My husband is very particular about words and phrases.
Actually we both are. We care about what we allow to come out of our months.
But unfortunately I carry the 25,000-words-a-day gene.
So a day doesn’t go by without me over-speaking and saying something I shouldn’t say. (Anyone else feel me ? : ) )
Why we try to watch our words
My mistakes notwithstanding, we still watch our words.
And here’s why.
The world we see today was created through words. God spoke it into existence.
Thus it became that words would create reality. (Prov 18:21)
Here’s how it looks like for me – when I say something enough times, however idly, it’s like painting a picture on the canvas of my brain.
The more I say something, the more magnificent the painting.
In fact the words I speak often reveal my initial beliefs. (Thus my words can also be the red flag to erroneous beliefs).
Now what I believe influences how I act.
And how I think and talk and act is the the sum total of my reality.
Obviously God is ways bigger than “my reality”, so this is not about God being limited by my weak human self.
It’s about the limitations I put around myself and which ultimately blind me to God’s limitlessness, when I am not talking, thinking and acting as He wants me to.
Words to watch out for in 2014
Here’s a few words and phrases that you and I can work on eliminating from our marriage vocabulary in 2014.
1. “You always..”
The truth is your husband doesn’t always. (Otherwise you wouldn’t have married him!).
The more you repeat this phase, the more you rewire your brain to believe the lie.
So even when he tries and becomes better, you still won’t see it.
2. “You made me..”
No he didn’t. You chose to act/react the way you did.
He may have snapped at you but your reaction/response was entirely up to you.
However hard or unfair it feels sometimes, our responses are entirely our own responsibility.
(Check out these posts on how to respond to various marriage pressure points – Leadership, Submission, Communication, Irritation, Going the extra mile, Hearing God during hard times, Adjusting to married life, When he’s just different, not wrong, Navigating hard financial times, Keeping boundaries with the opposite sex, Getting out of his way so he can lead, Loving when you don’t feel loving)
3. “I can’t..”
When you say you can’t, you are saying that your situation has complete control over you and you have no power.
When you say “I can’t forgive him anymore” you are saying that his sin and mistakes are greater than God’s grace and love at work in and through you.
But here’s God’s truth, spoken through Paul (Philippians 4: 11 – 13)
“I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.”
With God, you can.
4. “If only..”
“If only he could only help around the house, maybe I’d want to be intimate.”
“If only he could pray with me in the morning then our spiritual lives would be better”.
Granted marriage is better when it’s flying on both wings, it’s sweeter when every person is rowing as they are supposed to.
But to stop rowing and doing your part because your hubby has taken a break is plain silly. And suicidal. You will crash that boat.
And that’s where ‘if only’ leads. “What ifs” and could bes” make you hang your brain where you have no control.
Stop nurturing regrets and instead engage what God has given you now.
Do your part and let God do His. (Check out this Facebook update I shared recently)
5. “I need..”
Maybe you shouldn’t ban this one from your marriage entirely :).
But learn to separate needs from wants.
And even when your needs are legitimate and genuine, understand that your husband can’t (won’t) be able to meet all of them.
Because much as he loves you, He’s not God. Only God can meet all your needs.
Your husband is a gift and a blessing, not your Source.
6. “We are so broke..”
It’s not a typical phrase-y word but I’ve included it because the early marriage years can leave you feeling depleted in more ways than one.
But I’ll focus on finances.
After moving 8,000 miles across the globe and starting life from scratch, I felt “broke” for the longest time.
You know how you don’t say you are broke, but you feel it and think it all the time? Yeah, that.
My husband – he is amazing – still reminds me not to use “broke” words.
Words that strip us of power, that take away life instead of adding life to situations.
So I have learned – still learning – to say “We’ll plan for that..” when I see something I like/want/need but can’t have at the moment.
I am learning to separate needs from wants and keep my joy, whether I get them or not.
God wants us to find joy and completeness in Him, not things or people.
God is more than enough
Beyond finances, I am learning that I can do all things through Christ. God will never ask me to give what I don’t have. He has equipped me for my race.
And He has equipped you too. You can do all things that Christ has called you to do.
From loving your man to living a life that glorifies God – you can be all that and then more.
Don’t limit yourself and marriage. Don’t allow your feelings and thoughts and words to limit and dictate your faith.
Lean hard on God. Trust Him. Seek Him. He will supply all your needs according to the power that is at work within you.
Your turn – What other words do you need to ban from your vocabulary this year for a healthier marriage and life? Please share in Comments.
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Ps – My friend Dave Arnold is launching his book “It’s Possible” today! Great goodies for anyone picking up a copy this week. Click here for more info.