Mark: Jill and I have the privilege of doing quite a bit of marriage mentoring. While many of those conversations pave the way to powerful breakthroughs, sometimes those conversations are tough ones and words can fly carelessly.
Jill: The Bible says that our tongue brings life or death (Proverbs 18:21). Think about this weekend…did you bring life to your marriage…or death?
Mark: When we bring death to our marriage with our words, we cause pain and create distance in our relationship.
Jill: Words are my world. As a writer and speaker, communication is what I do. Yet, in my marriage, what I’m learning is that what I DON’T say is just as important as what I DO say.
Mark: When Jill and I wrote No More Perfect Marriages, the editing process was just as important as the writing process. Words were removed, changed, and carefully reviewed to communicate with clarity.
Jill: The editing process is something also needed in marriage. Need some practical steps? Try these:
- Apologize. When the wrong words come out of your mouth, apologize and ask for forgiveness. The more you apologize, the more you’ll be motivated to stop the words before they exit your mouth.
- Step away. When you’re in the middle of conflict, step away rather than getting sucked into the emotion. Re-engage when you can respond rather than react.
- Keep it shut. Half of what we say just doesn’t need to be said. Snarky comments. Under our breath responses. Exasperated remarks. Defensive answers. Different opinions on things that just really don’t matter. Resist the urge to comment when a comment really isn’t needed.
Mark: Measuring our words requires self-control, and self-control is a fruit of the Spirit. The more God we have in us, the more we’ll have success at taming our tongue.
Jill: This is a place God is growing me. He’s teaching me to edit my words and use only the ones that really matter. I’m not getting it right all the time, but it’s definitely different than it’s been in the past!
What about you? Are you bringing life to your marriage with your words? Do you need to do any editing?
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