We have all heard it said that words can kill or words can give life. I think we feel that most when we are receiving words or perceiving them from others. I would like to think that I actually think through what I say before I say it, but upon reflection, I think that I assess words more when I am the recipient of them than when I am speaking them.
God has been writing this post on my heart for the last week and confirming it everywhere I turn. We all know that the words we speak have impact. Big impact. On a communication level, it is not hard to see. How we speak to our spouse tells them how we feel about them. Because of that, we are often challenged to speak kindly--to make sure we think before we speak and to seek forgiveness and apologize when we didn’t use the best words or tone.
Words are so much more than that.
Words are life.
Words have breath.
Words are the link between life and death.
No matter how good or how challenging things are in marriage, we can all choose to speak life into our marriage. I have had the blessing of hearing many marriage stories. I know our own marriage story. And because of that, I know it is hard at times to speak life.
Proverbs 18:21 says:
The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences.
Choosing to speak life into your marriage is much more than watching your tongue and seeking to speak nice words to your spouse. Those things are great and much needed-- continue to do them! What I am challenging you to is a bit different.
My challenge to you is to speak life into your marriage every day.
Surround Yourself with Marriage-Positive People
Many of us have friends in all walks of life. Yet, who we choose to talk marriage with, greatly impacts how we think about our marriage. When you need to talk marriage, choose a couple or a group of couples that are marriage-positive and will uplift you. While being real, they will pray with you and challenge you as well as celebrate the victories with you.
If you have a group of the same sex that you meet with, be intentional about who you share the inner most parts of your marriage with. I have a wonderful group of ladies who I can always talk to about my marriage. I know it is safe and that they won’t allow me to be harsh about my hubby. They will also listen and challenge me.
Who do you talk marriage with and are they marriage positive?
Build Up Your Spouse
I have seen in the past 2 years of our marriage, how much my words of encouragement and affirmation can bless my husband. He is empowered, and knows that I am right there beside him. Proud to be his wife, proud of who he is, proud of how he looks--he rocks! I seek to be his biggest cheerleader.
That does not mean that we are never frustrated with one another. It simply means that one of my highest callings in life is being his wife. That means serving and loving my hubby only second to God.
If you don’t speak life into that amazing man God has given you, who will?
Speak Life into Yourself
It’s really hard to speak life into your marriage when you aren’t speaking it into your own life. When you feel unworthy and speak down to yourself, it will pour over into your marriage. I know that self-worth is hard for many people. Yet it is hard to feel good about our marriage, to see life in it, when we don’t see those things in our self.
There is no easy way to “fix” this other than seeking out the Father and basking in His love for you. Allow him to fill you up and seek to see yourself as He sees you!
Easy, no! Life changing, yes!
When Troubles Come, and They Will . . . Speak Life!
It is so easy to look at hard times as all-encompassing. It can be easy to have a discouraged and defeated attitude, an attitude that often comes out in our words. When we allow ourselves to be pulled in to this type of thinking, the enemy is pleased.
Speaking good things over your marriage, truth and love, will give life. Will it make all of your problems go away? No, it won’t. But that is not really the point. The point is words. God has gifted us with a tongue and words. They can either give life or bring destruction.
Say This / Not That!
Choose to say: “we will work through this” rather than “I don’t see any way through this”
Choose to say: “I love my husband/wife and know that God desires good in our marriage. I will not stop trying and seeking for us to grow through this” rather than “I love my husband/wife, but I have tried everything and see no change.”
Choose to say: “God is for our marriage not against it. Anything that says otherwise is not of God!” rather than “Maybe God is punishing me!”
Father God, I look to you today for words of life to speak aloud to and about my spouse, my marriage, and my self. Would you help me to hear some of the good things You are saying about my spouse today? I want to think like you think about him/her and about our marriage. Amen.
To read more from Kate Aldrich, check out her wonderful marriage blog, One Flesh Marriage. You'll also find more encouragement for your marriage in our Marriage Monday section.
When you bless our marriage, you bless your children!