Back then I appreciated our friend taking the risk of saying something that wasn’t necessarily easy to say. I still do. His advice was wise. We took his words to heart and have tried to live by them, though we are not always perfect at that. I recently read a blog by a pastor who wrote, “I’m amazed at how often I hear good, faithful Christian couples undermine each other in public. I hear wives degrade their husband’s character and worth…I also hear husbands rail on their wives in a sort of ‘can you believe what my wife just did?’ kind of manner.” Words can be so hurtful. James 3:6 says, “the tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.” Wow. What strong words. Strong and true, for indeed we can do so much damage with the use of our tongues.
How horrible it is when I try to earn some laughs and cause others to think I am funny at my wife’s expense. What does that say about my selfishness and my lack of love for the woman I promised to cherish the rest of my life? We do fail at times, but fortunately that is because we are both secure in our love for each other and like to laugh. But I often recall my friend’s words and remember. I remember how much I want my wife to feel safe, to feel cherished and admired. How much I want her to know how highly I think of her and how much I love her. One powerful way I can express that is by praising her before others and being careful to avoid saying anything, even in jest, that would denigrate her. That is also a way to protect and strengthen the bond of love between us. Truly, as Proverbs 18:21 says, “the tongue has the power of life and death.” Always endeavor to speak well of the one you love.