What we say matters. Growing up, many of us heard the saying “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” Based on our experience as adults, we know this is a lie. (Click on the title to read the complete post.)
What we say matters. Growing up, many of us heard the saying “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” Based on our experience as adults, we know this is a lie. What we say to someone else does impact them, and it can build them up or tear them down. Here are a couple of Bible verses that support this:
The soothing tongue is a tree of life, but a perverse tongue crushes the spirit. (Proverbs 15:4)
With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. (James 3:9)
Words also reveal what’s in our hearts (and minds), as confirmed by Jesus in this passage:
But the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart, and these defile them. (Matthew 15:18)
If we are honest with ourselves, even in those times when we say that we didn’t mean to say what we did, there was something in our mind or heart that was underneath what we spoke. We may not say exactly what we want to or in the way we want to, but there is something going on inside us that reflects everything we speak. So, it is important that we choose our words wisely.
What we say to our spouse is probably more important than what we say to anyone else. Our spouse is our chosen partner for life, the one we have decided to be with. As a husband, it is my responsibility to build up my wife with my words (and actions). I have heard that it takes 5 to 8 positive words to overcome the hurt caused by one negative word spoken to someone else. So, to avoid operating at a continual deficit, speak life. Choose to speak positive words to your spouse.
As you go throughout your day, pay attention the words you speak, especially to your spouse. Are they mostly positive, building up, or are they mostly negative, tearing down? Make an adjustment, if needed, so that the words you speak are uplifting, and see how it impacts the health of your marriage!
Note: Scripture verses are from the New International Version, unless otherwise indicated.