[From Julie] Since we’ve had a look at the power of touch I thought we would start a theme and look at a few other very important aspects of married life. Lets call them, “the super powers of marriage.” Bet you didn’t know you were a super hero!
Today, let’s start thinking about the power of your words. We all know the school yard rhyme ‘sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me’. Well, that’s a big fat lie. You know this if you’ve ever had your feelings hurt by an ill-timed comment of friend. The closer the person who made the comment is to you the more the comment hurts.
You have tremendous power to hurt or to heal with your words. I’m a big believer in being our children’s greatest cheerleader. This does not mean I never correct or discipline our boys but I try to do this in a way that supports rather than breaks their spirit. The world is tough enough on us without home becoming a place that is destructive. I want my boys to be able to come home to me and hear the positive about their personality not a check list of what I expect them to improve on. Improvements are good and there is always something to work on but I think I can encourage changes and celebrate successes at the same time. There are times that I don’t do such a good job of this. I get frustrated and overwhelmed just like you do. When I am aware that I’ve messed up I apologize to the boys and explain why I reacted in that way. Our kids know that their parents aren’t perfect and they also know that we love them deeply and think they are pretty great.
So where does your marriage come into all this? There is no one you can influence more directly and deeply with your words than each other. Speak wisely and think before you open your mouth. Otherwise your ‘inside voice’ is the one doing the talking. You may be upset, or just need something done, and you’ve asked more than once, and your spouse just doesn’t seem to get it. If you’ve been married longer than a day you’ve probably had this happen and you’ve probably said something you regret. Those are the times you are more likely to injure each other rather than encourage each other. We can all agree that these situations are going to arise. You are two imperfect people living under the same roof. You are going to rub each other the wrong way sometimes. That’s okay. Just make sure that you apologize quickly and do what you can to be sure you don’t do it again. Your goal is to participate in what God is doing in your spouse. It’s not your job to change your spouse into the person you want him/her to be. Let God do the changing and you watch what is happening, pray, support and encourage along the way. I’m not suggesting that everything will be rosy. You may have to have hard conversations and explain how you feel as a result of a particular behaviour. Some choices are just plain not okay so you may need to make that clear in your conversations. Honesty is very important and it is easier to listen to when you’ve spent a good portion of your married life telling each other what you love and appreciate about the other. The wise couple is one who spends their years together in open and honest conversation and is careful with their words. Have fun with each other and develop inside jokes, quote the movies or sing songs to each other. Whatever it takes to inject a little laughter into life. It lightens the mood, builds a deeper connection to each other and makes difficult conversations less hurtful because you know your spouse wants the best for your marriage just as you do.
If you are working toward a Christ centered marriage than you will need to take this seriously. Jesus knew the power of words. God spoke the world into being with a word. Jesus healed with words, cast out demons with words, expressed his love for us with his words as well as his actions. As a husband you are asked to love your wife. How are you going to express that? You need to tell her regularly. You also need to show it with actions but the verbal expression is necessary. Don’t underestimate it. Ask her how important those three little words expressed in love are. As a wife you are asked to respect your husband. How are you going to do that? Men often feel disrespected by the way their wife speaks to them or about them. We need to understand our husbands and verbally respond in ways that they find respectful. Spend your years together building each other up. Encourage and support each other. Your home should be a place that is emotionally safe and you feel protected from the cruelty of the world because you are with your best friend, who is a super hero after all.