By Morgann Burres
"How can I be a better partner to you?"
This is one of the things that my husband and I have started asking each other periodically. It opens us up for dialogue, correction, exhortation and encouragement.
Recently, I asked Nathan, “How can I be a better wife to you?” He thought about it for a while and then spoke gently to me, “Sometimes you say things that really hurt me.” Wow. Those words hit me like a ton of bricks. I let them sink in, and we proceeded to talk about how I can be careless with my words and my tone of voice.
Do you know what’s really ugly? Sin. Sin is really, really ugly. Sometimes I tend to think that some sins are uglier than others, especially when they’re someone else’s sins and not mine.
Praise the Lord for his graciousness in revealing my sin to me.
More and more, I find that I like to invite God into the pretty parts of my life – my Bible reading, my small group, my prayer times. But you know what’s even more difficult? Welcoming God into the ugly parts of my life – my speech, my words and my inward thoughts. God’s already there and he already sees and hears, but having a welcoming spirit toward Him is challenging because I don’t want him to see my ugliness.
God’s word speaks some incredible truths about the power of the words he has given us:
Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits (Proverbs 18:21).
Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear (Ephesians 4:29).
But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person (Matthew 15:18).
There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing (Proverbs 12:18).
Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body (Proverbs 16:24).
Our words have the power to kill and to destroy, and they also have the power to build up and bring health and life. What a responsibility we have!
I have started to pray that God would use my words to bring life and healing, hope and joy, peace and sweetness to the soul of those who would hear. I want to challenge you to do the same – welcome God into this part of your life, invite the Holy Spirit to guide you and correct you.
I am so thankful that even in my harsh words, there is forgiveness. Even in my sharp tone, God extends grace. Even in my ugliest thoughts, Jesus rescues me daily from the prison of my own sin. God’s grace is sufficient! His power is much greater than my struggle with words. It is in Him alone that we find victory in this area of our lives.
God of all things, We ask that you help us to use our words for your glory and for the building up of others. We ask that you help remind us of the incredible power we possess when we speak. May we be women who speak life, healing and sweetness. May the words of our mouth and the meditations of our heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord. For you are our Rock and our Redeemer.
Have you ever struggled with your words? What about with inviting God to point out your sins? Share with us in the comments.