The sad thing is that words never die. Hurtful words spoken in anger towards our spouses during a time of provocation remain alive long after the quarrel is over. And you know what? Your partner tends to believe whatever you say about them at that moment of anger as a trueer reflection of your heart. It’s why hurtful words released when there’s a fight do carry more probative value. They stick! Difficult to undo; and able to continue to trouble the peace of the relationship for many years to come, as your partner continues to refer to them. You may labour and labour to undo the words but they have stuck. Some things are better never said!
You won’t believe the kind of things couples say to themselves when the atmosphere has become tense. “I regret that I married you.” “You’re the biggest mistake of my life.” “You’re good for nothing.” “You’re stupid.” “You’re a fool.” “You scarcely use your sense when you’re talking to me.” Words that will never die!
Now, as we proceeded with the study of what keeping our likewise will mean, we saw the next statement about Jesus; “…there was no guile found in His mouth.” Remember we’re studying 1 Peter 2:21-23 which reads:
“For even hereunto were we called, even as Christ suffered for us leaving us an example that we should follow His steps: WHO KNEW NO SIN, NEITHER WAS THERE ANY GUILE FOUND IN HIS MOUTH…” We’ve dealt with our commitment to know no sin of malice or adultery in our marriage. The next thing for our study was that there was no guile found in His mouth.
Keeping our likewise would then mean that throughout our marriage, there must be no guile found in our mouth. Eventhough the word guile ordinarily means “deceit”, from the very moment I came upon this scripture, the understanding that came to my mind about guile was dirty words, graceless words, hurtful words. This is why I love the translation of the Message version which says, “He said nothing amiss.” Throughout the life of Jesus, you couldn’t catch him with words. He was always in control of what He says no matter the provocation.
Part of the decision I made therefore prior to going into marriage in keeping my likewise was that I will never say hurtful words to my wife no matter the provocation. And many of those occasions presented themselves in the last one year. The fact she provoked me is really not an excuse to say hurtful words. By provoking me, she’s only calling forth what I have on my inside. If what I have there is Jesus, only Jesus will come out.
If you dip your finger inside someone’s throat to PROVOKE the person to vomit, excuse me, if he never ate rice, can he ever vomit rice? So no matter how much someone provokes you, if your heart is full of good treasures, only good words will come forth. That you responded with hurtful words and curses only shows without an iota of doubt that you’re a whited sepulchre, looking good on the outside, but your inside is full of decay and dead men’s bones.
Our Lord Jesus illustrated this point very clearly in Mathew 12:34-37 when He said: “O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things. But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.”
Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks! It then means that what you say is who you are. What you say is an accurate reflection of the condition of your heart. It doesn’t matter how much you present yourself as a child of God, we only need to check what comes out of your mouth, especially when you’re angry. That’s the accurate testament of what is contained in your heart.
This is really what keeps me mindful of what I say when I’m provoked including in the last one year of marriage. That if I respond to my wife’s provocation or offences with hurtful words, it will only suggest to her that my heart is full of dirts – full of guile, full of bile – and I’m not the Christian I claim myself to be. There’s nothing I consider more demeaning than for her to think about me this way. I myself hate to exhibit any character that cannot be found in Christ!
And you know what? Jesus promised assuredly that we will give account of every idle or hurtful words we spoke against our spouse on the day of judgement and some will be condemned on account of this. Whatever that condemnation means, it’s surely not something to look forward to.
My watchword therefore has always been that timeless admonition of Paul in Colossians 4:6 – “Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.”
The emphasis for me is the word ALWAYS. It didn’t say let your speech be with grace as long as your spouse speaks to you kindly and respectfully. No. It says, ALWAYS. It means there’s no time that your speech should not be with grace. It means there’s never a tenable excuse for speaking gracelsss words! Always- no matter the provocation. If your spouse spoke to you graceless words, respond with graceful words!
Friends, this is the matter! You can’t imagine how much peace this principle has brought for us in the last one year. As long as there aren’t hurtful words hurled during quarrels, by the time we resolve, we are sure that quarrel is dead and burried. No carryover from it that will continue to trouble us. And most times, by responding to difficult situations with graceful words, you avoid quarrels altogether. A soft answer the bible says, drives away wrath but grievous words stir up anger! Prov. 15:1.
The question I want to ask you my brother and sister is this, what kind of words do you say to your partner when you’re angry? Are they always graceful or you often throw caution to the wind? Whatever it is is the true condition of your heart. If you don’t turn a new leaf today and ask the Lord to create in you a new heart, those words will become a root of bitterness over time, and they’ll surely trouble the peace of your relationship for many years.
To be continued on Tuesday at 5pm.
Peniela E. Akintujoye.
©️Peniela Eniayo, Akintujoye| firstname.lastname@example.org