Audio: Chapter 7 "Kindness on Her Tongue"
Chapter 7 “Kindness is on Her Tongue”
She opens her mouth with wisdom
and the law of kindness is on her tongue.
Everyone watches how a woman speaks to her husband, to her children, and to others. When a woman speaks respectfully and kindly to her husband and children she shows the main characteristic of a “godly woman.” However, those who are impatient and disrespectful reveal themselves as weak and immature Christians.
Kind and gentle speech is one of the most important ingredients for a good marriage and well-behaved children. Kindness is the main characteristic of a “godly woman.”
We have been deceived by “counselors” and so-called “marriage experts” who tell us that it is a lack of communication that causes marriages to be destroyed. While searching the Scriptures, I found that God has a lot to say about how much we say, what we say, and how we say it! Follow me as together we discover the truth:
It’s not a “lack” of communication!
We are to watch how much we say!
Many words. Not only is it not a lack of communication that causes problems in marriage, but when there is a lot of talking and discussing, transgression (a violation of God’s Word) cannot and will not be avoided! “When there are many words, transgression is unavoidable . . .” (Prov. 10:19).
Keeps silent. Others tell us to speak our minds and to share what we think, but God says that “a man of understanding keeps silent” (Prov. 11:12). “The one who guards his mouth preserves his life; the one who opens wide his lips comes to ruin” (Prov. 13:3).
Closes his lips. Actually, God says that we practice wisdom and appear wise when we say nothing. “Even a fool, when he keeps silent, is considered wise. When he closes his lips, he is considered prudent” (Prov. 17:28). “But let your statement be, ‘Yes, yes’ or ‘No, no’; anything beyond these is of evil” (Matt. 5:37).
Without a word. God speaks directly to women to remain silent. “In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives, as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior” (1 Pet. 3:1–2). “The women are to keep silent in the churches . . .” (1 Cor. 14:34).
Gentle and quiet spirit. God finds the quiet woman precious to Him. Is this you? “. . . with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God” (1 Pet. 3:4). “Guard what has been entrusted to you, avoiding worldly and empty chatter and the opposing arguments of what is falsely called ‘knowledge’—which some have professed and thus gone astray from the faith” (1 Tim. 6:20–21).
God Tells Us to Be Careful What We Say
Guards his mouth. How many times have you gotten into trouble through the words you have spoken? “The mouth of the righteous flows with wisdom, but the perverted tongue will be cut out” (Prov. 10:31). “There is one who speaks rashly like the thrusts of a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing” (Prov. 12:18). “He who guards his mouth and his tongue guards his soul from trouble” (Prov. 21:23).
What proceeds out of the mouth. This statement is clear. What you say is very important! “For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned” (Matt. 12:37). “Is is not what enters into the mouth that defiles the man, but what proceeds out of the mouth, this defiles the man” (Matt. 15:11). “. . . put them all aside: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive speech . . .” (Col. 3:8).
Attention to the Word. This Scripture describes two types of wives. Which one are you? “An excellent wife is the crown of her husband, but she who shames him is like rottenness in his bones” (Prov. 12:4). “He who gives attention to the word will find good” (Prov. 16:20).
Do away with childish things. Have you matured? Are you still a child who says things that hurt others? One of the biggest lies we learned as children was “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” Many of us have never recovered from some of the words that were spoken to us as children. “When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things” (1 Cor. 13:11).
Isn’t it time for us to grow up? Stop saying things that hurt your husband, your children, and your relationships with others!
Righteous lips. Who doesn’t appreciate a kind word from someone? “Righteous lips are the delight of kings, and he who speaks right is loved” (Prov. 16:13). “Speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord . . .” (Eph. 5:19).
Abandon the quarrel. “The beginning of strife is like letting out water, so abandon the quarrel before it breaks out” (Prov. 17:14). “A fool’s lips bring strife, and his mouth calls for blows” (Prov. 18:6). Again, arguing or strife is not good for marriage (or any relationship), though others may tell you differently!
Constant friction. Is there constant friction in your home? “Deeds of the flesh are evident . . . strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, envying . . .” (Gal. 5:19–21). “If anyone advocates a different doctrine and does not agree with sound words, those of our Lord Jesus Christ, and with the doctrine conforming to godliness, he is conceited and understands nothing; but he has a morbid interest in controversial questions and disputes about words, out of which arise envy, strife, abusive language, evil suspicions, and constant friction between men of depraved mind and deprived of the truth . . .” (1 Tim. 6:3–5).
