Have you ever been happily reading along during your morning quiet time (still half asleep- spilling coffee on your journal) and find Jesus stepping all over your toes?
“But if you bite and devour one another, take care that you are not consumed by one another” (Galatians 5:15 NASB).
This verse found me at one of the lowest points in married life. I’m talkin’ -ring off, radar up, just waiting for him to mess up one more time before I sent him off to live with his dad- point in our marriage.
God and I had been wrestling over this marriage all year
I say “God and I” because hubby had quit fighting for us long ago. To shoot straight with you ladies, when I am upset with something in my husband, my words can be ugly.
Yet I know that if he spoke to me the exact same way it would hurt deeply. Gr… Why do I act that way!?!?!?! Can you relate?
As I sat reading that one verse over and over again it suddenly fell into context.
Galatians 5:14-17 NASB. 14 For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 15 But if you bite and devour one another, take care that you are not consumed by one another. 16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. 17 For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please.
My husband is my neighbor.
I need to speak to him like I want to be spoken to. Seems like common sense, but I don’t do it consistently.
God showed me a truth: my mouth does more damage than anything else in our marriage. Talk about stepping on my toes that morning!
Praise God we have the Holy Spirit battling as we walk through this life – battling to make us more holy!
Proverbs 18:21 NASB – Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat it’s fruit.
I think we know what words bring death… but what are the words that bring life? I haven’t heard many sermons preached on that?
So what do we do differently?
Y’all I can get so frustrated with that man that I want to scream! It happens the same way with my kids… hear me out now, I am not comparing my husband to my kids. I am comparing my reaction to the frustration.
The way I respond to frustrating situations often determines the mood in the house – weather it’s with my kids or my husband.
“If momma ain’t happy nobody’s happy.”
When I react out of frustration, chaos and anger will ensue. But, if I respond with a light-hearted playfulness, it can set the stage for many magical things.
A sense of humor goes a long way in our household.
I am 99.9% serious Y’all. I had to learn humor – literally rehearse in my mirror what to say to redirect frustrating situations.
These are the 3 steps I took to find my Playful Words – and wow did they work like Magic in the life of our Marriage!
- Stop believing he hurt you on purpose.
- That man more than likely does not sit around planning ways to hurt you. Yet, I really thought he did…
- Forgive because most offenses in life are unintended.
- Can you think of a time a friend shared how you hurt her? She probably spent hours obsessing over it while you didn’t realized you hurt them. We have so much on our minds and can be short with others without realizing it.
- It is critical to forgive quickly and easily, remembering that we are trying to assume the best in others.
- Plan ways to respond so you are ready for the next frustrating situation.
- I Spend time practicing in a mirror (because my face can give me away), or pretending in my mind (like you used to play dolls as a girl).
I remember the first situation I tried out my new Playful Words.
We were both exhausted. I had overcooked the noodles for our dinner only to realize too late that we didn’t have spaghetti sauce. All the while the kids were boxing it out over the mixed-up Play Doh. The stage was set for disaster… normal human disaster.
It is not uncommon for hubby to begin to tear me down about how easy this meal should be. “Who messes up spaghetti?” has been uttered in my house more times than I can count.
In that moments I chose to respond rather than react.
I could have found words to tear him down as well, or I could run from the room in tears over my failure as a woman. Both have happened in the past. That day however, I gave a little curtsey; laughed off his criticism with a saucy remark about my ability to be consistent in even the simplest tasks.
That little bit of playfulness was enough magic to snap the house into a comical mood. He apologized for being so critical and we moved on and tried to enjoy an odd meal.
This new way of using my words – Playful Words – is like a magic that heals. It transformed our married life. Now he thinks I am a comedian, often commenting that I “should take my show on the road”.
It doesn’t always work, but I am often in a better mood for the attempt – so everyone wins.
Death and life are in the power of our words. Choose life and watch it change your married life for the better!