“A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.” Proverbs 25:11 (NKJV)
The Five Love Languages
Bill, a 41-year-old husband and dad with two kids, died recently. Like many of us, he didn’t always stop to tell his wife he loved her before turning in for the night. But those were the last words she heard from his lips, “Honey, I love you.” She will treasure those words the rest of her life. There is great peace that comes in knowing that the last words they spoke to each other were positive, caring words.
When is the last time you went to bed angry at your spouse, or one of your children, or even a friend?
Be Careful What You Say
Let the words that come from your mouth be words of encouragement and sincere love for your spouse. Let him or her know every day that you really love and appreciate them. Many times a word fitly spoken can be just what your spouse needs.
Be Careful How You Say It
It is proven that 95 % of all friction in life is caused by tone of voice. You mean it is not what I say, but “how” I say it? Exactly. If we would heed the words of Proverbs 25:11 and find a “word fitly spoken” we would see less conflict in all arenas of our lives.
If I have to stop and think of what I want to say, and have to plan how to say it, I can avoid arguments. As a couple, we have learned the hard way! Seriously, it is so important that we think how what we say will be received by our spouse.
Many times a person says something unkind because they have been wounded or are dealing with some kind of personal struggle. Listen “between the lines” for what he or she might really be saying. Ask, “Can I help you, or is there something you want to talk to me about?”
What if when something is wrong in our relationship with our mate we simply looked at them and said, “Honey, something is wrong. If I have offended you, first, please forgive me, and second, please tell me what it is so that I can correct whatever it is.” Wow! The problem is that many times we open our mouths, instead of examining our hearts for wrong motives, impurities, or selfishness.
Keep the Slate Clean
Have you heard the joke about the couple who said they had never gone to bed mad at one another? The truth is that they had never gone to bed upset with each other, but they had stayed up several nights in a row! It is so hard to feel that you are always “right” with your partner. We must always be willing to ask forgiveness.
You can be the strong one who is able to tell your mate that you care enough to risk what it takes to make things right. Ask yourself, “What can I do or say today that will allow me to live with no regrets”? I want to give good things to those I care about — how about you?
When You Mess Up, Admit It
Be the first person to say, “Will you please forgive me? I was so wrong.” Go on to say, “What can I do to help resolve this?”
Think about what you want in your relationship. Most of us respond to kindness. We respond to someone who cares about us and how we feel. Before you get into a “discussion” as some of our friends call it, simply say, “Lord, help me to be kind in what I say and how I say it.” He will help you!
“Lord, set up a guard for my mouth; keep watch at the door of my lips.” Psalm 141:3 (HCSB)
JB & Shugie Collingsworth travel around the country, coaching churches and couples on how to build strong marriages. Their ministry is based in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex.