The Power of Words in Our Marriages

David Jeremiah: I remember when I was sitting among a group of people, getting ready to strategize some areas of ministry, when a woman walked over to the table and said to her husband who was sitting with us, ‘We have a babysitter tonight, so we may need to leave soon.’ To which the husband turned and said these words, ‘If you want to go home now, then why don’t you just walk.’ I was stunned. Everything in that moment came to a screeching halt. I couldn’t believe my ears. This conversation happened years ago, but I can still remember every detail as if it happened yesterday. I remember the shock and awe of his words to his wife. I remember her face as it became downcast instantly. I remember the entire moment and how it made me feel. And then I realized, if I can still ‘experience that moment’, still feel the hurt for that woman, how in this world did it make her feel? How deeply did it hurt her own heart? If you speak in such abusive and debasing ways to your spouse, then your very language can destroy your marriage. Song of Solomon teaches that the ‘language’ we use in our marriages is extremely critical. To privately and publicly praise our spouse is paramount to experiencing biblical marriage. If you have issues with your spouse, privately discuss them, but do not bring those issues out into the public through berating or condescending language. Nothing can destroy a marriage more, emotionally and mentally, than verbal hits to the heart. It’s abuse.

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As I listened to David Jeremiah preach his message, I found myself so thankful that he “went there.” He addressed the truth of the power of words in our marriages. How we speak to each other is so very important. Verbal abuse is just as real as physical. Whoever said, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me,” came up with a cliche’ that is a fallacy.  It certainly is not based on Truth. The words we say ARE paramount in our relationships! Words are unavoidable. They are a part of our day to day life. We say words, hear words, and we wear words. The ones we tend to wear are the ones we felt the most. Words hold power and what we do with them, IS the language of our heart and our homes.

Folks who know Rip and I know that we intentionally make a point to speak words of praise, affirmation, adoration and just enjoy some good o’ flirting with each other DAILY. Why? Because we’ve been “there.” We know the impact of words that hurt. We know the impact of words that heal, too. We know what kindness feels like, and we know the blow of verbal punches to the heart.  He and I know just how POWERFUL words really are in relationships! We know first hand the reality of unbridled “language.”  But we also both know the fruit of this one verse in a marriage:  “Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.” Psalm 19:14 –

Gary Smalley: If a man truly wants to communicate with his wife, he must enter her world of emotions.

That is really where all “love languages” begin. Our emotions. Gary Chapman has written a book titled, “The 5 Love Languages” where he breaks down the realities of “how we feel and show love” – in 5 unique ways, or 5 unique languages. Dr. Gary Chapman’s proven approach to showing and receiving love helps others experience deeper and richer levels of intimacy – emotional intimacy.

If a husband is unwilling or not capable of entering his wife’s world of emotions, then the ability to effectively and intimately communicate with her is simply not possible. The same with her. She needs to be willing and able to understand her husband, his desires, his “bents” and enter into his world at his greatest point of need.

Jesus is relational, and He is not relational in a mechanical or robotic way. His love language is not performed or forced or lacking intimacy/lacking emotion. Jesus loves us emotionally! His full emotions are involved in how He loves us … intimately. When anyone is not experiencing relationships to an emotional level, then they are not experiencing “relationships” as God created them.

Rip and I are around couples all the time and one thing we both notice is body language. We notice the way men and women communicate though holding hands, touching tenderly, sitting beside each other, giving each other eye contact, etc. It’s just something we’ve always noticed.

When Rip and I go to a restaurant, the hostess always places the menus across from each other. It’s how they are trained I guess…to put the menus across one another when it’s a table for two. But we simply slide into the booth side by side and bring the menus together. One evening, as we made our way to the booth and I slid in, (only for Rip to follow right behind me), the waitress said, “Oh, you’re one of those couples!” And she smiled as wide as the room! It’s a body language that (to believe it or not) folks notice…and seems to be a blessing to them, too.

