The way we talk does more than communicate words. It can communicate feelings and cause hurt ones when we are careless with how we talk. Our tongues can help or tear down our marriage. It can build relationships or tear them apart.
Actions speak louder than words. We have all heard that, but words can leave a much longer lasting impression. They leave lasting cuts and scars. This is even mroe so in a marriage where emotions are intimately involved.
Our tongues can be very sharp at times, even when we don’t mean for them to be. We let our frustrations and irritations come out with a sharpness that can cause fights and wedges between couples. Our tone will convey anger at our partner while in reality we are frustrated at the circumstances or at someone else, even ourselves.
My mother was one with a very sharp tongue. She’d let you know quickly how she felt. The problem was that her words made everyone think she was angry all the time. Too often my parents’ marriage was tense because of the tones used when they spoke to each other.
Tear Down or Build Up
Our words are powerful. Our tone is just as powerful. With what we say, we can tear down those we love or build them up.
How we talk can be encouraging or demoralizing. Ask anyone who has suffered severe verbal abuse. They will tell you that words can leave longer lasting scars than most physical abuse can. How we talk reaches into our hearts and souls to tear us apart or to give us the strength to face any challenge.
Honey Versus Vinegar
Have you ever heard that it is easy to catch flies with honey instead of vinegar? Honey is sweet. It draws one to it in order to savor the taste. Vinegar doesn’t have a pleasant taste to most. Therefore, it is avoided at all costs. If you want your spouse to listen to you, use honey — sweet and nice words instead of sharp ones full of vinegar.
From experience, this doesn’t always work, but it has good odds. I’ve learned that my husband does respond to honey most of the time, but vinegar gets his attention at times when sweetness does not. As this is not always black and white, always think of how you talk before you open your mouth. Use your words and tone in a way that will benefit all and not just be a reflection of the feelings boiling within you.