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“Like Apples of Gold…”

In poetic language the writer of Proverbs 25:11 paints this word picture of good communication:

A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.

As a wife after God’s own heart, this kind of beauty should be the goal for all of your communication, but especially with the person most important and closest to you—your husband. So here are several of God’s keys to godly speech. Your words are to be…

…soft. “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger” (Proverbs 15:1). The words we choose to use have an effect on the hearer. Harsh, loud, caustic speech leads to arguments and quarrels, while soft, gentle words bring about peace. And here’s another fact: “A soft tongue can break hard bones” (Proverbs 25:15 TLB)!

…sweet. “Sweetness of the lips increases learning” or influence (Proverbs 16:21). Do you want to get your point across? Then realize that “pleasant words promote instruction” and understanding (16:21 NIV).

…suitable. “Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the bones” (Proverbs 16:24). Kind, sweet words have a medicinal effect on both body and soul.

…scant. “In the multitude of words sin is not lacking, but he who restrains his lips is wise” (Proverbs 10:19). Another Bible translation is very vivid and down-to-earth in its language: “Don’t talk so much. You keep putting your foot in your mouth. Be sensible and turn off the flow!” As a wise person once put it, “Sometimes the most skillful use of the tongue is keeping it still.”

…slow. “Be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath” (James 1:19). In even fewer words, make it your aim to “listen much, speak little, and not become angry” (TLB)! Why? Because “the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God” (verse 20 NKJV). No good ever comes from sinful anger.

What happens when you and I don’t communicate God’s way with our husbands? What results from a failure to pay attention to God’s wise guidelines for our speech? Proverbs has more word pictures for us, detailed in these verses:

“Better to dwell in a corner of a housetop, than in a house shared with a contentious woman” (Proverbs 21:9).

“Better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and angry woman” (Proverbs 21:19).

“A continual dripping on a very rainy day and a contentious woman are alike” (Proverbs 27:15).

I’m sure you get the picture! The message is that a crabby, cranky, nagging, quarrelsome, complaining, ill-tempered wife annoys her husband in the same way a con­stant drip gets on our nerves and “drives us crazy.” And, it’s important to note that poor communication drives people away, isolates, and divides spouses apart from one another.

Instead, don’t you want your speech to be like apples of gold in settings of silver? Like 14-carat gold fruit in a sterling silver basket? Priceless? Indescribable? Admirable? Exquisite? Desirable?

Then learn to speak with godly wisdom when you communicate with your husband. Choose words that are soft, sweet, suitable, and, despite the female tendency (especially mine!), scant!

Question: Which communication approach do you need to practice most with your husband?

Read “Like Apples of Gold…” on Elizabeth & Jim George.


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