Agree quickly! If you have problems with arguing, memorize these two verses. These verses totally changed my life! “Agree with thine adversary quickly, while thou art in the way with him” (Matt. 5:25 KJV). “Keeping away from strife is an honor for a man, but any fool will quarrel” (Prov. 20:3).
Two of you agree. You must try to find the area of agreement instead of the point of disagreement with everything your husband says. If you can’t find anything to agree about, keep quiet and smile! “Again I say to you, that if two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by My Father Who is in heaven” (Matt. 18:19).
Crushes the spirit. Proverbs also tells us that what we say can crush our husband’s spirit! “A soothing tongue is a tree of life, but perversion [defined as being obstinate or determined not to agree with another person’s wishes or accept their suggestions] in it crushes the spirit” (Prov. 15:4).
Guard my mouth as with a muzzle. Here is a sobering thought: “Even before there is a word on my tongue, behold, O Lord, You know it all” (Ps. 139:4). “I said, ‘I will guard my ways, that I may not sin with my tongue; I will guard my mouth as with a muzzle . . .’” (Ps. 39:1). Muzzle your tongue. Fasting is the only way to be truly delivered from a big mouth! Believe me—you’re too weak to speak! It’s what worked for me! Just do it—fast!
Her husband safely trusts in her. Another area in which we must watch the way we speak, which can result in losing our husbands’ trust, is in speaking about him to others. “The heart of her husband safely trusts in her and he will have no lack of gain” (Prov. 31:11). We should never share our husband’s weaknesses or tell others something he told us in confidence. Remember, “A slanderer separates intimate friends” (Prov. 16:28). So many women share with me (and with everyone else they know or meet) about their husband’s sin of adultery, alcohol, drugs, or pornography. I refuse to listen and cut them right off. Let me ask you, “How many people have you told?”
Confess our sins. During counseling or when we are talking to others in order to get help for our marriage, we all make the fatal mistake of confessing our husband’s faults and sins, thus failing to get the cleansing and healing we need for our marriage to be restored. The verse clearly says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). Again in James 5:16 it clearly says, “Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.”
I will destroy! “Whoever secretly slanders his neighbor, him I [God] will destroy” (Ps. 101:5). So many women think that they are constantly battling the “enemy” when in fact it is God who is against them. If you have told others about your husband, you have slandered him. God promises that He will bring destruction into your life. You can rebuke the devil all you want, but Scripture is clear: You must repent and ask the Lord to remove this sin from your life and then make restitution by going back to everyone you have told. Confess your own sinfulness to them and share all the good things your husband has done (and is doing) for you.
A slanderer reveals secrets. One of the most common snares that women fall into is gossiping over the telephone, under the guise of sharing “prayer concerns” or “prayer requests.” Stop hanging around with women who gossip. Do as God commands: “. . . do not associate with a gossip” (Prov. 20:19).
Slander be put away from you. Others may not realize that you’re a gossip, but God knows your heart. Don’t fool yourself; you don’t need to get into details to share prayer concerns—you’re a fool! “And whoever spreads slander is a fool” (Prov. 10:18). All of us must put sharing prayer requests, which is nothing more than slander, away from us. “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice” (Eph. 4:31).
You may find as you get rid of this type of “sharing” that you have nothing to say to your friends. It also resulted in my acquiring new friends! If you resist the temptation to slide back into your old ways, God will be faithful to teach you to edify instead of shaming your husband. “An excellent wife is the crown of her husband, but she who shames him is like rottenness in his bones” (Prov. 12:4). Let’s instead begin “. . . speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord” (Eph. 5:19).
Sweetness of speech. If you have shamed your husband by what you have said to him or about him or by your attitude, God is so faithful to offer the cure: “A joyful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit dries up bones” (Prov. 17:22). “Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones” (Prov. 16:24). “Sweetness of speech increases persuasiveness” (Prov. 16:21).
God sees! Watching how much you say, winning your husband without a word, and getting out of your husband’s way is what God’s Word tells us to do. God is also adamant about the “attitude” behind our actions, since this shows our heart. “. . . For God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart ” (1 Sam. 16:7). The attitude of a godly woman is one of respect for her husband, which stems from a pure heart.
We are told that respect is something we should demand from others. We are told that we should have respect for ourselves. To learn the true meaning of respect, let us look for a deeper understanding. Our husbands are to be won “by the behavior of their wives, as they observe [our] chaste and respectful behavior” (1 Pet. 3:1). The word respect is defined in the dictionary as “a special esteem or consideration in which one holds another person”! It is not what we demand for ourselves!
