Which way are your words steering your marriage?
Your words have the power to build up or tear down. Nowhere is that truer than in your marriage.
The Bible compares the tongue to the rudder of a mighty ship. Small as it is, it has great power to determine the direction of even the largest vessels.
And the same with mighty ships, though they are massive and driven by fierce winds, yet they are steered by a tiny rudder at the direction of the person at the helm. And so the tongue is a small part of the body yet it carries great power!James 3:4-5a, (TPT)
Likewise, the words you speak to and about your spouse will determine the future course of your relationship. If you want to build lasting intimacy and connection in your marriage, learn to be intentional with your words. Here are a few ways to speak life to your spouse.
Be your spouse’s biggest cheerleader. Let him or her know you believe in them. When they are feeling discouraged, remind them of the Lord’s goodness and faithfulness. Speak the Word to one another, especially Scriptures containing promises and truths about who God is.
One of my main goals as a husband is to help ensure that Jenni walks in her true identity and that she doesn’t get sidelined by lies about who she is or isn’t. Jenni does the same for me. Make it your job to know who your spouse is – who heaven says he or she is – and to remind them regularly of the truth of their identity.
Whether words of affirmation are one of your spouse’s primary love languages or not, everyone needs affirmation. Husbands, help your wife’s body image battle by paying her a sincere compliment on her appearance at least daily. Wives, your husband wants to know he is your hero and that you are proud of him and the way he works hard to provide for your family (assuming he is the primary bread-winner).
Cultivate an atmosphere of honor and respect in your marriage. Don’t confuse honor with approval. Honor has less to do with behavior and more to do with a person’s inherent worth, identity, and eternal value. Honor values forgiveness and freedom rather than bitterness and control. Honor and grace go hand in hand.
Intimacy reaches its pinnacle when you both allow yourselves to be fully known and respond to one another with unconditional love and grace. Intimacy requires us to be “naked without shame.” Allow yourself to be known by speaking about what is happening in your heart and mind. Confess your struggles and celebrate your triumphs. Talk about what the Lord is saying to you and what he is doing in your life. Be intentionally present and engaged with your spouse throughout the day.
Whatever you focus on grows. When you purposefully find things about your spouse and marriage to be thankful for, those things take on a bigger space in your heart and head. Thank each other for the things you do around the house that often get taken for granted.Thank your spouse for loving you well and for the little acts of kindness they show you.
The Words You Choose Not To Speak
Just as important as the words you speak are the words you choose not to speak. Strive to be self-aware enough to know when you are reacting instead of responding. When you are tempted to react in frustration or anger, pause before you speak to give your emotions time to calm. While you can ask forgiveness when you do strike out at your spouse, you can’t “un-say” the things you’ve said. Learn not to sweat the small stuff. Before complaining or approaching your spouse, ask yourself if it really matters that much. Choose to let some things go.
Let no unwholesome word proceed out of your mouth, but only that which is good for building up, that it may give grace to the listeners.Ephesians 4:29 (NIV)
Your words have great power. They will affect the direction of your marriage and establish the atmosphere in your relationship.
Proverbs 18:21 says it point-blank. “Death and life are in the power of the tongue.” Choose words of life.
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio