Proverbs 15:1 (NIV) A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.
A married couple faced a rough patch in their relationship that led to a very painful argument. After an hour or so of slinging words at each other the wife, in frustration, said to her husband: “You never listen to me! Why don’t you ever listen to me? This is not my fault. You’re the one who is wrong and if you think I’m going to cook dinner for you tonight after your attitude you can forget it! And, you don’t have to go to church with me or the kids tomorrow! I’m tired of you hurting my feelings! You can be so mean!”
To which her husband responded: “Fine! I’d rather go out and get a burger anyway! Another night of meatloaf and your complaining is not of interest to me! You never stop talking! You never stop complaining! You’re always right or so you think! Hope you pray about that when you’re at church tomorrow!!”
As emotions intensified the couples words became more harsh and eventually, in pain and frustration, the husband angrily left to take a walk and the wife went to bed in tears—alone and hurting. Both the husband and wife were in pain and ultimately their children were impacted as well. Satan’s goal is to create chaos within a Christian marriage and family and what better way than to introduce strife than through harsh words. The Bible tells us that the tongue has the power of death and life in it and they who indulge it will eat its fruit [Proverbs 18:21].
1. Can the situation lead to strife? If so, be extra careful of your words and emotions. Ask the Lord to help you to speak words that heal and not hurt your spouse—words that speak life and not death.
2. Determine yourself to have lips that drip with honey, especially when you’re both facing a challenge in your marriage. Pause and pray so that you’re not led by your emotions but rather by your desire to please God and to bless your mate and your children.
3. Will our reactions and words be pleasing to God who is the One here with us? And if you have children, ask yourself if it’s worth the pain your children will feel if they witness or hear harsh words between the two of you?
Words can hurt very deeply and the wounds can be long standing. Once the words pass the lips there’s no retracting the power they carry–power to build up or power to tear down. We must own our words and be careful with the use of our tongue especially when we’re speaking to those whom we love. To help us to live this in a manner that’s pleasing to God and will bless our marriages, listed below are three scriptures that I recommend for memorization so that when you and your spouse are faced with a challenge you’ll be reminded of the power of your words.
Proverbs 15:4 (AMP) A gentle tongue [with its healing power] is a tree of life, but willful contrariness in it breaks down the spirit.
Proverbs 21:23 (AMP) He who guards his mouth and his tongue keeps himself from troubles.
Song of Solomon 4:11 (AMP) Your lips, O my [promised] bride, drop honey as the honeycomb; honey and milk are under your tongue.
Problems in marriage will arise, but when our lips drip with honey in the day-to-day we’ll be more apt to use words that will bring swift and loving resolve to the matter; words that won’t stir up strife but rather stir up love between the two of you. Now, take a moment and go say something warm, loving and caring to your spouse so you can practice using words that drip with honey! Pray for both of you to speak words that edify each other and your covenant. God hears and He cares!