(Originally posted on August 21, 2014)
I love words and how they have power to help us understand our marriage. Most of us don’t give much thought to the words we use and why. But we should. Words reveal. Words have power. Words linger in the air of your relationship long after they’ve been spoken. And they can cause more damage than we know, and more health than we realize.
It matters what we say and how we say it.
I remember when I was homeschooling our children we were using an English curriculum that required my kids to diagram sentences starting in 3rd grade. This was something I never had to do, and it fascinated me. It proved there was structure to something for which I had never given much thought. Wow. I see now how foolish I was to never give thought to the words that came out of my mouth.
A fool‘s mouth is his ruin, and his lips are a snare to his soul. Proverbs 18:7 ESV
Sentence structure may be boring to you, but taking a closer look at the words that come out of our mouth will help us discover if we’re being wise or foolish in our communication with our spouse. Most of you reading this post are familiar with the following verses:
For we all stumble in many ways. And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body. If we put bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we guide their whole bodies as well. Look at the ships also: though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. James 3: 2 – 5 ESV
How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire!
Can you imagine there being a fire in your home and you doing nothing to extinguish the flames? Worse, can you imagine if you were the one to start the fire in the first place? It would be scandalous, yet when we choose “fighting words” we are doing this very thing.
I recently read a post about the Verbs Of Your Life on a Pastor’s Heart blog, and it got me thinking…What verbs are active in your marriage right now.
Verbs are action words. They reveal what we’re currently doing. By making a list of our verbs it will help us see if we’re being positive or negative towards our spouse, our marriage, and ultimately our life.
Here is a short list of some verbs that could reveal hot spots in your marriage:
On the other hand your list may include verbs that reveal what you’re doing right:
Our words matter.
Practical Application: We encourage you to plan a night where you and your spouse can take some time and discuss the verbs in your marriage right now. Be honest. Honesty is like a fire extinguisher on the hot spots of your marriage, IF you’re saying those words with love and tender-care. Being honest just to dump on your spouse is not loving, and it lacks care. It’s much easier to do as the song says and “say what you need to say,” without considering how you should say it.
Here’s a quick tip: Share your heart with your spouse in the way you would want them to share with you.
“So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 7:12 ESV