As a husband I know what it is to pour gasoline on the fire when I’m in a “discussion” with my wife. You know what I’m talking about, everything within you knows you should shut up, but your pride wants to “make that point” or “get that dig in”. So you proceed full speed ahead over the cliff without any regard to your wife’s or your own well being. Our hearts and relationship pay a price that’s costly. Too costly. And every time we regret it.
King David, who wrote in the Psalms, shared a description of men that speak evil. He described their words this way:
“……who whet their tongues like swords, who aim bitter words like arrows,….” Psalm 64:3
As husbands we’ve all wielded the sword of our tongue and released arrows of words that were meant to cause pain. The truth is we’re in desperate need of God’s grace that covers over these painful acts and that truly transforms how we talk to our wives and children.
Here are 3 keys to remember when it comes to your words:
1. You must learn to shut up, but not shut down. We must be asking The Lord for the supernatural taming of our tongue when things get heated. However, it’s not enough to just stop talking. Taking our “emotional ball and going home” is not an option. Storming out of a room, leaving in your car, and slamming a door must be seen as non-options. Stay lovingly engaged in the discussion.
2. Keep your relationship the priority. The argument you’re having will be one of many. Your wife is a precious gift. Choose to value your wife above being right. There are no points to be won here.
3. When you’ve blown it, own it quickly. As I said earlier, we all have and will miss it here. When you do, humble yourself and go to your your wife and take responsibility without qualification. Resist the urge to qualify your apology by saying, “I’m sorry I said that, but if you wouldn’t have…..” As powerful as our words can be to wound, they can be just as powerful in bringing healing.
You might start by extending an overarching apology to your wife for any word wounds you’ve inflicted on her. Let me encourage you to humble yourself and make things right today. You’ll honor her and God in the process.
Let me hear from you. What have you experienced? What would you add?