"...I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live..." Deuteronomy 30:19
"Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit." Proverbs 18:21
Powerful, huh? Can you imagine if we actually lived like we believed those verses? Our words carry so much weight that God went so far as to say we can cause life or death by the words that come out of our mouths. God also spoke through Moses to tell His people that they had a choice: life or death. Blessing or cursing. When you put it that way, it's like, "Duh!" Of course we WANT life. Of course we choose blessings and not curses! But do we really?
Where I get myself into trouble is in the nitty gritty details of my day: being perturbed with my kids for whatever reason, having the twelfth thing in a row go wrong while I'm trying to accomplish a long list of to-do's, or just being tired. During those moments, my guard is down and I respond with a fleshly remark or attitude. I can reason it away or overlook those words I spoke over my kids - but the reality is, I just sucked the air out of the room by letting death escape my lips. If I am not speaking life, then I am speaking death. DEATH. That's horrible! And it seems so harsh! But we have a great mantle of responsibility on us as God's people. He created humanity to have dominion over the earth. Having dominion meant that humans were God's super-charged managers on the earth, acting in His authority, and whatever they said was the way it would be. Of course, everything got royally messed up when Adam and Eve forfeited their relationship with God for the knowledge of Him... But that did not alter the pattern God set in motion for dominion. What we say carries weight.
Think about it - if you spend a week consciously praising and encouraging your child, what are the results? That child will rise to the words spoken over him. If you spend a week dedicated to speaking loving things to your husband and telling him how amazing he is, what are the results? You grow closer together, you love him more, and he rises up into the place you have created for him with your words. I'm not suggesting that you refrain from correction or discipline with your kids - far from it! Your children need your guidance in those ways, for sure. But, what if you set a guard on your lips and only let life-filled things come out? Would anything change in your world?
A few years ago, I first heard Jimmy Evans teach his marriage seminar called Marriage on the Rock. He was one of the first people who helped me understand how very powerful my words were over my husband. I remember him saying something about finding one good thing your husband does and praising him for it. "Even if it's just, 'Honey, I love the way you put your socks on in the morning. Nobody puts their socks on better than you do.' " I thought that was hysterical...because I was in a funky place and couldn't really come up with anything to praise Tim for at the time. But that gave me such hope. To know that if I would start speaking life to Tim, life would come. So, I tried it. I made a point of keeping anything negative to myself and only speaking out good things to Tim. When I started doing that, a bridge was built over the black chasm that had separated us for quite a while. And we began to live again. I could see a glimmer in his eyes again. So, I kept speaking life....even when I didn't fully buy it or didn't fully believe it, I spoke it in faith that it could be. And to my amazement, Tim started to grow into himself as the head of our home! Not because I was trying to manipulate him or change him...simply because I was speaking words that created life in his soul.
We have got to get over ourselves and be willing to let things go. We have got to choose the better way - the way of life. Yes, we need to discuss things and yes, we sometimes will have opposing viewpoints, but the bottom line is that I will not use my words to bring death to my husband in any way. I refuse to speak death over my precious children whom God entrusted to me to water and tend and train up.
God isn't joking about this! We have the power to speak LIFE - real life - into a husband, a child, a situation, a people group, a nation, a job, a physical body... Consider the ramifications!
I'm making a renewed commitment today to choose life for myself and my house! Join me!
"May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer." Psalm 19:14