I wonder sometimes if we understand the value of our words. Do we realize there is power in what we say? God created us in His image. Which means, like Him we have the power to speak words into our world. And the words we speak can have a lasting impact on our lives and the lives of those around us.
“The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences.” Prov.18:21
We can speak words that build up or we can speak words that tear down. It’s our choice. And you better believe as the verse says, we will reap the consequences of our choice. Read more
It is not easy to receive criticism even when it is constructive, especially when it comes from your spouse, the one you want nothing less than absolute acceptance and approval from. And it is not easy to give constructive criticism to your spouse without hurting your spouse’s feelings and coming across as disapproving and rejecting. But knowing how to give and receive constructive criticism is desperately needed for a marriage to grow in oneness as God has intended.
The struggle with feeling critical toward one another is very real in marriage, I don’t think anyone is immune from it. So the challenge we all face is knowing how to guard against allowing criticism to be used in a negative way that is hurtful and harmful to our marriage. While at the same time allowing constructive criticism to be used in a way that promotes growth and encouragement.
“The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences.” Prov.18:21(NLT)
When I wrote the post “Held Together With Words,” I stressed the point of how valuable and powerful our words are and that it is with the words we speak that we create or tear down our own lives. I also talked about how important it is to maintain the integrity of our words by not contradicting ourselves with what we say.
So now I would like to go into a little more detail about our words. There are some words we should never use with our spouse, our children, or anyone else for that matter. It may sound funny for us as adults, but there are some Bad Words that we should not be using.
“Do you Jack, take Janet to be your lawfully wedded wife?”
“Do you Janet, take Jack to be your lawfully wedded Husband?”
“I now pronounce you husband and wife.”
I remember the day we spoke those words like it was yesterday. I was a wide eyed Nineteen year old who thought he knew everything there was to know about being a husband. After all, my only dream in life for the previous six years was to one day be called a husband.
Now looking back at that day thirty years later, I see a young man and a young woman who had no clue to what it really meant to be called “husband and wife.” We had the titles; by name we did become husband and wife with those few words that were spoken. But we had no idea how much we would have to grow into the shoes we just put on. Read more
“To listen closely and reply well is the highest perfection we are able to attain in the art of conversation.” Francois de La Rochefoucauld
To have good communication you have to develop the skill of listening.
Very often in marriage the reason one spouse will not open up and talk is because they feel that when they do, they are not being listened to. They shut down and give up and they absorb themselves into something else they can succeed at. The frustration for the two of them grows and the bad habits of wrong communication grows as well.
Listening though, is not as simple as it sounds. Listening is about engaging your whole self and not just your ears.