Pierced by a Tongue

I got you, didn’t I?

I like to consider myself a person who watches what I say.   When someone disappoints me, angers me, or what not, I think through my words before I say them.   Well, most of the time.   When I read an email from someone, I carefully chose the words that I want to reply back.   Why, oh why, can’t I do that for my husband?

I received an email in my box today that said this, “Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” (Proverbs 12:18)    Wow.   Those brought back a memory to me.  See, there was this time last week when my husband walked into the bedroom.   He was talking on the phone to his father.   I, of course, was watching the most important show on TV at the time…..House, MD.   (Yeah, go ahead and laugh…you like him, too!)   So, my dear husband sits down at the computer desk to do some research for his Dad….and here I am trying very hard to hear the TV while he is talking.    My daughter had been asleep in bed for an hour…my son was on the computer in the other room…. I had an hour of peace and quiet.    Or so I thought.    I love my hubby.  I love the relationship that is fostered between him and his dad recently…but does it have to be when I am watching House?   He turns to me, this wonderful man that God gave me forever and ever, and gives me the “can you turn down the TV” sign…  Being the good wife that I try ever so hard to be, I turn it down some.    Alas, I find that when I turn it down, I cannot hear the TV because of his phone conversation.    So, I scoot as close to the TV as I can get so I can hear it while he finishes on the phone.

When he gets off the phone with his dad, he looks at me and basically says, “What is more important to you….this TV program or my talking to my Dad on the phone?”   Aw, crap.   Here I go…I am thinking…thinking… sigh.  I have had a hard day at work.  My daughter doesn’t leave me alone from 3-8pm after school.  Here it is…9:30pm.  I am on my second episode of House (Netflix is great!).  I am relaxed on the bed…Couldn’t he have talked to his Dad in the other room?   We have like more computers and laptops in the house than we have people!   This was my only time of the day to do something for myself that I enjoy.   I open my mouth, and… You know what I said, don’t you?   Sigh.  A Proverbs 31 wife, I was not.

The look on his face.  You would have thought I just pierced him with a sword right through his heart.   And I did.     “Reckless words pierce like a sword… ” ACK!   I really didn’t mean to hurt him.  I never, ever mean to hurt him.  But I did.   Why?  For an episode of House?   I had it on DVD right there.   You know, in my mind, I still kept thinking … why didn’t he think about ME when he walked in here?   But God teaches us to think of OTHERS before ourselves.    “Love your neighbor as yourself” is what Matthew 22: 39 tells us.   If I were on the phone with my parents, what would I have wanted or expected from him?   Jesus didn’t tell us that it was okay to hurt the ones we love…in the story of the Good Samaritan, Jesus was asked that question…who is my neighbor?   We aren’t just talking about the noisy, psycho neighbor in the house next door, we are talking about everyone and anyone who we come into contact with.     Do you remember the answer Jesus got to that question…Luke 10: 37  And he said (he being the “expert in the law” who asked the question), “The one who showed mercy toward him.”

You know the most embarrassing thing to me?  God knew I was going to say that before I ever even uttered it.   “O LORD, you have searched me and you know me.   You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.   You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways.   Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O LORD. You hem me in—behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me.   Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain. “(Psalm 139: 1-6)   Sigh.

So why do we do it?  Why did I do it?  Sure it is our sin nature.  I say things more often that hurt my husband and my kids than I do to my employees, my friends, and strangers on the street.   Is it because we are so comfortable with them that we don’t really think before we speak?   Many people think they know me, but if they knew the words that travel through my head, they would be shocked.   I just have a very good sense (most of the time) when to say it and when to not say it.   How about you?  Proverbs 10:19 gives us some good advice “When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise.” Was the episode of House I was watching more important than showing love to my husband?  No.   I should have hit pause, or moved into the other room.   It should have never passed through my lips.   I have a friend who once told me that while she teaches in her class, she has some children that are discipline problems.   I asked her how she handles it.   She told me that she imagines that God is testing her, and that child is Jesus.   How would you treat Jesus?   That is how she treats even her worst behavior problem child.   I think God wants me to do that as well.

Let me leave you with this thought.    (Psalm 34: 11-14)   Come, my children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the LORD.    Whoever of you loves life and desires to see many good days, keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking lies.  Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.

Sorry, babe.

9 Comments

  1. It is often very challenging to have open, honest communication with our family and friends particularly our spouses without offending and taking offense. I think thoughts, feelings, emotions should be shared and communicated with love/sensitivity by the speaker and the hearer.

  2. My thoughts are to the original article, not the comment. I have to disagree with your thoughts on this. Even though I am a male, but I believe your husband was the disrespectful one in this situation.

    You see, you were there first, and as you stated, there are other computers in the house, so why did he have to choose that one? While yes the show was on DVD, and yes you could have stopped it, the reality is that you were there first. To me, that says that he felt he is more important than you and disrespected you.

    My belief is that in that situation, he was wrong. Maybe you could have said something different, but you know what, we are human and he was wrong.

