Here's an excerpt from today's Marriage Memo.
The Power of Words
By Dave Boehi
I was out walking in my neighborhood this morning, and for the first five minutes I was lost in thought about a challenge I was facing. Or perhaps it's more accurate to say that I was in the dumps wishing I didn't have to deal with it at all. I felt tense and irritable.
I passed a man who was dragging some trash out to the end of his driveway, and I nodded hello. Then he made a simple comment that changed my day: "Beautiful morning for a walk, isn't it?"
"Sure is," I replied automatically. "It's perfect."
Then I looked around and thought, "This is a beautiful morning." The temperature was a refreshing 65 degrees not too hot or cold. No wind. It was quiet enough to hear birds chirping everywhere.
My mood totally changed, and I began rejoicing in the day God had given me. I didn't come up with any solutions to the issue that troubled me, but I felt differently about it.
In fact, I've been in a positive mood ever since. And it all started when a complete stranger said something positive.
It reminded me of the power of our words. Using that power for good is one of the most critical challenges of married life.
The Bible often speaks of the power of the "tongue," and the difficulty of controlling it. Look at James 3:5-10:
So also the tongue is a small part of the body, and yet it boasts of great things. See how great a forest is set aflame by such a small fire! And the tongue is a fire, the very world of iniquity; the tongue is set among our members as that which defiles the entire body, and sets on fire the course of our life, and is set on fire by hell. For every species of beasts and birds, of reptiles and creatures of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by the human race. But no one can tame the tongue; it is a restless evil and full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the likeness of God; from the same mouth come both blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be this way."
Each day, you and your spouse decide how you will talk to each other. Will you build each other up with your words, or tear each other down? How will you speak to each other in public, and in private? What words will you use as you work through conflict?