We all know that using our words with care is a very important aspect of communication in our relationships.
I talked about that in this post: 9 Ways to Speak (or not) Love Into Your Marriage.
In fact, Scripture teaches us that they have the power of life and death.
We must use them with great care.
In my marriage, I have learned that we must also perceive the words of others cautiously.
Allow me to explain…
Often, when my husband and I are working through a disagreement or a misunderstanding, I will say, “you said”. He will challenge me in that he did not say that at all. If I’m honest, I think sometimes I chose to hear what I want to hear as a result of my emotions.
You see, we all come to a misunderstanding, or even an everyday conversation for that matter, with preconceived notions, thoughts, feelings, ideas, opinions, and expectations. Those things color our perceptions and often cloud our judgment.
My husband is right to point it out to me when I twist his words to conform them to my emotions. And I am quick to do the same to him when he reacts this way to the words I have spoken.
We must take great care to hear the words that have been spoken and not to interject our own ideas of the intent and heart behind them. If my husband tells me that he did not mean to use his words to intend the hurt they caused me, I need to believe him.
I must be careful to give him the benefit of the doubt rather than automatically assuming the worst. I owe him that. In fact, I owe this to any person I am having a conversation with whether it be a stranger, friend, or loved one.
We can share the Gospel with another soul. We can encourage someone by sharing a common struggle. We can build the faith of another by sharing the reason for the hope that is in us.
The bad news is that we can use our words for incredible harm. My heart breaks when I know I have used my words in a way that has hurt another person. I know that I can hurt the feelings of my family members when I am tired or stressed. I tend to be impatient and a little less than kind with my words when I am not at my best. While I do apologize and they understand that it wasn’t intended to cause them harm, it still hurts me to know that I don’t always have a soft answer.
Most of the time, when our words hurt others, it truly is unintentional. The second side of this word coin is that we are not only responsible for the words that flow from our mouths, but we are also responsible for how we perceive the words of others.
Man looks at the outward appearance, but God looks at the heart.
Only God truly knows our hearts.
We can communicate and convey them to the best of our abilities, but only God knows what truly lives there. It is my feeling that we should tread gently. If my husband (or anyone else) tells me that their words were not intended for harm, I must believe them.
It is my responsibility for facilitating loving and healthy relationships.
Such simple, yet complicated, little things.
Let us use them, and hear them, with care.
Let us be quick to listen but slow to speak.
May we resolve to really listen. Let us strive to trust in the words we are hearing without interjecting our own interpretations of what they mean.
For the sake of love, for the sake of our marriages and our relationships, let us do it for the glory of God.
Only God knows the true heart behind the words, but maybe we should give the speaker the benefit of the doubt.
What do you think? Has this been an issue in your marriage? How have you learned to overcome it?Print This Post
Shared at Faith Along the Way, Ladies Collective Linkup, Lisha Epperson, Still Saturday, Cornerstone Confession, Women With Intention, Tuesday Talk, The SHINE Blog Hop, Grace & Truth, Tell It To Me Tuesdays, A Look at the Book, & Teaching What Is Good.