Oh Be Careful Big Mouth What You Say

The Bible is full of warnings about the power of the tongue. From Proverbs to James we are firmly reminded the dangers of using your words as weapons. In Proverbs 15 alone these are a few of the words God uses to remind us about our tongue:

A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger (v.1)

The tongue that brings healing is a tree of life, but a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit (v. 4)

and I really think this one is so important in marriage:

The heart of the righteous weighs its answers, but the mouth of the wicked gushes evil (v. 28)

So often when Mike has irritated me or (and this is the worst) I am just having a bad day, he is the recipient of my attitude. My tone, my harsh words, sarcastic comments and body language can go a looooong way to communicating “I am not interested in dealing with you right now”.

I am also guilty at times of correcting the way he does things. With tween boys there is a lot of rough housing, good natured ribbing and joking that I just don’t get. But, after reading many books and even praying about it, I realized that I am a gal in a testosterone filled house and just because I don’t understand the need to wrestle on the living room floor- it is actually an important bonding experience between the hubby and the boys.
When I am not remembering this knowledge (weighing my answers) I am quick to snap at Mike and the boys about their “guy” bonding moments. When I stop to give pause before I open that big ole trap of mine, I remember what I have learned about raising boys and I go take a cup of tea to the guest room and read a book.

The difference in reaction to those two situations is whether or not I hold my tongue, think before I speak, don’t say anything if I don’t have something nice to say. You get the point.

My tongue and the way I speak to my husband in such moments is not only important to our marital relationship but also important in how my boys will view the role of a wife. My hubby and I have always operated from the viewpoint that we are raising future husbands. I don’t want my boys to grow up thinking wives are negative, critical and nagging.

So, I count to ten, pray before I open my big mouth and choose my words carefully. And, when I fail to do so I apologize, not just to my hubby but to my children as well.

How do you communicate with your spouse? If someone followed you around with a tape recorder for a day, what would they hear?
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  1. Rita T. says:

    I struggle with my tongue all of the time. It’s amazing how such a tiny part of the body can cause so much trouble. Good post.

  2. foleybf says:

    I have a tendency to just say what I am thinking when I am thinking it…sometimes that isn’t the right move. I truly believe that holding stuff in is no good either because then it just festers…but if what I have to say is of no real importance and is just a reaction to something then I should learn to bite my toungue…we’ll see how that goes!


  3. My comments got too long for a comment, so they are here:

  4. Very insightful post.


    Twitter: AboutParenting

  5. OilGirl says:

    My big wake up call to rein in my tongue was when I blurted a bad word (not the WORST of all words but still!) in frustration in front of my two year old son. I got to hear that word uttered over and over from those tiny precious lips for about a month, even though I never said the word again!! For awhile I was beside myself thinking that my son would never forget it because every time he got frustrated he would say it with exactly the tone and inflection that I had used. He is my tape recorder and my little conscience now–I am grateful for this sweet little guy who draws me closer to God!

  6. Laurie Ann says:

    Melissa, thanks for sharing this. I am so guilty of letting my tongue spark a fire with my husband in one particular area we deal with (relating to kids). Thanks for this wonderful advice and honesty that you’ve shared!

  7. Tiffany says:

    I seem to always catch myself right after I have said something mean. I end up apologizing for my comments, but I know that does not take away the sting. Why is it that those closest to us end up getting the worst parts of us? It should be the other way around. I should save my best for my husband. So what if my day has not been stellar?! I am with my husband now…it is bound to get better!

  8. It is hard to admit this as well… thanks for this post. I have actually consciously gotten better at holding my tongue but there are still times when i find myself fighting it!

  9. My poor husband is often the recipient of my crabbiness. I try to catch myself when I do, and he forgives me lovingly, each and every time.

    Thanks for your insight on the male bonding wrestling business. My husband and son do this all the time and it makes me so cross. I need to keep my trap shut and let them bond…


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