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Pass the Salt, Please!

By Miriam Norman (Doner)
September 30, 1999

“... in her tongue is the law of kindness.” (Pr. 31:26)

Scripture says we are to be as “salt.” Salt is something that lends seasoning, tang, or piquancy (pleasantly sharp, stimulating, provocative or biting); salt is a preservative and if salt has lost its savor, what good is it?

Let’s consider a few Scriptures and see if we might find some salt:

Proverbs 31:26: “She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.”
1 Peter 3:4: “Likewise, Ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear. Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting of hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto “their own husbands.”

I have always been fascinated that the word “law” is inserted in this particular verse in Proverbs 31. In verses 10-31 of this great chapter of Proverbs given to Lemuel by his queenly mother, we find descriptions of an incredible (almost unbelievable) super-woman. I appreciate the powerful emphasis on “kindness.” This woman rises early, but not according to the “law of early rising.” “Her lamp does not go out at night,” but not according to the “law of working into the night.” When we read that her speech is controlled by “the law of kindness,” the great distinction of rules of conduct appears, emphasizing how important this attribute and character quality is in a virtuous woman. Of all her godly duties and responsibilities, she is enjoined by “law” to have kindness upon her tongue. God’s law-word has so captivated her that she is legally hound to have kindness present in all her words, gulp.

But, how on earth can she do this? We know that no amount of human will power can “relieve” our fallen state. Try going on a diet; the statistics show that you might lose a few pounds, only to gain back those pounds and more! Only God can help us; only dwelling in His Word richly can restore and renew our minds. To keep this law, we must abide in Him; otherwise it is humanly impossible.

A few years ago, before I had met Sharon Sandlin (Rev. Andrew Sandlin’s wife), I had the occasion to take the Sandlin’s five children and a few other children up to the snow to play for the day. Simply for the fun of it, I asked the Sandlin kids what their mother was like. It was memorable to me that Glory and Peace (their daughters) spoke up immediately, without any hesitation, and said, “She is very kind.” Now that’s a recommendation I want on my “spiritual” resume. You may be able to fool some of the people some of the time, but you can’t fool your family. Coming from those who know you best, those are incredible, powerful, outstanding credentials! Would my family say the law of kindness is on my tongue? Would your family say you definitely keep the law of kindness faithfully?

So, how on earth can we possibly maintain this supernatural law in our fallen state?

Matthew 12:33-37: “Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit. O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things. But I say unto you. That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.”

We must have the Word of God dwelling in us richly, daily, often! Then, out of His Word hidden in our hearts, our mouths may speak kindly.

Why is it so important that a woman’s tongue he controlled by the “law of kindness”? More than anyone else, the woman “sets the tone” in the home. She is the “keeper at home” and she is vice-regent with the delegated responsibility for home management. Have you ever gone into a store at the mall, only to be so appalled at the horrible music and environment that you walked out? I have! Proverbs 17:1 tells us what sort of an environment is good to have in our homes: “Better is a dry morsel with quietness, than a house full of feasting with strife.” Proverbs 16:21-22 says; “The wise in heart shall be called prudent: and the sweetness of the lips increaseth learning. Understanding is a wellspring of life unto him that hath it: but the instruction of fools is folly. The heart of the wise teacheth his mouth, and addeth learning to his lips. Pleasant words are as an honeycomb sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.” Proverbs 21:19 teaches: “It is better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious [always ready to argue, quarrelsome] and an angry woman.” Yikes, that verse has always scared me with its directness. If you want to find God’s guidelines for a successful woman, read Proverbs 11:16: “A gracious woman retaineth honour.”

For today, let me write God’s law upon my heart and upon my lips, and may my tongue he absolutely controlled by God’s liberating Word, which encourages me to open my mouth only with kindness—which is not just a suggestion according to Proverbs 31, it’s the law. “I” will watch over my heart with all diligence, meditating, and focusing on God’s Word, so that He can cleanse me from all unrighteousness. This is a super-human feat to speak only with the “law of kindness. I need to be the first listener, listening objectively to my own words, asking myself, “is my conversation chaste (virtuous, pure, decent, restrained, modest), coupled with the absolute fear of God?”


Topics: Family & Marriage

Miriam Norman (Doner)

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