It amazes me that we, as human beings, communicate as well as we do. There are numerous factors involved when speaking to another person.
We have to coordinate our thoughts with our words to relay the message we want to share. We don't always find the exact words that communicate our meaning. Our emotions, our circumstances, and even our physical health will have a great impact on that message. We may not be thinking clearly and choose the wrong words. We may be angry or in pain and not give enough thought to what we say.
We also have to look at the state of the person receiving the message. Are they tired, emotional or distracted? They may hear the words we speak to them in a very different manner in which we intended. That’s how arguments usually begin – with miscommunication from one party in either sending or receiving.
For me, there have been many times where I’m forced to respond without the time to carefully plan in my head the message I desire to convey. Inevitably, I stumble over the words with my mouth and lose the essence of my thoughts and my message. I know my words don’t always come out as I intend them to. I do not think fast on my feet. I’m a writer – I like to ponder over every word and get my message precise. (Okay, maybe that’s more of the perfectionist in me than the writer.) Regardless of how we communicate at our best, we still have to make a conscious effort at carefully choosing our words.
Romans 14:19 says, “Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.”
If we learn to put others needs ahead of our own, as the Bible tells us to, (one of the things which make for peace) we will have peace. Speaking only edifying words, especially to our spouse, will certainly KEEP that peace.
That’s why it is so important to only speak words that edify your spouse. It shows them that their needs are important to you, more important than your own desires. What greater gift can you give to your spouse? (Look at Ephesians 4:29 again)
My husband is the most edifying person I know. His words can easily defuse any situation. I have seen him settle angry men many times with a few simple words (not to mention how quickly he settles me). Our world has done us a great disservice in teaching us to look out for our “selves”. We have become such a selfish society, not caring about what we say to others as long as it makes us feel good. (Maybe for only a few seconds, though. Most people usually regret harsh words they’ve spoken.)
Proverb 15:1 “A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.”
Our words have the power to destroy. They may seem minor at first, but constant words of anger, no matter how great or how small, will quickly devour a marriage.