See how great a forest a little fire kindles! 6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell. 7 For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and creature of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by mankind. 8 But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. 9 With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of God. 10 Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so. 11 Does a spring send forth fresh water and bitter from the same opening? 12 Can a fig tree, my brethren, bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Thus no spring yields both salt water and fresh. James 3:5-12
Remember the chant of childhood-“sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never hurt me”? Well, it isn’t true. Not by a long shot! Our little bitty tongues have the power to wound so deeply its victims may never fully recover.
A gentle tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit. Proverbs 15: 4
Are the words you speak to your husband and children gentle and loving, encouraging life, or are they laced with criticism and scorn breaking the spirit of the very ones God has put in your life to nurture and help?
29 Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. 32 And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you. Ephesians 4
Paul did not pen the above admonition for us to apply to just our friends and acquaintances. Do you speak more kindly and impart more grace to a stranger than you do to your spouse?
23 Whoever guards his mouth and tongue keeps his soul from troubles. Proverbs 21
Do you find yourself consistently irritable and agitated? Perhaps your mood is simply a reflection of your heart, for
those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man (Matthew 15:18).
If you find these things to be true-
Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls (James 1:21)
walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh (Galatians 5:16).
as well as
walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace (Ephesians 4)
26 If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one’s religion is useless. James 1
Do you really want your religion to be useless? Is pouting or nagging your husband or scornfully criticising your children worth that? But, you may say, my husband couldn’t function without my telling him what’s what. Being your husband’s organized secretary is one thing. Being his drill sergeant is another matter entirely. Even if your husband is the biggest nincompoop ever to walk the earth, your words are to lift him up not plant bitterness and helplessness in his spirit.
Our tongues have the power to kill and destroy, not only to whom the lashing is directed, but ultimately our very own souls.
Our society has indoctinated women into believing they have every right to their opinions and to voice them. God tells us we are to be servants of one another, regarding others more highly than ourselves. (Philippians 2)
Do you have a heavenly marriage? Or are there troubles? Does it seem you are always dissatisfied with your spouse? Consider long and hard about how your words may be contributing to your troubles. If you have a history of “getting mad” and tongue lashing, and are honest enough to admit it….there is hope! Confess to the Lord your guilt in this area, repent, ask Him to help you overcome it. Ask your husband for forgiveness and focus on those things which bring glory and honor to God and to your marriage.
The wise woman builds her house, but the foolish pulls it down with her hands (Proverbs 14:1)
When words are many, transgression is not lacking, but whoever restrains his lips is prudent. Proverbs 10:19