Blessing Our Spouse: Taming our Tongue in Marriage

Smiling couple in front of peaceful lake and mountain. Man has his arms around wife in a sweet embrace.

Blessings and curses. We often experience both the positive and negative in our lives. My husband and I have sought to bless one another through our thirty plus years of marriage. We have chosen to build each other up and not tear each other down. We have chosen to sow good seed in the soil of each other’s hearts and minds.

The Beginning was Challenging

There were times in the beginning when this was difficult. We had to cultivate kindness and extend forgiveness – even when the other wasn’t at their best. The Bible speaks of bringing forth good; of a gentle answer turning away wrath; of a soothing tongue bringing forth life; of the tongue being a small part of our body, yet boasting great things.

We chose to act on the saying, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, then don’t say anything at all.” I refer to this as taming the tongue because we refused to let it our tongues run wild.

We can Tame our Tongue

We can never reclaim words once they are spoken. If the words are negative, we can ask for forgiveness, but we can never completely undo the effects on the other person’s heart and emotions, so it’s better to wait and speak when we’re at a good place heart-wise.

If we can’t think of anything positive to say, then we just smile, nod our head, change the subject or if the other person is insisting on a conversation that is going negative, then we outright say we need to change the subject and discuss it later.

Know your Relationship Triggers

Are there triggers? Does a certain subject, such as finances, bring up stress, anger or control issues? Then find a solution so that you’re not set up for a negative exchange. For a season, my husband typed up the budget and sent it to me via email.

In his email, he listed any concerns or surprises that occurred, such as auto repairs. I responded via email with any questions. We both processed any heart issues or fears with the Lord, then we came together to discuss the budget. Because we were at a good place in our hearts and minds, we had a nice adult conversation that was positive and life-giving.

We found staying quiet when we didn’t have all the facts or when in an intense conversation, allowed us to step back for a moment and wait for a better time when we could enter into a more constructive discussion.

Internal Evaluation

I would ask myself these questions internally: is what I’m thinking going to cause me to regret my words if I speak them out loud? Would these words harm our relationship? What am I really frustrated with – this subject or something else? Is the point I’m wanting to make about the subject or about myself – am I trying to make myself look better (pride) or am I trying to make the other person look worse (pride again)?

Heart motive can be quite revealing! And humbling!

We are Teammates

We all have hard things we need to work through relationally. Whether extended family or neighbors or work related issues. In the midst, if we view the situation as us being on the same team and we are trying to discuss the direction of movement, the intensity of travel time, the destination point of arrival – we remember, we’re on the same team, so we pull together instead of against one another.

Jesus First + Husband Second = Peace

I find processing things with the Lord and getting His perspective takes away 75% of the things I might be struggling with – after talking with Jesus, most of it is gone. I see my own selfishness or deal with my own heart issues from the past, and it’s just gone.

Anything remaining, I can share from a heart and ownership perspective, “This makes me feel like this.” It’s no longer ‘you’ language with a finger pointing at the other person. It’s me sharing my heart about how I feel, then we can process what happened and how to move forward in a life-giving way. When we both walk this way, then we both feel heard and understood. It’s so much healthier this way!

Remove All You Language

We have learned to take ‘you’ language out of the conversation. No one likes to have words put in their mouth. Instead, we own our thoughts and we own our feelings. “I feel this way. I think these are the pros and cons of the situation, etc.”

We give clarifying feedback: I hear fear or I hear this is a priority, then we ask clarifying questions to get to the root need or the root desire or the root fear. We ask, “Do you feel valued by me right now?” If not, then we try to change the current atmosphere to make it right.

God Gives Second Chances

There is no condemnation if our tongue is a weakness. This is where we humble ourselves before Him, confessing our sin of speaking forth words that do not edify according to the need of the moment and receive His power to move forward in love, gentleness and kindness.

If we cross the line, we admit it. We take responsibility for our unkind words or inconsiderate actions. We can acknowledge that what we spoke came out much harsher than we intended. We own it, we apologize, we ask forgiveness, and then we move forward in our relationship.

If our actions were done in front of others, then we apologize publicly. We make a plan in how to prevent it from occurring again, as in waiting thirty seconds before responding to something. A 30-second rule of waiting can save all of us a lot of trouble!

Listening, taking our thoughts captive, speaking kindly by taming our tongue, and walking in a life-giving manner are ways of blessing our spouse from our heart and in our actions.

Prayer:

God, we want to walk and live in Your Spirit. We renounce unwholesome words, bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, gossip, slander, malice, course jesting, abusive speech, lying and silly talk. We refuse the spirit of condemnation.

We receive Your Spirit of love. We choose to rejoice always; to pray without ceasing; and to give thanks in everything. We choose to surrender our thoughts to You – to think on what is true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, or good repute, anything excellent and worthy of praise – we dwell on these things and receive Your peace, which passes all understanding, and Your peace will guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. You renew and transform us into Your image.

We want to reflect you in all things, Lord, so cleanse our tongues. We choose to bless and not curse others today. We receive Your grace and Holy Spirit empowerment to walk in Your love, Your joy, Your peace, Your patience, Your kindness, Your goodness, Your faithfulness, Your gentleness, and Your self-control.

We choose to forgive others where they have harmed us. And we choose to put on Your heart of compassion, Your kindness, Your humility, Your gentleness, Your patience, and Your love. We thank You! We praise You! We choose to release songs of praise, allowing rejoicing and thanksgiving to arise in our hearts towards You – for You are worthy! We worship You! Hallelujah!

Further Encouragement – Songs:
“The Blessing” (Live) by Kari Jobe, Cody Carnes, Elevation Worship
“A Father’s Blessing” by David Danielson
“The Blessing Song” by David Danielson
“Blessings” by Laura Story
“You Say” by Lauren Daigle

Further Encouragement – Book:
Blessing Your Spirit by Arthur Burk & Sylvia Gunter
This book can be used to bless or pray a blessing over yourself, your spouse, your immediate or extended family or friends.

Scripture References:
Matthew 12:35-37; Proverbs 15:1-4; James 3:3-12; Romans 8:1-2; Ephesians 4:29-32, 5:1-4; Galatians 5:22-25; 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18; Philippians 4:4-9; Colossians 3:8-17; Romans 12:1-2; John 8:36

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