Temporary Upset, Permanent Damage
By Sabrina McDonald
Sooo many deliciously mean thoughts run through my head when I’m upset with my husband. I’m the queen of “burn” (as my kids call it). Words are my favorite weapon; I use them with such skill!
Unfortunately, there is only one result of a skillfully wielded weapon: irreparable damage.
I recently read a sign from Johannesburg, South Africa, that got me thinking about my words: “Don’t do something permanently stupid because you’re temporarily upset.”
So often that’s the case with many of my declarations, like, “You don’t love me. If you did …” Those careless words sprout roots of discouragement in my husband’s heart that will long outlive my anger.
Sadly, that illustration is a puny example of the harshest things I’ve said. I’m too embarrassed to write out the meaner ones.
I have to continually remind myself of good advice like the Johannesburg sign, or another good one from Ephesians 4:29, “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.”
Hurt feelings heal so much faster when we use words that bring grace instead of words that inflict permanent damage.
The good stuff: Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps himself out of trouble. (Proverbs 21:23)
Action points: Do you have a pet phrase you often use to hurt your spouse while fighting? Commit to cut that phrase out of your communication. If you struggle with tongue control, write out the Johannesburg quote on a sticky note and put it where you will see it often. Think of words that bring encouragement instead of pain.
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