Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me. That’s what they used to tell us to say when we were younger, so that our adversaries understood that they could say whatever they wanted and we wouldn’t be affected. But it was a crock of crap right? The reality is, those words did hurt. And though it may be different than being pelted with sticks and stones, those words can cut deep and stick with us well beyond those years. That is why it’s very important that when it comes to our significant others, we learn that what we say to one another matters.
It’s not often that I get blinded by rage, but in the moments when I have gotten there, I am definitely not conscious of whether what I am saying will hurt your feelings or not. God is working on me, stop with your little judging eyes. In either case, as I have grown in Christ, I realize that the power of life and death really is in the tongue and we should be making every effort to speak life into the people that we say we love.
“Speak to the king in him,” I remember someone saying. I think it was in a class my love and I were taking at our old church and it stuck with me. Now, it’s easy to speak to the king or queen in our significant others when they are doing everything right, but what about in their moments of peasantry behavior? That’s when the real test comes in. But it is crucial that we grab a hold of our mouths even when we are angry.
At the end of the day, most of us let our most reckless words fly when we have disagreements. But those words spoken in anger last beyond the fight and some of those wounds don’t heal. It is not okay to rely on the fact that you were angry. As adults it’s just doesn’t fly the way that it used to when you were throwing temper tantrums in the middle of the floor because you couldn’t get your way. Adults are in control of their emotions.
Many people don’t like to accept that fact. They want to think that they are slaves to the way that they feel. But how many of us realize that what we feel isn’t always what’s real? Think about the times that you have been fighting over something you assumed was the case and it was the complete opposite of what you initially thought. So you are telling me that a misunderstanding is a cause to call each other all types of names and demean one another? I don’t think so. Most of the fights that I actually do have in my relationship are over THEE stupidest things. So I want to work to make sure that something so dumb doesn’t cause us to hurt one another unnecessarily.
Whether it’s counting to ten, going for a ride, whatever it is, you need to learn your method for making certain that you are not speaking in anger. WE as people say things that we don’t mean when we are angry but somehow our hearts to do not have the ability to decipher that and it sticks. We should avoid cutting each other down in every way that we can.
And I am certainly not saying this from my high horse. But I am telling you as a person who is learning that her conflict resolve is not always the best and can lead to some pretty intense exchanges that don’t work out best for the welfare of a long term relationship. I’m telling you because I know! I am telling you this as a woman who is growing to see how negatively that can affect your relationship with another person.
Those hurtful words are like a little ice pick that will eventually chip away at a healthy relationship. When you get mad you are telling him how he is not a real man and he needs to this and that. Or you are telling her how stupid a mistake was that she made. After the make-up, there will still be the remnants of that exchange. As it builds, so does the resentment and I am telling you that it will not be a good thing in the end.
I was watching an episode of Being Mary Jane and David (Mary Jane’s ex) was trying to comfort her at the funeral of a close friend. Very quickly the moment of comfort went left and they were digging. Constantly, if you have watched the show over the three seasons they seem them dig and really know the most hurtful things to say to one another. How can we be so highly developed in how to hurt one another and not be able to turn that around to out-love one another? It is freaking mind boggling!
So I am challenging you to make a change with me. Decide that you only want to build your significant other up and speak love into their life. And that even when you are angry, you will force yourself to take a moment to pause. WE WILL GET ANGRY. My friend – that is the nature of trying to make two people move as one. But we still get to control how we react. And when you love someone, when you really love someone, you should do your best to keep their heart in the shape that it was before they met you.
Have you really gone below the belt in a fight or two in your day? How will you resolve to more effectively handle conflicts in your relationship?