Conversations that SHINE: Five Keys for Your Family
By Jacqueline J. Overpeck
God can use you as a vehicle of communication to speak through—if you’ll allow him to. Are you ready to share his love with your family and friends?
If you’re like me, you often wish you could take words back. I can’t tell you the times I’ve bit my tongue with frustration when the wrong words slipped out. I cringe inside when I know I’ve said the wrong thing. It’s even worse to say the wrong thing at the wrong time! In moments like these, I know I’m not shining. I feel more as if I’m slinking back into a dingy corner.
It’s no mystery that our words are lack-luster when they’re empty of God’s touch. The most important thing for you and me to remember as we share conversation with loved ones and friends is that we don’t have to depend on our own sharp-wittedness or charms. Isn’t that a relief?
You see, it’s not possible for us to provide all the right answers or create stimulus for change on our own. But there is One who can. He is the one who said, “Let there be light” (Gen. 1:3).
Here are five shiny conversation keys that will help you become a catalyst, or one who creates a positive reaction in your home:
S - Rich Substance
H - Glimmer of Hope
I - Lovely Ideas
N - Touch the Need
E - Provide Enlightenment
Conversation Key One: Provide rich substance that feeds your loved ones’ appetite for truth. Try to avoid gossip, hear-say, or wishy-washy wordiness. They’re all destructive, tearing down what you want to build up. The solid truth in the Bible is the best foundation for construction.
Studying God’s word helps you develop a deep reservoir to draw from when your family members need tender encouragement or renewed purpose. God’s Word never returns void (Is. 55:11). Bible truth sticks to the ribs. It’s meat, not milk. Your family will appreciate your thoughtful presentation and they’ll grow strong in Christ when your conversation provides the rich substance of authentic compassion.
Conversation Key Two: Offer glimmering hope. The race is not won by the rabbit. It’s won by the turtle. It takes great determination, diligence, and a strong heart to press on in Christ. Difficult circumstances arise in the lives of your family members every day. This daily battle might make them as discouraged as the tortoise and want to give up.
Try showing your loved ones the crown jewels in Christ: faith, hope, and love. How? Stand strong and having done all—stand (Eph. 6:13). Your family will see you standing, and your hope in Christ will rub off on them.
This requires being a doer, not just a hearer. Does doing communicate? You bet! Loud and clear. In this way, you’ll be ready to share an answer with your children when they ask, “How are you hanging on? Where’s your peace coming from?”
Conversation Key Three: Rather than focus on the negative, try sharing some lovely ideas that lift God up. Loveliness is extremely attractive, especially in a wife and mother.
We are reminded to think about… Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely , whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things (Philippians 4:8-9, NIV).
Where does loveliness come from? How do you present lovely ideas to your family? Matthew 12:34 answers:… out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. Loveliness shines upward and outward from deep within your heart.
Jesus told us that when we believe in him rivers of living water will flow from within our hearts(John 7:38). These glimmering waters are within you. An Old Testament example is found in the book of Numbers when Moses led the children of Israel through the wilderness. The journey for these men, women, and children was long. They grew weary with thirst. Yet they persevered until they came to a well where they lifted their voices and sang together “Spring up, O well!” (Num. 21:17).
Just like Moses and the children of Israel, you can draw on the well of living water that lies deep in your heart through prayer and worship. Prayer brings fresh revelation from God. Worship redirects your attention from the cares of the day and places your affection on God. Prayer and worship cause the rain of heaven to descend on your fallow ground and fill your inner well with life-sustaining water, enabling you to offer good council and sound wisdom to your loved ones.
The bottom line? If your inner ideas are centered on Jesus—they’re lovely for he is wonderful—and your speech will be lovely too. (See Isaiah 9:6).
Conversation Key Four: Touch the need of your loved ones. This requires reaching out beyond your comfort zone and reaching into the life, heart, and experience of another. Though it’s not always easy to do, it breaks down walls. When the walls that guard your family members’ hearts fall—they become tender and sensitivity returns.
Remember we’re all vulnerable at times. None of us are perfect. Your gracious and gentle answer may be the balm in your home that helps restore healing when your spouse or child might expect you to turn away in frustration or anger.
Proverbs 15:1 encourages, “A soft answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger.”
Don’t get clogged. Remain free by taking your needs to Jesus. This enables you to become a ready channel for the voice of biblical guidance to flow through.
Conversation Key Five: Offer enlightenment to your loved ones and friends. The inspired words that God puts upon your lips make it possible for those around you to become partakers of the goodness of heaven.
What is enlightenment? It’s a positive explanation that brings clarification. David, the Psalmist prayed:
For You will light my lamp; The LORD my God will enlighten my darkness. For by You I can run against a troop, By my God I can leap over a wall. As for God, His way is perfect; The word of the LORD is proven; He is a shield to all who trust in Him. For who is God, except the LORD? And who is a rock, except our God? It is God who arms me with strength, And makes my way perfect. He makes my feet like the feet of deer, And sets me on my high places. (Psalm 18:28-33).
When your family and friends look to you for help you’ll be able to provide godly council that cuts through confusion. How can you do that? Give yourself to the same virtues as David:
- Become a student of the Bible who stands strong in faith
- Become a believer who thrives on the sweet communion of prayer and worship
The Bright and Morning Star
Jesus is the bright and Morning Star who causes everything about you, including your conversations to SHINE (Rev. 22:16). He’s more than able to take your mouth of clay and polish your words with the Christ-centered ceramic glaze of his amazing grace. Potters will tell you, glaze isn’t just a coating for decoration. It seals the craft with a protective covering for the fire.
Daniel 3 shares the well-known story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego and how they were saved from their fiery trial. They were thrown into the furnace, yet the flames had no power to bring harm; they remained unsinged and the smell of smoke couldn’t be found on them. (See Daniel 3:19-27).
Is your family facing a fierce trial today? Maybe the heat of fire in your household has been the illness of a loved one or maybe your son is in the military, overseas right now, and he deeply needs your support when he calls on the phone line. Maybe your home was destroyed by the recent floods in the Midwest or your husband just lost his job and your mortgage is already two months past due.
God is known as the King of glory, strong and mighty in battle, and he’s able to keep you in the heat of the fire. (See Psalm 24:8.) This testimony of his goodness serves as the faithful embrace you can share with your family no matter how ardent the blaze burns around you.
The love of the Lord has no beginning and no end. God’s love encircles you and encompasses your life with streaming rays of sunshine each and every morning.
Won’t you allow His love to fill you again with radiant glory? As you do, you cast off ho-hum speech soggy with drab superficiality—and you put on glowing conversations that SHINE with heaven’s gentleness, truth, and captivating grace.
Your unfailing love, O LORD, is as vast as the heavens; your faithfulness reaches beyond the clouds. Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains, your justice like the ocean depths…How precious is your unfailing love, O God! (Psalm 36:5-7, NLT).
Jacqueline Overpeck is a freelance writer and works full time as Web Content Editor for Benny Hinn Ministries. She and her husband, Arnold, are both CLASS (Christian Leaders, Authors, and Speakers Services) graduates. They enjoy the outdoors, and traveling in their spare time with their Maltese dog, Coconut. Visit Jacqueline at www.AuthorJackieO.com.
© 2007, Jacqueline Overpeck. Used by permission. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the consent of the publisher.
Unless otherwise noted, all verses taken from the New King James Version (NKJV) of the Bible.
CBN IS HERE FOR YOU!
Are you seeking answers in life? Are you hurting?
Are you facing a difficult situation?
A caring friend will be there to pray with you in your time of need.