I got you, didn’t I?
I like to consider myself a person who watches what I say. When someone disappoints me, angers me, or what not, I think through my words before I say them. Well, most of the time. When I read an email from someone, I carefully chose the words that I want to reply back. Why, oh why, can’t I do that for my husband?
I received an email in my box today that said this, “Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” (Proverbs 12:18) Wow. Those brought back a memory to me. See, there was this time last week when my husband walked into the bedroom. He was talking on the phone to his father. I, of course, was watching the most important show on TV at the time…..House, MD. (Yeah, go ahead and laugh…you like him, too!) So, my dear husband sits down at the computer desk to do some research for his Dad….and here I am trying very hard to hear the TV while he is talking. My daughter had been asleep in bed for an hour…my son was on the computer in the other room…. I had an hour of peace and quiet. Or so I thought. I love my hubby. I love the relationship that is fostered between him and his dad recently…but does it have to be when I am watching House? He turns to me, this wonderful man that God gave me forever and ever, and gives me the “can you turn down the TV” sign… Being the good wife that I try ever so hard to be, I turn it down some. Alas, I find that when I turn it down, I cannot hear the TV because of his phone conversation. So, I scoot as close to the TV as I can get so I can hear it while he finishes on the phone.
When he gets off the phone with his dad, he looks at me and basically says, “What is more important to you….this TV program or my talking to my Dad on the phone?” Aw, crap. Here I go…I am thinking…thinking… sigh. I have had a hard day at work. My daughter doesn’t leave me alone from 3-8pm after school. Here it is…9:30pm. I am on my second episode of House (Netflix is great!). I am relaxed on the bed…Couldn’t he have talked to his Dad in the other room? We have like more computers and laptops in the house than we have people! This was my only time of the day to do something for myself that I enjoy. I open my mouth, and… You know what I said, don’t you? Sigh. A Proverbs 31 wife, I was not.
The look on his face. You would have thought I just pierced him with a sword right through his heart. And I did. “Reckless words pierce like a sword… ” ACK! I really didn’t mean to hurt him. I never, ever mean to hurt him. But I did. Why? For an episode of House? I had it on DVD right there. You know, in my mind, I still kept thinking … why didn’t he think about ME when he walked in here? But God teaches us to think of OTHERS before ourselves. “Love your neighbor as yourself” is what Matthew 22: 39 tells us. If I were on the phone with my parents, what would I have wanted or expected from him? Jesus didn’t tell us that it was okay to hurt the ones we love…in the story of the Good Samaritan, Jesus was asked that question…who is my neighbor? We aren’t just talking about the noisy, psycho neighbor in the house next door, we are talking about everyone and anyone who we come into contact with. Do you remember the answer Jesus got to that question…Luke 10: 37 And he said (he being the “expert in the law” who asked the question), “The one who showed mercy toward him.”
You know the most embarrassing thing to me? God knew I was going to say that before I ever even uttered it. “O LORD, you have searched me and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O LORD. You hem me in—behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain. “(Psalm 139: 1-6) Sigh.
So why do we do it? Why did I do it? Sure it is our sin nature. I say things more often that hurt my husband and my kids than I do to my employees, my friends, and strangers on the street. Is it because we are so comfortable with them that we don’t really think before we speak? Many people think they know me, but if they knew the words that travel through my head, they would be shocked. I just have a very good sense (most of the time) when to say it and when to not say it. How about you? Proverbs 10:19 gives us some good advice “When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise.” Was the episode of House I was watching more important than showing love to my husband? No. I should have hit pause, or moved into the other room. It should have never passed through my lips. I have a friend who once told me that while she teaches in her class, she has some children that are discipline problems. I asked her how she handles it. She told me that she imagines that God is testing her, and that child is Jesus. How would you treat Jesus? That is how she treats even her worst behavior problem child. I think God wants me to do that as well.
Let me leave you with this thought. (Psalm 34: 11-14) Come, my children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the LORD. Whoever of you loves life and desires to see many good days, keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking lies. Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.