Death and life are in power of the tongue, and they who indulge it shall eat the fruit of it [for death or life] (Proverbs 18:21 Amplified Bible).
One our favorite activities on Sunday morning, besides going to church, is to watch the episode of CBS Sunday Morning we record on our DVR. After arriving home from church, I will, typically, make a light breakfast of tea and toast or something similar. As we sit down to eat, we cue up our favorite news show.
Every episode includes a number of very interesting stories from serious to humorous to celebratory. Last Sunday’s episode included a piece on the famous screenwriter and film director, Quentin Tarantino. I wouldn’t necessarily say that I am a fan of Mr. Tarantino, but the conversation with him was rather interesting. He talked about getting married in 2018. Nothing particularly curious about that except for the fact that he was in his late 50’s and this was his first marriage. Up until that time, he was seriously married to his work, and that was all he wanted to focus on. When the interviewer asked him what happened that caused him to finally marry. He responded, “I met Daniella!”
Those words really struck me because I could tell he was deeply in love and that this woman changed his life. He also swooned about their new son, Leo. I felt very happy for him but also a little sad. Love can truly change a person’s life forever; but without an everyday choice to cultivate that love, it can eventually turn dull and lifeless. I wondered how willing Mr. Tarantino and/or his wife were willing to do that. We have seen, too many times, love turn to hatred because the couples were not willing to saturate their relationship with everyday choices that breathe life into it.
When couples engage in disagreements, they can very easily allow themselves to get caught up in their emotions and let all manner of unkind words fly from their mouths. These are words of death. Death is speaking out of your flesh- your hurt, anger and pain.
It’s unfortunate, but many experts now say that they can determine how long a marriage will last simply by listening to how a couple speaks to each other during an argument. If their words are cutting and deliberately hurtful, it is said that most likely that marriage won’t last long. If, however, words are carefully chosen in order to soften a blow; or if they are attacking the problem instead of each other, that marriage has a better chance of success. If you find yourselves practicing the former, the warning flags should be waving fiercely. Take the warning seriously, but don’t allow it to seal your fate. You can do something about it. Instead of speaking death, speak life.
Speaking life is: Listening (to your mate and the Holy Spirit) before you speak, sharing the truth in love, repenting quickly, forgiving even before your mate repents, and saying only what the Father tells you to say.1
One of best ways to get out of the bad habit of using death-filled words during a dispute is to make a new daily habit of blessing your spouse. Do you know that you can lay hands on your spouse and speak a blessing over him or her? Pray a blessing for prosperity, health, wholeness and intimacy with God. Pray for God’s Spirit to anoint your spouse with power, wisdom and favor at home and work. Make an effort to affirm your mate’s strengths, character and actions on a daily basis.
Blessing speaks God’s shalom over a person. Shalom means more than peace; it connotes well-being, wholeness, health and prosperity. 2 You can begin this by laying hands on your spouse’s head and praying Numbers 6:24-26: The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace. (NIV)
When you make it a daily habit to bless your mate and speak life to him/her, I promise you will be less likely to desire to speak another word of death to each other, and it will strengthen your relationship beyond your imagination. Let that blessing be the oil of gladness poured over your mate, daily. (Pam)
1 &2. Dr. Larry and Judi Keefauver, Seventy-seven Irrefutable truths of Marriage (Gainesville, FL: Bridge-Logos Publishers.)