What is the most uplifting thing your spouse has ever told you? (For singles, a parent, coach, or sibling)
Lord, teach us to build up others with our words.
Proverbs 18:20–22 (NLT): “Wise words satisfy like a good meal; the right words bring satisfaction. The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences. The man who finds a wife finds a treasure, and he receives favor from the Lord.”
Your marriage will never rise above the level of your mouth. God’s words are so powerful that He creates galaxies when He speaks. Created in His image, we too have tremendous spiritual authority and must consider the the power of our words. They can be very creative, or they can be very destructive.
In the passage from Proverbs, God describes the fruit of our lips as being productive and satisfying. Then the goodness of marriage is discussed. This is not a coincidence. Our words have a powerful effect on our marriages.
Matthew 12:35–37 (NLT) says, “A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. And I tell you this, you must give an account on judgment day for every idle word you speak. The words you say will either acquit you or condemn you.”
We will be judged for every idle word we speak. Do you feel confident that you are growing in control of your tongue, or do you lack control of your words? Share with the group.
You will reap what you sow. In fact, you will reap more than what you sow. A farmer throws out a few seeds but brings in bushels of harvest. That can be a little scary, because if you sow poisonous words, you will reap a poisonous harvest.
There may be a delay between sowing and reaping, but the harvest is inevitable. Harsh words do not disappear but tend to linger. We must repent of them and put them under the blood of Jesus.
Are your words mostly edifying, or have you developed the bad habit of sowing bad seeds? What are you trying to build with your spouse? Share with the group.
Communication is the oxygen of marriage. Are you and your spouse suffocating? A man may feel that he is naturally quiet natured, but that is not an excuse not to have conversation with his wife. Sometimes men are selfish or lazy and do not want to put out the effort to engage in meaningful conversation. On the other hand, women can clam up because of abuse or neglect. They may begin filling their communication needs by seeking the companionship of others. Sometimes women simply give up.
Let’s look at how we can start communicating better in marriage. First, look into your spouse’s eyes when he or she speaks. This will help you focus and not tune out your spouse. Next, open your ears and listen. Finally, open your mouth and speak. If you think you have nothing to say, begin by encouraging your partner.
How would you rate the communication level in your marriage? If asked, how would your spouse answer the same question? Do you think your spouse is satisfied, or does it feel like a desert to him or her? Share with the group.
Now let’s look at the fruits of bad communication. We must avoid sarcasm, which uses irony to mock or convey contempt. Also, never demean your spouse, causing him or her to lose dignity and respect. These are love-busters that make huge withdrawals from your spouse’s love bank. It is better to live in a garden of love where you praise your spouse.
Make a commitment today to improve the positivity of your words. Eliminate critical and harsh words. Don’t create a desert in your marriage because you refuse to have meaningful conversations.
Repent of harsh words. Begin to praise your spouse. Your partner will become powerful and beautiful.
Encourage members of the group to register and attend the XO marriage conference on February 8–9.Print Lesson