Where Seldom is Heard a Discouraging Word

ALT="a home on the range near mountains"

By Davalynn Spencer @davalynnspencer

How many discouraging words have you heard lately?

Probably more than a few.

Last week as my heart strings twanged from someone’s negative feedback, I was reminded of how powerful words are to hurt or heal. Immediately a line from the chorus of an old Western tune rang in:

“Where seldom is heard a discouraging word …”

The song, “Home on the Range” is an iconic ballad of the American West, written in the 1800s, sung by cowboys on the Chisholm Trail and elsewhere, and popularized by silver-screen heroes such as Gene Autry. (Check this link for Autry’s rendition.)

As children, many of us were taught to deflect painful words with an old rhyme,

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.

How untrue!

Sticks and stones may break our bones, but words can slice us to ribbons.

Words build up and tear down, and it’s a whole lot easier to tear down a house than to build one.

Today, discouraging words are destroying marriages. Like little drops of acid, over time they corrode once-loving foundations until nothing is left.

Young people are more and more devastated by unkind remarks on social media. Those fiery darts—not even arrows, just darts—devastate their developing characters and sense of worth.

God knows the power of our words and He has a lot to say about them. Here’s an interesting list of scriptures about kind words

One of my favorite passages describes pleasant words like a honeycomb: “sweet to the soul and healing to the bones” (Prov. 16:24).

This week, may we choose our words wisely, and make our homes a refuge where “seldom is heard a discouraging word.”

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ALT="An Improper Proposal"


The words snagged her heart and drew blood as quickly as the thorn had from her finger.  

~An Improper Proposal






(c) 2017 Davalynn Spencer, all rights reserved. 

2 thoughts on “Where Seldom is Heard a Discouraging Word

  1. Words have always been more powerful than sticks, or stones. Words can shred and kill. I read somewhere that it takes 7-10 positive phrases to erase 1 negative phrase. I’ve been in situations where that is true, and proven over and over.
    Thank you for this.

    1. davalynn

      You are right, Jennifer. It takes an avalanche of kind words to obliterate one scathing remark.


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