Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ
I have written a short story to illustrate a point, please do not be offended by it, I am not trying to single any one sex out for their behaviour. To be honest, in my own home, I have experienced both sides of this story. I pray that you will read it with objectivity and realise that it comes from a heart that desires you to learn new things about living a life that is holy and pleasing to the Lord Jesus Christ. Thank you.
I have seen many times over the years of my marriage and observing others in their marriage how the power of our words can have either fantastic results or disastrous results.
Why would I say that, consider with me for a moment, how you speak to someone and the tone of voice that you use; the depth of emotion all determines how the other person is going to respond back to us.
I come home after a long and grueling day at work, my boss had complained about something I did or did not do, the clients that I was dealing with were none to happy and expressed that to me in a very vocal way. So by the time I got home I was physically and emotionally drained. I was done.
My wife had a strenuous day dealing with our little children, she had to play referee, break up fights, feed them, change their diapers all day, listen to the screaming for this toy or that, do the laundry, pick up the toys that the children spilt for the tenth time, and make dinner when I get home. You get the picture, I didn’t even mention half of the things that she did but she knows, and she is exhausted, tired of the kids, of the house and of me, for what reason I could not say at that moment.
I walk in the door, tired and ask what is for supper. I forgot to say hello because really all I can think of is having some food and sitting down to relax. I am done. She is also tired and replies in a less than pleasant way that she had not started it yet. I get annoyed and say to her, “well the house is a mess it does not look like you have done anything all day. Why on earth could you not do something so little as make me some dinner I am starving.”
I have worked all day and I want to eat. I storm into the kitchen, make myself a snack and go upstairs to our bedroom where I eat my snack in the peace and quiet. Have a nice long shower, lay on our bed intending on helping her with dinner, but fall asleep. I wake up about a half hour later smelling the wonderful smell of my wife’s great cooking. Ah! How I love her, I think to myself. She is making my favorite food.
Feeling all refreshed I grab some clean clothes and head down stairs. I smile sweetly at her and tell her how wonderful she is for making my favorite dinner. She makes a snide comment about how she has slaved all day. I get a little irritated but don’t respond. My children are crying and I ask her what their problem is and she says to me that “they are hungry and if I was any kind of husband or father I would know that” I am shocked, what is her problem I think to myself, I am just making conversation.
Her body language is telling me to back off but her second comment to me has sent me into a tailspin of pure annoyance. I tell her that I to have had a long hard day and I earned the money for this meal so I should be able to enjoy it without all of the attitude. Lucky for me I had moved out of the kitchen at this point as she was cutting up the tomato’s for the salad and had a knife in her hand.
We continued to cut each other down all evening; she was annoyed with my insensitivy at not helping out when I got home. To be honest I was just hungry and tired. I did not understand what the big deal was.
When we finally got into bed, as any hot blooded American male I was ready to show my wife that I still had some stamina left after the day. So I put on my best charms to win her over. I literally got the cold shoulder, she told me to back off and that when I appreciated her a little more then she would be willing to respond to me in a more positive way.
I was hurt and crushed, not understanding what had happened that evening. I felt like it was a waste of my time even coming home. Why did I bother when I got a response like that all evening? My wife on the other lay on the other side of the bed in tears which she hid. She felt totally unloved and not appreciated as a mother and a wife for any of her efforts.
How do we get out of this? It seems to be a continuous cycle.
This is an all to common scenario in marriages, why? For many reasons and I will try and discuss a couple.
You see the first thing that people who are married to need to understand is that they have the power to build up their spouse or destroy their spouse just by what they say and how they say it.
I realise that it seems like common sense but most of us often speak without giving much thought to what comes out of our mouths. There is a very wise saying that comes from the book of proverbs that says, “Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing” Proverbs 12:18
We have the choice of how we use our mouths, we have the choice to destroy the other person and tell them off and show them what we really think of them. Or our other alternative is to speak encouragement and love to someone.
Do you remember that old song that all of us would sing on the play ground, “sticks and stones will break my bones but words will never harm me”
Read that again, do those words even begin to ring true with you. No, they are a lie, words do harm and they harm for a lot longer than what we think they do.
If you think back to your childhood and think of things that people have said to you, I guarantee that you will remember more of the negative and bad things that people have said to you than any of the good. Why is that? It is because words to harm they are like a cancer to us that can eat us alive.
You are the only person that can change how you speak to other people. You are the one that is the gate keeper of all that comes out of your mouth. Think of the things that you have said to people and see where you would rate yourself. Would you rate yourself as a person who always speaks life giving encouragement to others or do you choose to tear them apart with your opinion. People who choose the latter response often justify it with; well I am just speaking the truth.
Yes we need to always speak the truth to one another but in love. In a way that would build them up and not tear them down. Now imagine if that husband had come home and recognized that he was tired, and decided instead of being self absorbed that he would hug and kiss his wife and tell her how much he appreciated her hard work at home with their children. She probably would of responded way differently. He might of even being able to persuade her a little extra loving later on.
It is all about how we speak and react to those around us. If any of this rings true to you, there is hope and you can change how you respond to those whom you love. It takes practice and determination to choose your words well.
God bless you today
Filed under: Power of the Tongue