  3. To me, it doesn’t matter. I do not keep track of rights and wrongs. Jesus tells us to put others first. What I was doing was not by any means more important than what he was doing. Me being there first has no bearing on the situation. My husband’s new ministry is to his father. If he felt that he needed to use the computer in our room, he certainly was entitled to use it.

    The point of the article wasn’t that he was right or wrong. The point of the article was my ATTITUDE. My attitude was focused on ME only, and wasn’t even thinking about anything but ME. My motives were selfish. I needed a wake up call. The email I got most certainly did that. In writing this article, I wanted our readers to know that life and what we do isn’t about US, it’s about GOD and what he expects from us. I can imagine God being very disappointed in me that day.

  4. Yes, your entry line got me 🙂

    Being a wordsmith does not remove the responsibility from wives to lay our tongues to the anvil if we allow them to injure our God-ordained lords/husbands. Wordsmithing is an art mastered by the few who take the time to forge their inner metal through years of applying the heat of the Word of God to their souls.

    Spiritually, our God is our constant fire-bringer as He stops short of nothing but perfection in our hearts. His is the way, truth and life and if as a wife, I can harness just one lightning bolt from Jesus’ vast array of power, I can hammer my tongue into becoming an insrument for His glory and not my own.

    Easier said than done as we see by all the wifely, Damocles’ swords which threaten the vast majority of husbands in our social circles.
    Watch husbands squirm beneath the shrewish, horse-haired, ‘sword’ tongues as the woMEN in their lives, artfully craft war against their masculine minds.
    Watch how strong men whimper if the sword dangling above their heads gets to swaying through some act, displeasing to their tongue-whipper.
    Talk about SM, imagining how some husbands survive underneath the soul bondage applied to their derrier by heartless tongue-lashing wives, is painful for any sensitive female.

    The tongue is a weapon forged for destruction or deliverance, demeaning or delight, devilment or deliriously passionate discourse with our husbands. We get to choose which. We get to wield this power as we operate this vastly superior organ in constrast with most male prowess.

    The feminine artistry of the tongue is a learnt skill which I strive to humble before my God in every instance least I tear down my house with my own hands. My tongue is submitted to my fierce desire to be a wise woman who builds up my house contrary to the marriage I witness in my life.

    Thank you your article, Spicynutmeg. It caused me to once again address my continued battle with my ever-ready to destroy, delicious, little tongue. Oh that I may apply my licks to my man for his delight and not to his demise.

  5. I very much agree with this article. I am much happier when I stop focusing on what is “fair” or even being right at the cost of speaking cruelly. I know the second I’ve said something I wish I could stuff back in. It never changes the situation for the better and only brings hurt and makes things worse. In almost eight years of marriage I have sure learned how much good holding my tongue can do for our relationship. I am much better at thinking before I speak now, and taking that time to think produces kinder words and much better results. Every now and then that awful sword whips out though and I know the instant I have wounded him. I pray God changes my attitude to reflect Jesus more and more. It sure makes for an awesome marriage!

  6. to ‘anonymous’
    her husband may have been wrong but Love is patient and kind, and not selfish.
    Also, “love covers a multitude of sins”

    I’m sure there are many ways to take that verse, but here’s one – I can respond in love to my husband when he does something either offensive or downright sinful, so that I choose to use his actions as an opportunity to love him and not to let something come between us. Will he still have to deal with God (and perhaps apologize to me) for his own wrongdoing – yes.
    Will I have stopped a possible storm that gets worse and worse from MY selfish reactions to being offended. I hope so!

    Now, I’m not advocating that you don’t tell your spouse if something bothers you, but I am saying I want to be less selfish in my reactions, and more loving.
    I’m also suggesting that perhaps love is more than going ‘fifty-fifty’ in a marriage and demanding that your spouse meet you halfway.

    I think spicy nutmeg’s story is a perfect example of two loving but not perfectly loving ppl, and what can happen when BOTH are being insensitive/not loving… And I can totally identify with that. and I wish I couldn’t!

  7. wow.loved this article.I too have times when I forget to put DH first and get to thinking “if he really loves me he would be more considerate of what I want,it’s always all about him,etc.etc.” and then my hurt and selfish feelings come out in smart replies.oh how I want to control my tongue more! And to be so unselfish to my man! I want to build him up with my words,not tear him down! Thank you so much for writing this.

  8. Great article! I grew up with a mother who belittled my father. It is hard sometimes to keep myself in check. I am learning how not to be like her and to try to uplift my DH instead. I need to always think of others before myself. I am learning how to do this with my DH as well as my children. Thanks!

  9. Wow, you sure got me. I too have a problem with my tongue. I want to be a more loving wife. I want to build my husband up not tear him down.
    I pray that God will for give me and help me do better.I love My DH and thank God for him everyday.
    My DH loves me dearly and I too should be using my tongue for pleasure to him not harsh words..
    Thank you Spicy Nut Meg.


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