According to the thesaurus, respect(ful) means to have admiration, to be considerate, to esteem, to honor, to reverence, to admire, to appreciate, to notice, to prize, to treasure, to uphold, to value. Antonyms (the opposite) are scorn, blame, and censure. We will study the words in bold (or italics) in more depth.
Consideration: thoughtfulness toward others. Hebrews tells us that we need to encourage our husbands and others. By our actions, we can stimulate them to love us and to also seek to do good. “And let us be considerate of how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds” (Heb. 10:24). Therefore, when we are inconsiderate, we motivate our husbands or children to despise us and do wrong!
The deeds of the flesh. We use our husbands’ sins to excuse our lack of respect for them. Here is a list of sins as stated in Galatians. As you read them, please take a moment to underline those sins that are usually committed by men, the ones that we in the church call “real” sin.
“Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities (hostility), strife (contentions), jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions (differing opinion), factions (actions that cause friction), envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you . . . that those who practice such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God” (Gal. 5:19–21).
Now go back and circle the sins we tend to ignore in the church, those that are usually committed by women. To excuse your disrespect, based on your husband’s sin(s), is obviously based on ignorance or excusing your own sinfulness before a Holy God! We are clearly full of sin, which God says is “evident”!
Looking to yourself. Many feel that it is their responsibility to punish or chastise others who sin, especially their own husbands. Scripture tells us differently and shows us the consequences of these prideful actions. Let us not forget the log in our own eye. Remember that all sins are the same to God.
Again, don’t let Satan fool you into thinking that your husband’s sin is worse than yours. “Brethren, even if a man is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness (or consideration in KJV); each one looking to yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and thus fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself” (Gal. 6:1–3).
Esteem: high regard for others. Psychologists, sadly even Christian psychologists, have taken God’s command “to esteem others better than ourselves” and twisted it to teach us to build up ourselves, rather than others. Read this entire passage to allow the truth to set you free from esteem and pride, which are destroying you and your marriage:
“Let nothing be done through strife or vain glory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than themselves. Do not look out for your own interests, but for the interests of others. Have the attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men” (Phil. 2:3–7).
Appreciate those who have charge over you. Your husband has charge over you. Did you make his job easier or harder? “We request of you, brethren, that you appreciate those who diligently labor among you and have charge over you . . . and that you esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Live in peace with one another” (1 Thess. 5:13).
Honor: regard highly. We are to regard our husbands as worthy of honor, honor we should already be showing them. “Let all who are under the yoke as slaves regard their own masters as worthy of all honor so that the name of God and our doctrine may not be spoken against” (1 Tim. 6:1).
God may not be dishonored. Remember that by showing honor to your husband, whether or not his actions warrant or deserve honor, you bring glory to God!—and not only when your husband is around, but at all times when you speak of him and in your thoughts of him. The consequence of not showing this type of respect is dishonor to God and His Word. We say we are Christians but our “deeds deny” it! (See Titus 1:16.) Instead we are “. . . to be . . . kind, being subject to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be dishonored” (Titus 2:5). “Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord” (Eph. 5:22).
In toil. “Then to Adam He said, ‘Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree about which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat from it, cursed is the ground because of you; in toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life’” (Gen. 3:17). After the fall of man, the man and the woman were each given a punishment; the woman would have pain in childbirth and the man would have to toil on the ground or work. So why is the man’s punishment now shared by both the man and the woman? Why did we buy into this lie? It is because of pride.
A woman full of pride doesn’t want to be told what to do or how she should spend money. If she makes her own money, she can make her own decisions about how her money is to be spent! We can easily slip out from under our husbands’ authority and ultimately their protection as well.
In addition, when wives have a different career than that of the home and children, it divides the couple’s interests and makes us independent of each other. God warns us when He says that a house that is divided will not stand! Has your job or career destroyed your marriage? (See “The Ways of Her Household” in A Wise Woman.)
Grant her honor. All women long to have our husbands treat us as in the following verse: “You husbands likewise, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with a weaker vessel, since she is a woman; and grant her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered” (1 Pet. 3:7). By striving to be quiet and gentle and honoring our husbands, especially when they may be living dishonorably, in a chaste and respectful manner, we can receive the blessing of having our husbands honor us by choosing to return home!
Here are some scriptural guidelines on how to receive the honor:
By being gracious. “A gracious woman receives honor” (Prov. 11:16). Respond graciously to whatever is said to you always with all people! Never press or overreact! Remember, you are a child of the King—act like royalty! Those in royalty never show ill emotions or fly off in a rage. Think of Princess Di who was experiencing all kinds of horrible marital pain, yet you never saw her pitch a fit or make a scene.
