Words are exchanged everyday. Whether written in a note to remind your husband to take the trash out or said aloud to a child to encourage him or her to eat their vegetables. Words are one of the basic forms of communication... and words matter!
Jesus expounds upon the importance of words in Matthew 12:33-37:
“Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit. You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him. But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.”
Jesus teaches that the words we speak come from what is in our hearts. For example, if we are harboring bitterness or anger towards our spouse, than when we respond towards them our words will reveal those emotions. Likewise, if we are joyful and appreciative, we tend to share words of affirmation and love.
Have you ever been aware of this happening in your marriage?
I realized that when I feel discontent about our circumstance, my heart feels the weight of anxiety. When given the opportunity to speak to my husband, I will snap at him, I am short with him, and often times my comments to him are biting. On some occasions I bring things up as a way to hurt my husband, motivated by the thought that he should hurt as I am hurting. As my words affect my husband, tension in our relationship ensues. My actions are not ok. I repent of how I use my words to manipulate just to get a point across.
The Holy Spirit is also revealing to me that my words towards my husband and his words towards me will have an affect on our child. Over time our actions will teach our son examples of behaviors that will determine how our son responds to others. This motivates both of us to work on what words we use and how we use them.
Our words matter.
Not just our words, but how we present our words matter. The tone in our voice, the posture of our body language, and the attitude behind our words all matter.
Jesus continues by telling us that everyone will be accountable for their own words. Our words matter because they will be judged.
Before our words change, our hearts need to change, and only Jesus can help us transform our hearts. So when you notice that your heart is holding onto negativity, frustration, bitterness, or anger, go to God first, asking God to help you change your heart. As you pursue righteousness in this way, your words will reflect a heart after God’s heart and that is powerful!
Our marriages and the legacy we establish will be affected by our words. I hope this reminder that our words matter encourages all of us to understand the responsibility we have as a spouse and as parent to be aware of our words, including our tones, body language, and attitude.
“The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” - Proverbs 18:21
“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” - Ephesians 4:29
Please read James 3, Psalm 19:14, Colossians 3:8, Proverbs 12:18 for more Biblical teaching on words.
- Jennifer Smith, www.unveiledwife.com