CRITICAL WORDS DESTROY MARRIAGES
CRITICAL WORDS DESTROY MARRIAGES
by Betty Miller
1 Peter 3:7-12:
7 "Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.
8 Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous:
9 Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing.
10 For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile:
11 Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it.
12 For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil."
One of the things that begin to erode a marriage away is when one spouse begins to speak critically to and of the other one. The things we say to and about the other one can either be uplifting and encouraging or they can bring disharmony and hurt. Little critical words will lead to a dissatisfaction with one's mate and can escalate to bring about a divorce. No person should threaten to divorce the other just to get their way, or manipulate the other to do something they really don't want to do. When any one threatens divorce this is like speaking words of murder to your marriage.
Words can accumulate in the spirit and cause one to react lovingly or hateful by what is spoken. The above verses warn each spouse not to return "railing for railing" but "blessing for a railing." As kind words are returned this stops the cycle of "railing for railing."
Proverbs 15:1 says, "A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger."
We are admonished in the Bible to seek to do good and to seek peace, not to stir up trouble because we want to air our anger and wrath. As Christians we are to give our anger to Jesus and ask Him to remove it, and replace it with His love, patience and forgiveness. We are not to take it out on someone else, especially our mates.
Some husbands can be very cruel criticizing their wives appearance. If the wife is on the thin side or over-weight, the husband should pray to help her make the necessary changes that will help her to be healthy, but never should he belittle her appearance. This can damage their relationship, where it is difficult for her to reach out and love him and receive love from him. (This, of course, applies to a woman criticizing her husband about his appearance too.)
The Lord calls us to love our mates, as we would love a sister or brother in the Lord and to be courteous. Many times, after people get married, they cease to be courteous to one another and they are rude and unmannerly. These things start with little things they quit doing to please the other and soon they grow into gross neglect. We should be kind to one another and think about saying nice things that edify and build our marriages instead of the hurtful words that tear them down. This "little fox" of critical speech in little things can be the root cause that later destroys the marriage.
Proverbs 18:21: "Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.
22 Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the LORD."
This article was taken from the Overcoming Life Digest (Jan./Feb. 2000 Issue); click here to view Digest