Words We Like to Hear

by Jan Silvious

My dad always called me "Boose"-a shortened form of baby talk for "Beautiful Baby." I loved to hear it because it was wrapped in all the love and admiration a father can give his child.

You may not have had a nickname as a child, but there are undoubtedly other words packed with meaning for you—words that elicit feelings of warmth or security or happiness.

A newspaper columnist recently invited seventy-five fourth- and fifth-graders to submit the words they most like to hear their mothers say. Here are the five big winners:

1. "I love you."

2. "Yes."

3. "Time to eat."

4. "You can go."

5. "You can stay up late."

The following were some other favorites:

"I'll help you."

"Your friend can spend the night. You can go out and play."

"You can sleep in. How was your day? You were good tonight. I'm glad I have you."

"I've got a surprise for you."

"Let's go for a walk."

"You're the best kid in the world."

"Do you want to visit Grandma?"

"I'm sorry."*

What a very special collection of words! We can be sure they will be remembered long after "Brush your teeth!" "Clean your room!" and "It's your turn to load the dishwasher!"

When I meditate on the Lord, the words I most love to hear are words of love and consolation that encourage me to be all I can be for Him:

"Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee" (Isa. 26:3).

"Being confident of this very thing, that he which heath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ" (Phil. 1:6).

"And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask anything according to his will, he heareth us" (1 John 5:14).

Listening to the kind words of the Lord today will affect our own speech and teach us how to bless others with our mouth.

From The 5-Minute Devotional, 1991, Zondervan.

*Delores Curran, Traits of a Happy Family, Winston Press, 1983.

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