Last week I shared 3 Ways Your Mouth Can Absolutely Ruin Your Relationship. This week we’ll wrap up the “Your Mouth” series with Part II, 7 Easy Ways To Achieve Victory Over Your Mouth. I’m sharing tips and strategies I’ve learned from the Lord’s word, personal experience, and relationship books about guarding your lips. However, guarding your lips should be plan B when it comes to lip treatment in your marriage. So what should we be doing first and foremost?
Nurture the Relationship That Comes First
I’ll be married for four months in about two weeks, how crazy is that!? Well, it may not be crazy to you, but it’s a little surreal for me. I wish I could say that these first few months of marriage have been completely blissful, but if I’m being 100% honest…they haven’t been. Not to say we haven’t had wonderful times, but we’re definitely still growing as a couple and getting to know one another. Hence the fact that I’m able to share the 7 strategies below with you all. I wish I had been more patient, kind, and selfless in these elementary stages. But I can’t go back now. However, I can share things I wish I had done since hindsight is 20/20.
I’ve learned these past couple months that the only way I can give my all in my marriage is to nurture the #1 relationship in my life. And I’m not referring to my relationship with Andrew. I’m talking about my relationship with the Lord. In order to be selfless, adoring, and kind 24/7 I have to be full of God’s pure, true love. Without that connection, I am selfishly relying on Drew to provide something he cannot. My identity, value, and esteem come from God and God alone. So when we’re stooping down to levels beneath us, spewing lies of the enemy, and dishonoring our husbands with our words we need to check our hearts. Loving our spouses begins with loving the Lord first.
However, when life gets busy it’s easy to lose focus. We slip further away from the Father and get reacquainted with the world. We throw words around with no thought of the consequences. And when this happens, what can we do? Below I put together a list of 7 strategies I use when I let myself slip. I pray you won’t need them often, but when you do they’ll be helpful.
7 Strategies for Guarding your lips
“Watch your words and hold your tongue; you’ll save yourself a lot of grief” Proverbs 21:23 (MSG). Honestly, the best way to avoid getting into these situations is to be quiet. But that’s not always appropriate or healthy for the relationship. Our words have power, and it’s up to us whether we’re going to use them for good or evil. So without further ado let’s get into it, shall we?
#1 Abide in the Lord and his Word
We must submit ourselves including our mouths to God. The Lord can take anything and make it new. Read what the bible says about the power of our speech. And ultimately when our lives are lead by the Holy Spirit our speech will reflect what is holy, truthful, and good.
#2 Ask your significant other or close family & friends
I urge you to go into this particular exercise with an open mind and heart. Ask your spouse and others for examples of what words hurt them or put them on the defense. Hopefully, those close to you will tell you the truth in love. You may be surprised at what they say. A good way to begin working on an issue is to first understand it.
#3 bite your tongue, literally
Sometimes it takes all my strength not to say what I really want in some moments. And as impulsive as I am, there have been times where I’ve begun to say something and I’ve had to say “nevermind” in the middle of my statement or I trail off altogether. But I’ll take any win I can get. “A truly wise person uses few words; a person with understanding is even-tempered. Even fools are thought wise when they keep silent; with their mouths shut, they seem intelligent” Proverbs 17:27-28 (NLT).
“Set a guard over my mouth, Lord; keep watch over the door of my lips” Psalm 141:3 (NIV). This is an easy prayer to say every morning as we wake and prepare for our day. However, feel free to pray another scripture or just pray what’s on your heart in that moment. God answers prayers; we can trust Him with all things, including our words.
#5 ask for a moment or a timeouT
Drew isn’t a fan of this because he’s the type of person that likes to finish things at one time. I, on the other hand, don’t mind revisiting issues later if needed. So in the heat of an argument or tense discussion, I may ask for a timeout. I will go to the next room, or if we’re in same space I’ll escape into the solitude of my mind. When I feel myself getting hysterical and out of control I will reign myself in before I say something I regret. “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen” Ephesians 4:29 (NIV).
#6 prepare or rehearse
When you know there are hot topics to be discussed in the near future take some time to get mentally and emotionally prepared. And that doesn’t mean grab your armor and prepare for battle. Go into every situation optimistically, and set yourself up for success. Think of all of the possible scenarios you can and rehearse calm, loving, and thoughtful responses to each situation. Although the actual encounter may not be what you expected, going into it thinking of positive reactions and outcomes can help you stay level-headed in the heat of the moment.
#7 Ask the Lord and your spouse for Forgiveness
In the event that you let your emotions and tongue get the best of you, ask the Lord and your significant other for forgiveness. We all mess up, it’s inevitable. And as people, we are not expected to be perfect, because no one is perfect except God. Owning up to your mistakes is part of being a mature adult. Don’t blame so-and-so for provoking you or making you say “x,y, and z”. You have the free will to do whatever you please, and you are the only person in control of your mouth. Hopefully, you’ll learn from your mistake, repent, and be better than you were yesterday.
Wrapping it Up…
I pray these 7 tips will prove useful in the event that you need them. And if you’re struggling, I hope you’ll pray for the Lord’s blessing over your mouth.
A Prayer to give your mouth to the Lord
I thank you for your never-ending grace. You are holy, pure, and worthy to be praised. I come to you asking for forgiveness. My mouth has not been glorifying you or your Kingdom. Nor have I been uplifting my husband with my words. Help me watch my tongue and keep my speech pure. Guide my thoughts and allow the Holy Spirit to lead the outpouring of my communication. I want to be an example of your love, glory, and grace. I desire to honor you with my words and speak life into every situation.Let my words be sweet and full of love when I speak to my spouse. Allow me to show love to him by showering him in affirmations of my commitment to our marriage.
In Jesus Name I Pray,
With lots of love,