Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad. (Prov 12:25)
The weight of anxiety can affect life at home. This weight comes to settle on big and little shoulders for a variety of reasons: an upcoming test at school, problems on the playground, a job-performance review, an impending business trip, an unpleasant confrontation, sickness, financial strain—these weights are real and carrying them can be difficult.
When our hearts are weighed down, it’s easy to “take it out” on the people we love the most. Throughout the day, at school or at work, we may do a pretty good job of balancing the weight and keeping our spirits under control… until we get home. Then, we find it all too easy to be grumpy, mean, and hurtful with our families.
Anxiety in a man’s heart may weigh him down, but “a good word makes him glad.”
- Dads: it was a long day. What about deliberately reflecting on “a good word” before you open the front door?
- Moms: it was a long day. What about intentionally taking a moment to pray for patience before the chaos of the evening has the opportunity to hit critical mass?
- Teenagers: it was a long day. What about carefully checking your attitude before your interaction with Mom and Dad takes a negative turn?
- Kids: it was a long day. What about looking for little ways you could help out and pick up after yourself before things get crazy around the house?
If we’re honest with ourselves, our loved ones aren’t to blame for most of the strain that can easily follow us home each evening. No doubt, stress is real, but it shouldn’t be the biggest influence our families feel night after night. God is bigger than our worries and responsibilities. His Word is full of “good words” that can put our anxieties into perspective. Prayer is an invaluable way of prepping our minds to act and react as we should. Counting our blessings can improve the attitudes that flow from our hearts, even when our hearts feel weighed down by various circumstances.
When anxiety and stress is threatening to negatively impact life at home, let’s remember the power “good words” can have. Let’s be a source of “good words” at home. Let’s make sure the biggest influence felt night after night is the God-shaped influence of thankful hearts.
For discussion: What is anxiety? What sort of things make you feel anxious, stressed, or scared? How can those things feel like a weight on your heart? Why do we sometimes treat each other in less than helpful ways when we’re stressed? What sort of “good words” can we remind ourselves of to make the most of our time together as a family? What’s one blessing you’re especially thankful for today?