When we decided to do some remodeling in our little house, I was dead-set on a fireplace. I knew we didn’t have it budgeted, so I very cleverly made remarks like, “Wouldn’t this be the perfect evening for a fire in the fireplace? If we had one!” Or, “Just think, if we had a fireplace, we could have dinner in front of a roaring fire.”
Finally Jim said, “Elizabeth, are you helping or hindering?” Oops! I vowed to myself never to mention that fireplace again. I made it a matter of prayer so my attitude would change.
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 shares a vivid word picture:
I’m sure you get the message—a nagging, argumentative, complaining, ill-tempered wife annoys her husband in the same way a constant drip gets on our nerves. Poor communication drives people away and isolates and divides us apart from our husband. So, let’s commit to speaking in ways described in Proverbs 25:11: A word ﬁtly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.
Words like apples of gold is speech that is priceless. Indescribable. Admirable. Exquisite. Desirable. This is what makes good communication … great! Here are several of God’s keys to godly speech. Your words are to be…
…soft. Our words affect those we are speaking to. Harsh, loud, rude tones and words lead to arguments, while gentle words bring peace. “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger” (Proverbs 15:1).
…sweet. If you’d like your point to be heard and understood, remember that “pleasant words promote instruction” and understanding (16:21 NIV).
…suitable. Kind, sweet words have a healing effect on both soul and body. “Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the bones” (Proverbs 16:24).
…scant. As a wise person once put it, “Sometimes the most skillful use of the tongue is keeping it still.” “In the multitude of words sin is not lacking, but he who restrains his lips is wise” (Proverbs 10:19).
…slow. Make it your aim to “listen much, speak little, and not become angry” (James 1:19 TLB)! No good ever comes from sinful anger.
How about it? Are you willing to give up the nagging? To be a helper instead of a hinderer? Think about what a difference you will make when you stop nagging and you start assisting your husband and your children and praying for them.
God, I confess that I often hinder the health and wholeness of my family because I am selfish and stubborn. Release me from this destructive sin so that I build up this family you have blessed me with. Amen.
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Take notice of your tone you use when speaking to your family. Is it impatient, harsh, rude? What needs to change so your words are sweet and aid in great communication?
If you’d like your point to be heard and understood, remember that “pleasant words promote instruction” and understanding (16:21 NIV).