In marriage, our words can bring life or death to our relationship. Our choice of words and the tone they are delivered with invest in or tear apart our marriage. Today’s Marriage Monday is on the power of our words.
Seventeen years ago, when I had to look at what I was contributing to our hurting relationship, I had to look at the words I was speaking to Mark and the way I was speaking those words. My words and my tone of voice were critical and judgmental and they were wounding my husband deeply. It’s taken me many years to turn that around, because I’ve had to work from the inside out to make a complete change in this area.
Words of encouragement is my love language. Words are very important to me. And critical words are especially wounding to me. Jill’s critical words would cut me to the core.
I’ve come to learn that words start in our heart, then move to our head, and eventually exit our mouth. In order to turn from giving critical words we have to start from the inside out. For instance:
Heart—the sin of pride sets in when I feel my way is the only right way.
Head—I begin to think prideful and judgmental thoughts like “Why can’t he ever get it right?”
Mouth—“Mark, do I have to show you how to do everything?”
When I tried to deal with my critical words with self-control, it was always short-lived. You see self-control is a fruit of the spirit. It happens naturally when God’s Spirit is living in our heart. However, the pride in my heart was leaving little room for the Spirit. It wasn’t until I dealt with the pride in my heart….calling it what it was–a sin–and asking God for forgiveness…that I was actually able to stop the critical words. That’s what making a change from the inside out looks like.
The Bible has alot to say about our words. Here is God’s truth for our lives:
- “Pride leads to conflict.” Proverbs 13:10
- “Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” Proverbs 12:18
- “The tongue has the power of life and death.” Proverbs 18:21
- “Watch your words and hold your tongue; you’ll save yourself a lot of grief.” Proverbs 21:23
- “What you say flows from what is in your heart.” Luke 6:45
What about you? Where have you seen words bring life or death to your relationship? What if you were to choose to fast from critical words for a week? What do you think might be the result?
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Oh Jill, this is very timely for my sharp little tongue to quietly sit through and read. My husband has been off work for over a year now due to 4 back surgeries in 18 months. I've been working a day job plus a night job and it has been very difficult. When I'm asked questions I know he already knows the answer to, by my reaction one would think he asked me to get a 3rd job. It makes so much sense though to ask God to forgive me for the pride in my heart. I know he's been down about not being able to provide for his family and I just make matters worse, by choice. Thank you both for really making me think and seek God in my desire to treat Gene with the respect he deserves. It helped reading a guys view too.
Thank you both!
Lelia, Thank YOU for letting God touch your heart on this. That's the real victory here!