I have always loved to talk–ask my family, ask my husband. It is something I enjoy doing. It wasn’t until the past few years though, when the Lord began arresting my attention in this area of my life. My words were unbridled for sure and full of pride.
This is the second theme Gary Thomas shares on entering the quiet:
II. A Bridled Tongue – A wagging tongue is proof of an overly busy mind. John Climacus saw talkativeness as the antithesis of spiritual depth and maturity. “Talkativeness is the throne of vainglory on which it loves to preen itself and show off. Talkativeness is a sign of ignorance, a doorway to slander, a leader of jesting, a servant of lies, the ruin of compunction, a summoner of despondency, a messenger of sleep, a dissipation of recollection, the end of vigilance, the cooling of zeal, the darkening of prayer. Intelligent silence is the mother of prayer, freedom from bondage, custodian of zeal, a guard on our thoughts.”
It is ironic that those who talk the most often pray the least, frequently giving the excuse that they simply have no time.
The mark of a spiritual man or woman is a listening heart, not a lecturing tongue.
Wow. That quote says it all, and requires one to meditate long and hard on each point.
Do you or your spouse enjoy talking excessively?
I know this can be a touchy subject, especially if you’re the one who talks the most.
But if cultivating a quiet heart before the Lord is a priority in your life, then this subject cannot go unaddressed. God will not allow it. His still small voice cannot be heard by one who never stops long enough to listen.
I remember a season in my life when God did an amazing work in my heart. I had been away on a personal retreat. I saw things I had never seen before in my heart that needed to change. I was repentant and sincerely wanted to change. The day I was to head back home I heard God clearly speak to my heart that He didn’t want me to share any of what had happened that week with anyone else, including Tom, until He told me I could.
“What?! You mean I can’t even tell Tom?”
I was sure I had heard God because I would have never had this thought on my own. <sigh>
A sad fact, indeed. I thought Tom would press me to tell him more, but when I shared what I thought I heard God say he just smiled. He knew it was God too. <sigh, again>
I don’t remember now how long it was before I was able to tell Tom the whole story, but the point I learned was how intimate our time alone with God is. He doesn’t want us to speak of it casually. That would be likened to us speaking freely about our intimate times with our spouse with others. Just because we can doesn’t mean we should. I’ve learned to guard what happens during my quiet times with the Lord, and treat it as special as it really is.
Why not plan some time to sit down together and discuss the 11 definitions Climacus lists of talkativeness in the quote above? It may open your eyes to see things you haven’t seen before in this area of your life and marriage.
The mark of a spiritual man or woman is a listening heart, not a lecturing tongue. – Gary Thomas
“In the multitude of words sin is not lacking, but he who restrains his lips is wise.” Proverbs 10:19 NKJV