Let’s allow God to help us
turn this loud, obnoxious, angry, destructive tongue of ours
into an instrument of healing and blessing.
As women, we have HUGE verbal skills. This is where we often hurt our husbands and children the most – with our words. It is time to learn to use our words for good.
Here is a command of God in scripture for us that I believe is very critical for us to follow if we are to represent Christ well in the world and in our marriages.
Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the Word of Life.
When God first showed me my MOUNTAIN of pride, disrespect, idolatry of being in control and rebellion against His Word – that I had been blind to for 15+ years… I was mortified.
I didn’t want to be around anyone – because I suddenly realized that at that point almost every word out of my mouth was sin of some variety or another. I didn’t want to talk to anyone. I knew that all that would spew out of my mouth was criticism, disrespect, arguments, gossip, scolding, complaints, bitterness, unforgiveness, pride, control… UGH.
I was afraid to open my mouth! I had never learned discretion. I would always just say every thought I had that popped into my head without filtering it.
That first phase of this journey is sometimes called, The Silent Phase or Quiet Phase. I realized suddenly that I had been saying so many negative, hurtful things. I didn’t want to use my words to destroy my husband or anyone any more. That is when it hit me – OH NO!!!!!!
Apparently, I don’t say anything BUT negative, horrible things!
Here is a great post by Nina Roesner (author of The Respect Dare) about the usual progression and stages of this journey of becoming a more godly, respectful wife.
Don’t worry – IT DOES GET BETTER! But that first month or first few months is REALLY DIFFICULT and PAINFUL as you learn discretion, dying to self, living completely submitted to Christ, and as you redefine your understanding of God, self, femininity, masculinity and marriage. It’s a total reconstruction of your heart. A renovation that deep takes time. It is too much to absorb all at once!
The tongue has the power of life and death. Prov 18:21
Eventually, you do begin to learn to use your mouth for blessing as you allow Christ total freedom and access to remove every ungodly thing from your soul and to renew your heart and mind to love what He loves and hate what He hates. But most women go a bit silent first as they try to figure out how to stop the negative stuff.
For those of you in the beginning of this journey – I would like to encourage you to take this challenge. If you are very new at learning respect and learning to obey Christ – you may want to take this one day at a time. If you have a little more experience under your belt, you may want to take this challenge for a week to start with, then maybe a month!
For today/this week – while asking God to fill me with His Spirit’s power to do this
– I am NOT going to argue with anyone about anything
- I am not going to complain about anything.
…EVEN WHEN I PRAY! I am going to pray in a respectful way about the authority of my husband over me. I am not going to argue with God or His Word, and I am not going to complain to God about my husband or question God’s sovereignty or wisdom. I will not grumble or murmur against Him.
- say what I want or don’t want in a kind and respectful way
- say what my emotions are (probably once) – sad, happy, afraid, scared, angry, upset, nervous, excited, etc.
- use wholesome speech to build others up
- say positive things
- say thankful things
- smile my beautiful smile at my friends, family and coworkers – especially at my husband.
- share important information (ie: if I am sick, if the kids are sick, if the house is on fire, if there is a problem that my husband needs to know about, if there is a need, if I am extremely sleep-deprived) – but I can share that respectfully, probably just once, and ask for any help I need in a polite, pleasant way.
I don’t need to say that it is hot outside. That would be complaining.
But, if I am about to be overcome by heat exhaustion – or need water quickly to avoid heat exhaustion – I can share my need. I can’t expect my husband to read my mind. I must tell him when I am not ok or there is a significant problem. But I don’t have to share every little tiny thing that annoys me.
Does that make sense?
If you are controlling towards other people, too, not just your husband, you may find that you need to take a few emotional steps back from other people while you cling to Christ and allow Him to work in you.
I would not share all of what God is doing in you with everyone. Those of the world are not going to understand and will likely argue with you or think you are crazy for talking about respecting your husband. And if you talk about biblical submission, they may throw tomatoes at your head.
Even just quietly refusing to bash your man while everyone else bashes theirs will make you “weird.”
Here’s a post to help you with this - Don’t Expect Outside Support!
I WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU
If you take this challenge – I want to hear how it goes!
- what surprises were there?
- what was the hardest part?
- how did your interactions with others change?
- did anyone treat you differently?
- how do you think this helps us shine for Christ?
I pray that God might be greatly exalted in your life and speech, that you might bless everyone around you with your words and use of your tongue!