Once we gain control of negative thoughts, our next step is controlling what we allow to come out of our mouth.
Ephesians 4:29 tells us “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”
Some people find great difficulty in controlling what they say. I call that not having a filter between your mind and your lips, and every thought, good or bad, slips out of your mouth. I know I write frequently about controlling the tongue, but let’s face it; it is a HUGE part of a successful marriage. Like the tiny rudder on a large ship, it controls the direction. Our tongue controls the direction our marriage will lead us - in divorce court or to happily-ever-after.
In our marriage relationship, we should only speak positive words to our spouses and words that edify or lift them up. In fact, the verse above from Ephesians is not only talking about married couples; it is telling us to speak to everyone in this manner. (Another article at another time.)
If this is a great struggle for you and your spouse, you both need to stop the flow of malicious words that can destroy a marriage. Those words come from the negative thoughts in your head. (See the previous blog post.) You CAN break that vicious cycle of cruel and harsh words too often shared between couples, once you change your thinking.
Roman 14:19 says, “Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.” Edification is the building up of individuals.
Along with edifying our spouse, we should also bless them. To bless your spouse means to speak well of them and to respond with good words, even when the other persons’ speech may be harsh, critical, or insulting. Other ways to bless your spouse are by doing nice things for them, showing your appreciation and gratitude, and praying for them. We are called to bless our spouse regardless of how they treat us.
Jesus never uttered disparaging words to anyone, even those involved in beating him and crucifying him on the cross. He asked God to “forgive them for they know not what they do.” He blessed everyone He met. Jesus should be our role model for our behavior towards others. The more we strive to treat our spouse as God intended, the more He is able to bless our marriage.
The sooner you break the cycle of anger and begin to edify your spouse, the sooner they will notice and begin to change their own behavior. It’s hard to think negatively about someone who only speaks kind words to you and goes out of their way to bless you.