We emotional females sometimes remember feelings better than we remember details. I remember how I felt one time when I complimented a young woman in front of her mother. Her mother quickly minimized what I said. I don’t remember the compliment or the mother’s exact words, but I remember how my heart sank when I heard her clear sentiment: “Oh, that’s not so special.”
I love to hear someone compliment my children and grandchildren. I don’t want to water it down or negate it. I’m sure I have messed up on this, but I try to show pleasure on my face and I often add a compliment of my own.
Imagine this scenario involving a little child:
Complimenter: “You are such a good helper for your mama!”
Mama or Grandmama: “Yes, she certainly is and she does it so cheerfully.”
That just seems better to me than, “Yes, but you should see her when she’s tired. Whew! Everybody better watch out!”
I believe that adding another compliment to the one just given blesses both the person who gave a compliment and the person who received it. The person making the compliment is affirmed. When someone offers a compliment, the last thing I need to say is, “Oh, you don’t know what you’re talking about. She’s not really all that great. What is wrong with your perception of reality, Lady?”
The person receiving the compliment is also affirmed: “You just received a well-deserved compliment and I want you to know that I agree whole-heartedly! Way to go! You are really special.”
Words are precious. Your children are hanging on them and they’ll keep on hanging on them for years to come. We long to hear our Heavenly Father say, “Well, done.” We long to hear our mamas and daddies say it, too.
Even if this has not been your pattern in the past, today is the day to begin. If compliments have been a bit skimpy at your house, hurry up and see how many hearts you can fill with sincere, well-thought-out words of encouragement and affirmation! What a gift!
Therefore encourage one another
and build up one another,
just as you also are doing.
1 Thessalonians 5:11, NASB