Many years ago, when we were in our third or fourth year of marriage, I learned a big lesson regarding talking about my guy. I had been at work and gone out to lunch with a friend and on the way back to the office, I called our home answering machine to check our messages. I was irritated that my guy hadn’t left some important information (years before texting!) and proceeded to tell my friend about it. All the way back to the office. Many unnecessary, derogatory, stupid words.
Later that day I went home and was surprised to find that I was home before my guy. I checked our answering machine and there was a message on it, so I hit the play button. On the machine was my entire conversation, word for word that I had spoken against my guy. I was mortified. There was anger in my voice that I didn’t really feel and some of what I said was only half true. I immediately deleted the message and worried that he had heard it. He hadn’t.
After some thinking on what I had done, I realized a couple of things. 1) My words have a profound effect on my marriage, and even though he didn’t hear those words that day, he felt the attitude behind them every day. 2) I needed to be more careful with whom I shared my heart, and how much was said. Honestly, I don’t remember the name of the woman I was lunching with that day. I can still see her face and remember details about her life but her name, and her friendship, escapes me. 3) I needed to change the way I spoke about others, especially those closest to me. Since that time, I try to only say things that I would be comfortable saying if they were in the room with me. I’m not great at this, but I am improving.
I share this story when talking with young married or premarital couples because it took me too long to learn the lesson. If you have ever accidentally sent an email or text to the wrong person or said the worst possible thing within earshot of another, you may, like me, need to be reminded that your words matter. For better or worse.
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. Ephesians 4:29
How profound and true! I will be forwarding this one.
Incredible message Jen! We all need to be reminded of this. I know I do, especially when dealing with things like we currently are!
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Stress makes a big difference, and really shouldn’t, right? It was a tough lesson to learn.
Thank you for this reminder. I often get caught up in the moment without realizing the impact my negative words may have long term. Hope you all are doing well. xo
It was a humbling lesson, that’s for sure! Recently saw a picture of your family and couldn’t get over how big your boys are!
Thank you for posting this Jennifer. It’s good to be reminded of the power of our words to either help or harm.
Thanks for reading, and taking the time to comment!
What a powerful lesson to learn early on in marriage.
It’s also easy to say the wrong thing without malicious intent. Like “Thank God you weren’t hurt,” as you stand next to a spouse or the parent whose loved one was in a tragic situation.
Great true-to-life example of a really important lesson. Words are thoughts first, which are perspectives before that – even though we don’t say everything we feel, reflecting on those deeper attitudes is so necessary
This is so good. I haven’t been on in almost 2 months so I’m trying to catch up. I’m so glad I didn’t miss this one 🙂
I’ve noticed! Glad to see you back on, I’ve missed you!