For You From The Word
Set a guard over my mouth, O Lord; keep watch over the door of my lips. (Psalm 141:3, NIV)
For You To Think About
Figuring out what to say in response may be a lot easier than knowing what not to say.
One temptation you may face with those in crisis is the desire to jump in and “fix” her problem. You may use words like “You should …” or “I know how you feel …”
Neither statement is true, no matter however well-meaning. “Shoulds” are blanket solutions that may or may not be right for everyone. And while you may know why she has certain feelings (you may relate from personal experience), you cannot thoroughly know what she is experiencing. Both these sets of words are shared from your point of view.
When emotions are high, a woman’s greatest needs are to be heard and to feel heard. Use words that approach her situation from her point of view instead, not yours.
Let her be heard. Reflect back to her what she shared. “I hear you saying … Did I understand you correctly?”
Let her feel heard. Acknowledge her feelings as consistent with the situation. “I can see why this is overwhelming … It is a difficult situation for sure …”
This kind of language focuses on the effect of the situation on her. She will feel she is heard when you affirm what she has expressed.
For You To Pray
Give me words to say to a pregnant woman that affirm her and her feelings. Set a guard over my mouth when I may be tempted to use words that share my point of view. Let me focus on her needs.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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