“Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.” (Col. 4:6)
For the most part, spoken words will always say something, though there are occasionally times when spoken words really say nothing. The simple reality is that much more is said by how we speak than by what we speak. This is never more of an issue than in the context of marriage where communication will either make or break the relationship.
Dogs are great when it comes to illustrating this point. Your dog loves to sit in front of you feeling like the top dog in the neighborhood. He has that distinct canine smile on his face and his tail is wagging excitedly. That continues until you get a glare in your eye, a snarl in your voice, and you start shaking your fist at him as you growl, “You are the most wonderful dog in the world!” Does he under-stand what you are saying? You better believe it, although what you really said was different from what you thought you said. That probably explains why Fido runs and hides every time you walk into the room during the next week. You see, things like facial expressions, tone of voice, and bodily gestures have a tendency to say even more than the words that were used. They convey feelings and attitudes that are often very different from the actual words that were used. The lesson is so clear—we need to say the right words, but they need to be said in the right way. If the dog that is your pet is this sensitive to how you speak, certainly the lady who is your wife is very sensitive as well.
How sad that many of us as men spoke to our wives better before we were married than we do after we were married. We were so polite, considerate, and gentle, but now we give little thought to what we are saying to her when we just load up our tongue and let it fly!
That is why a verse like Col. 4:6 is so important. It emphasizes the need for kindness, meaningfulness, and appropriateness when we speak. These qualities will enable us to say what we want and need to say without doing verbal damage to our marriage relationship.
Refusing to be physically abusive to your wife is commendable, and yet many men are verbally abusive causing almost as much harm. Beware that you don’t beat up your wife with your tongue even though you would never beat her up with your fist. As a husband, you need to determine with God’s help to always communicate well with your wife, not just in what you say, but in how you say it.
A Scriptural Prayer:
Take your Bible and look up Ps. 19:14 and Ps. 141:3. Mark both verses in your Bible. Now copy them on a 3×5 card and carry that card with you for the next 7 days. Each morning, pray through these verses and ask God to help you apply them specifically in your communication with your wife.
This chapter was written by Evangelist Tom Palmer.
This chapter was taken from The Extraordinary Husband.
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