We also recognize clearly those couples who love each other over all other relationships on earth. And the one thing that always stands out to us is this – the absence of dominance. Neither “he or she” is trying to overpower the other. Neither “he or she” has a competitive spirit or subtle condescending ways. Neither “he or she” tries play down or criticize the other. Instead, we quickly pick up on a servant-spirit of equality, a kindred spirit, and a very alluring like-mindedness. They may be highly unique in personality and preferences, but there is this peaceful presence with them that always speaks …. love.

True biblical love.

An Agape love.

An emotional love.

An intimate love.

A God love!

For God is love!

There is this glaringly obvious unconditional, sacrificing, serving and supplying love that just seems to ooze the love of Jesus Christ in and through their relationship. And it’s what we believe God describes (in poetic beauty and detail) in the book of Song of Solomon.

I guess I’m writing about this today because, well, it’s not very often that you hear an international pastor on the radio very pointedly explain that the WORDS of our mouth hold the potential to murder and adulterate a heart. To debase and ultimately destroy a marriage. He actually was courageous enough to use the word DESTROY.

Pornography, addictions, selfishness, betrayal, lusts, and unfaithfulness that is not repented of, we clearly understand holds the potential to destroy marriage. But “words?” Did he actually preach on the power of our words that can crushingly destroy relationships? He did and he biblically supported each of his truths.

You want to decorate your home? Bring beautiful treasures into the walls and halls of your home? Then begin with your words. Begin bringing beauty into your home by speaking love – There is no other language in all the world that transforms a heart and a home, more than the language of love.

If you have read all this, … thank you. This one issue is so huge to Rip and I because we both know the pain and wounds of ungodly/unloving words – but praise Jesus, we also know the healing and the wholeness that godly/loving words bring into a person’s life!

So…

Please chose your words carefully. Please chose your language to your spouse intentionally. And please meditate on the Word of God so that your heart is FULL of His love language. So, when you open your mouth, it will be the overflow of your heart that has been filled with the Father’s love, grace, mercy, compassion and forgiveness.

His Word is just that powerful … to enlarge the heart and to enlighten the mind so that the language of our marriage is heavenly. From a wise mind comes wise speech, and in marriage that wisdom is so often in the form of: 1) listening, 2) encouraging, 3) praising, 4) supporting, 5) persuading, and 6) forgiving. Scripture says whoever has gracious speech will have the king as a friend. Our words may not always be perfect and fluffed up with eloquence, we may (from time to time) say something we wish we hadn’t or wish we had said something that could have made such a difference. But if we hide His Word in our heart, then our own speech will be a more “touching” language … touching our spouses with much more intimacy. Touching our spouses on an emotional level.

Proverbs 16:23 – From a wise mind comes wise speech; the words of the wise are persuasive.

Proverbs 22:11 Whoever loves a pure heart and gracious speech will have the king as a friend.

Be inspired today to watch your words. Literally watch them. Choose them wisely and then watch how they impact and touch the life of your spouse. How they touch the lives of your children, your friends and family, and yes, even those folks the Lord will put right in your path today!

The Lord values Words. He has inspired an entire book full! So let the Word do the work, and then watch expectantly to what those Words will do…after all, they sure can’t return to Him empty. Right?

I love you!
(read those words 3 x out loud again and let them echo the heart of God towards you.)

I love you!
(read those words 3x out loud again and let them echo my heart for you, too!)

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Lisa Rippy

I’m Lisa Rippy, a happily married woman to my wonderful Rip. We have 5 children and we live right outside of Madison, MS. For as long as I can remember, I’ve always had a love for all things “homey” from decorating, simplifying, remodeling, organizing and simply turning a house into a "Home Sweet Home." My passion is helping families live the life they long for in the interior of their hearts and homes. It all requires thought, planning and work that Rip and I both love to do! But if there is anything at all I can do to help you and your home life, please reach out to me. Nothing would thrill me more than to inspire YOUR heart and home!

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