Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Watch What You Say

Do you remember that saying we used to have when we were kids, “Sticks and stones can break my bones, but names will never hurt me”? I’m sure you do. It was used whenever someone said something mean to another, as a way of showing that it didn’t really bother them. Of course, it actually did bother them, but they tried to pretend that it didn’t.

I’m not really sure where that little ditty came from, but I don’t think there was ever a bigger lie told in the history of mankind. Not even politicians can beat that one, and most of them are really good liars. The thing is, the injuries from sticks and stones may break bones, but bones heal pretty well. On the other hand, names, or other cruel words, can cause wounds that last a lifetime.

Our words are much more powerful weapons than anything else we can use. Unfortunately, they are weapons which are often used without restraint, without forethought and without consideration of their effect. How many times do we say things that later we wish we could take back?

You are probably still carrying wounds from things that people have said to you. You may even be carrying wounds from things that your wife has said to you. Often, in the midst of a heated discussion things are said that shouldn’t be; things that may not even be true, may not be what the person thinks most of the time, but at that moment, they pierce right through the recipient, leaving a festering sore for the rest of their life.

When we were dating our wives, we were careful with our words, at least, most of us were. We didn’t want to say anything to offend her or hurt her. We definitely didn’t want to say anything that would make her leave us, whatever we did. Yet, somewhere along the line, it seems that we lose that concern. Perhaps it’s something that gets lost through the various heated discussions that most couples have. Perhaps it’s something that comes from becoming comfortable around her. Regardless of the reason, it happens, and we’d all be better off if it didn’t.

Think about it. If you love your wife, why in the world would you ever want to say something to hurt her? Nevertheless, we all seem to manage to do so, often without even realizing what we’re saying.

That right there is the key. We need to become more aware of what we are saying and the potential impact of those words. Most marital offense comes from misunderstandings. However, being a misunderstanding doesn’t make the offense any less real. It’s quite real, and quite painful. The trick is to avoid saying those things. How? By paying more attention to what we say. If we engage the brain before opening the mouth, we’re much more likely to avoid saying those sorts of things.

Remember, women are wooed by our words, not by our looks. If you want your wife to love you, you’ve got to use words to capture her heart. Words can be positive or negative and it seems that one negative word can undo the work of 100 positive ones. So, watch out for those negative ones. Put a guard upon your lips and check each thing you are going to say, before saying it.

Whatever you do, don’t say the first thing that comes to your minds. All too often, that’s the worst thing we can say. In fact, that’s where most of the hurtful sarcasm, biting comments and put-downs come from. If we can just take that second to review what we are going to say, before we say it, then we can trap those things which will hurt our wives, even before they leave our mouths.


  1. Somehow we need to juxtapose being 100% transparent with our spouses and being careful about what we say, because we have the power to hurt them with words more than anyone else due to that same intimacy. I haven't quite mastered it yet, but I'll spend the rest of my marriage trying to.

  2. I will refer my husband to your page:) Thanks for sharing!