By having humility. “And before honor comes humility” (Prov. 15:33).
By being humble. “But humility goes before honor” (Prov. 18:12).
Reverence: a feeling of great respect, love, awe, and esteem; to fear. Many women do not respect or show reverence to their husbands. How can we as Christian women ignore the Scriptures? “And let the wife see to it that she respect her husband.” In the King James Version it says, “And the wife see that she reverence her husband” (Eph. 5:33).
Appreciate: to give favorable recognition; to cherish, enjoy, value, understand; to treasure (especially in the marriage vow), to take loving care of, to keep alive (in emotion). We spoke about doing things from the heart. If your husband is not one of your treasures, your heart is not with him. “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matt. 6:21).
Sometimes when we lose something or temporarily misplace it, we realize how important it is to us. Did it take losing your husband for you to realize what you had? I know it did with me!
How can you help heal your husband spiritually and emotionally? Speak sweetly and gently to your husband whenever the Lord gives you an opportunity to speak to him. “A soothing tongue is a tree of life, but perversion in it crushes the spirit” (Prov. 15:4).
This blessing can be yours. “All the days of the afflicted are bad, but a cheerful heart has a continual feast” (Prov. 15:15). If your heart is cheerful, you will draw your husband back home, since he left to find happiness. When he leaves where he is now, will he find joy back in his own home with you and your children?
Here is a caution. Watch what you say about your husband. Shame is an emotional cancer. “An excellent wife is a crown to her husband, but she who shames him is as rottenness in his bones” (Prov. 12:4). Rottenness is defined as decay by caries, decay as by worm eating. “In the end she (the harlot) is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword” (Prov. 5:4).
A good word. Never talk to your husband about your troubles, fears, or anxiety over his sins (adultery, abuse, alcohol, or drugs), about your finances, or about the impending divorce, since “Anxiety in the heart of a man weighs it down, but a good word makes it glad” (Prov. 12:25). Whenever your husband happens to speak to you, he must leave feeling uplifted, not confronted or downtrodden.
Brings healing. Your tongue can have two opposing effects; which will you choose? “There is one who speaks rashly like the thrusts of a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing” (Prov. 12:18).
A joyful heart. Have a joyful or a merry heart. “A joyful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit dries up the bones” (Prov. 17:22).
Cheerful face. Let your face show the joy that is in your heart. “A joyful heart makes a cheerful face, but when the heart is sad, the spirit is broken” (Prov. 15:13). [Joyful is from the NASB; merry is from the KJV.] Let’s learn more about being joyful and merry. Merry: glad, joyful, rejoicing. Joyful: (to be) a good woman, pleasant, precious, sweet, grateful, agreeable.
Rejoice always. In our circumstances it seems impossible to be happy. How can we possibly be merry or joyful? “Rejoice in the Lord always, again I say rejoice” (Phil. 4:4). And when are we to rejoice? “Rejoice always” (1 Thess. 5:16). It’s in Him that we rejoice. This is the most powerful weapon of our spiritual warfare—praising the Lord when adversity comes against us!!
Are you able to do anything without murmuring and complaining? Do you complain, whine, or murmur continually about your situation to others or to your husband? If you do, you are not grateful! “Do all things without murmuring and complaining” (Phil. 2:14).
Have you learned the secret? We may think that in our circumstances we have reason to whine. Instead, we must learn to be content. “. . . for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means . . . and in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need” (Phil. 4:11–12).
Antonyms of Respect are
Scorn, Blame, and/or Censure
Did you scorn your husband? Did you blame him for past failures? Did you censure where he went or what he said? Now is the time to renew your mind. Read and reread this chapter until you’ve worn out the pages and have broken the binding. Make 3x5 cards for every Scripture verse that brought conviction in your spirit. Keep them with you in your purse and read them throughout the day. “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, handling accurately the word of truth” (2 Tim. 2:15).
In conclusion. Let us all first strive to appear wise by keeping silent. Next let us make sure that when we do open our mouths it is with wisdom, kindness, respect, and edification. Let our words be sweet and gentle. Let us be a crown to our husbands in the way we handle this adversity in our lives, which will be precious in the sight of God!
Personal commitment: to open my mouth with wisdom and kindness. “Based on what I have learned from God’s Word, I commit to remain quiet, wait before I answer, and be sweet in my every word. I also commit to demonstrate a respectful attitude toward my husband because of the example it sets for others and the honor it gives to God and His Word.”
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