Many years ago, 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 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 we could simply send a text!) 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 had arrived 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 had 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, even though he didn’t hear those words that day, he felt the attitude behind them everyday. 2) I needed to be more careful with whom I shared my heart, and how much I said. Honestly, I don’t even 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 I would be comfortable saying if they were in the room with me. I’m still 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 food for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. Ephesians 4:29