I was asked to share some thoughts at a recent bridal shower. What might I say that will make this young couple's journey a bit smoother? Here is what I presented: I have recently come across a quote: The words you speak become the house you live in.
Let’s think about the two of you building your “house” called marriage put up by the words you speak.
First let's visualize a house assembled with the words, kindness, communicate, truth, grace, respect, listen, wait, freedom, safety, encouragement, love, I'm sorry and forgiveness. A solid foundation forms under this house with each brick laid carefully. When the stormy winds start to blow it will stay firmly in place.
Now visualize another house constructed with the words, anger, fear, manipulation, hiding, control, secrets, disrespect and yelling. This structure displays windows kicked out and holes in the walls. The foundation has leaks and a shaky roof with rotted shingles tops it off.
"A marriage is not a joining of two worlds, but an abandoning of two worlds in order that a new one might be formed." (mike mason, the mystery of marriage) You each come from different homes. The houses built around you were not extreme like in my example: you had both solid encouraging words along with words that were hurtful. We all did. But because of those differences you can decide how you are going to use your words together. Determining a blueprint ahead of time, might head off some possible construction disasters or delays.
We use words in many ways.
- Proverbs 25:11 The right word at the right time is like a custom-made piece of jewelry. ( A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver.) The words you speak have power. You have the capacity to develop a deep friendship with your spouse. One way to do this is to never use words as weapons. They hurt forever and can severely wound a relationship. Proverbs 15:1 A gentle answer turns away wrath but a harsh word stirs up anger. It is like this: What I have to say to you is like a gift. But if I wrap it in anger and exasperation, then anger and exasperation are all you will hear. What I really have to say will be lost. Work hard to have wisdom and gentleness when expressing yourself to your spouse. Ephesians 4:29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouth, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs that it may benefit those who listen.
My advice? Guard your words carefully and use them only in constructive ways. They are powerful.
- John 20:31 But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you might have life in his name. The written word is also extremely powerful. John says that these words were written so that you may believe! The written word has power! My husband and I have the tradition of getting each other cards for various occasions and I always look forward to his sweet written words. They are short little notes but they mean the world to me. In fact that is how Brian proposed to me! There were times when I couldn't find the right words to speak to him so I wrote it out. Written words helped me communicate. They enabled me to build a stronger house, a more solid relationship. We also used notebooks to write in on our anniversary to remember the years.
My advice? Write positive words of love often. Use written words when it is difficult to speak them.
- 1 John 3:18 Dear children let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth. You've heard the old adage: Actions speak louder than words? Well actions are words. They are just acted out - shown in bodily form. When you are unable or unwilling to say the words you will often act them out and the idea will be communicated. Use your body language in positive ways. Speak when you are hurt. Let it be known when you need something. Your husband (or wife) cannot read your mind. Tell what you need. Don't make your spouse figure it out by your body language.
- My advice? Do your best to use your words when you need to communicate.
- Phil 4:8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things.What we think about is very important. Sometimes we are tempted to think things that are not true. That goes for what we think of our spouse and of ourselves. We must always be mindful of the words we say to others and to ourselves. They have power to build up or to tear down.
My advice? Pay attention to your thoughts and train them to dwell in the true and good places.
- Philippians 4:6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. Prayer covers a multitude of cares. Pray often. Pray together and pray separately. Pray about what troubles you. Pray and be thankful over the good in your life. Keep Christ in the middle of your relationship so He can influence your course together. And pray for your families. They need your support and the insight the Holy Spirit can give you concerning their needs as well.
My advice? Pray together and pray individually.
- John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. Jesus was the Word who was with God from the beginning. If you let this Word dwell in you richly, individually and as a couple, your building will not be in vain. Because through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. Your house will be lovingly built board by loving board if this Word is in each nail, each window, each shingle. This word known and read will produce a sturdy house that no storm can fall.
My advice? Make God's Word the highest priority in your home. Read it often and do your best to follow its truths.
"Make it your goal to create a marriage that feels like the safest place on earth." (Greg Smalley)
I can see no greater goal than to build a home that feels safe. That kind of home is fashioned with the words you choose to speak, write, act out, think, pray and read. This is not always easy! May God give you the willingness to work hard to build a solid godly marriage.
Colossians 1:9-10 For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to His glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light.