Originally published Monday, 10 October 2016.
I gulped rather hard as I started today’s post. Usually, whenever you teach on something, you get the fires of testing turned up just a bit and guarding my mouth is a forever-classroom for me! So I am writing this with a lot of extra prayer!
As we go through these five areas we can guard to better our marriages, our mouths are a HUGE battleground to protect.
Proverbs 10:19 tells us: When there are many words, transgression is unavoidable, But he who restrains his lips is wise.
I am a chatty woman. This verse is hard for me. Here’s another one for the books:
For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart. The good man brings out of his good treasure what is good; and the evil man brings out of his evil treasure what is evil. But I tell you that every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned. Matthew 12:34-37 NASB
(Did any of you stick around for the rest of this marriage devotional? Or have you all left?)
Guarding our mouths is hard. Sometimes we feel so entitled to say that ugly thing. My mouth has revealed more pride, selfishness, anger, and general fleshly immaturity than any other part of me. And my man has seen... and received quite a bit of it. Sometimes, in the moments we need to be most like Christ for the sake of our spouse, life comes in and pulls out some pretty yucky junk. Think back on the last death in the family; did you say anything hurtful to your spouse? Maybe a financial or family stress tweaked you just enough to say some really wretched things? How about good old fashioned schedule-overload? The thing is, that stuff is rattling around inside us already and the circumstances just turned up the heat enough to allow it to bubble to the surface.
I’ve had a few seasons when I was so floored over what came tumbling out of my mouth, revealing what was in my heart. And the grief of it just plain brought me to my knees.
So, this devotional isn’t filled with witty, memorable phrases to help you guard your mouth. Rather, it’s a confession and prayer, and hopefully and encouragement.
When your mouth runs away with you, pray! Ask God to forgive you and show you what needs cleansing in your heart. Ask your spouse and family to forgive you. Seek to get more of God’s truth, grace, and love in that place where the ugliness sprung from. And let it spur you on to have grace when your spouse says something hurtful too.
Do not take to heart all the things that people say, lest you hear your servant cursing you. Your heart knows that many times you yourself have cursed others. Ecclesiastes 7:21-22 ESV