speak in love. Then what you say will be a blessing to those who hear you.