In Summary
  • Be careful what you say. You can say something hurtful in ten seconds, but ten years later, the wounds are still there

  • Don’t mix your words with your mood; you can change your mood but you can’t take back your words

  • When we show value, respect and affirmation through our words and actions to people, they feel an important part of the relationship.

In my time of reflection, I read from the writings of King Solomon, who says; “A fool’s lips enter into contention and his mouth calls for blows.” In another place, he says, “The power of life and death are in the tongue.” An environment for toxic relationships can be created. How we use our words and the way we interpret what has been said is what will fuel or put out the fire of bad words in a relationship. Generally, many spouses say things that they later regret or find it hard to reconcile with, because of the damage those words have done. As I read these two phrases, it is clear that words are powerful. Our thoughts also impact what we manifest through our spoken words.

Containers of power

The words we speak can affirm or tear down a person. Joyce Meyers considers words to be containers of power. Thinking carefully and reflecting on what we say is key. In relationships, there are moments we go through good or bad moments. Our reaction or inaction to events that dot our marriage life is key to producing the results we see. The painful, emotionally low moments and physically difficult times in the relationships that we fail to resolve can build up like a volcano. During these moments, we may feel like we have been deprived and denied, depressed and defeated or even demeaned and disgraced by our partner. As a result we feel resentment, bitterness, and bursting forth of anger.

An anonymous person cautions, “Don’t mix your words with your mood; you can change your mood but you can’t take back your words.” Our moods are on the run every day. In any moment during such mood swings, people find themselves using language that could edify or be abusive. Abusive language can hurt. For example, “I don't even know why I married you” … “I hate you” … “In fact, a divorce is good for us.” Even in times when healing would have been a possibility, such statements have the capacity of planting seeds of discord and mistrust in the other person.

How we hurt each other

During these uncontrollable moments, spouses find themselves using demeaning words, “I should have married so and so instead of you.” The temptation during such low moments is to react in a way to hurt the other person. However, by doing so, we end up saying some things that injure the relationship and damage the home environment. With time, we live to regret what we said; because words lead to actions. This is a downhill momentum that at times is hard to reverse. Because it is harder to undo the injuries or pain caused, we need to guard our hearts from which all things flow.

Listen to words carefully

Instead of speaking angrily, wisdom requires that we be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. The assumption here is that, when words are spoken, they have a meaning they convey, an intended meaning that they poses, and a transcribed meaning we get when we consider all the factors. So, we need to be quick to listen to what we hear. How we respond matters because this is what gives the direction the relationship will take. Consequently, paying attention to what is said and making sure we understand both what was said and the intention behind it is important.

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