She opens her mouth with wisdom,
And the teaching of kindness is on her tongue
Hannah is such a beautiful example of a virtuous woman on several accounts. We regularly examine her prayer life and dedication to the Lord despite infertility. But as I was reading this account again today something jumped out at me. Hannah was mocked by her husband's other wife: "And her rival used to provoke her grievously to irritate her" 1 Samuel 1:6 and it goes on to say in vs. 7 that it went on "year after year." Ouch. Imagine having to live with someone who says mean things to you regularly for years.
We have all experienced pain because of the words of a person around us. Sometimes the words can dig deep and hurt for days (okay, even years), others we are able to brush off. What I love about this account with Hannah is that it does not record her retaliating with words, it records her praying and going to the Lord. There is clear pain, it talks of her not eating and weeping but along with the pain she takes it to the Lord.
I think there are two things on this topic that we can take away from this story
1)A reminder that our words can be absolutely devastating and we should choose them carefully: Proverbs 31:26 talks of a woman using her mouth for wisdom and kindness - may we always strive to be that woman.
2)When the words of others hurt us we need to take it to the Lord. The guidance, wisdom, and peace he will provide us with are exactly what we need.
Please help us to choose our words carefully. Our children, friends, family, and spouses need to hear words of wisdom and kindness just as they do from you. And when others words hurt us, remind us to turn to you in that pain and forgive freely.