Jan 29, 2014

Unleashed Tongue

I love my dog. Okay, sometimes I don't. She's kind of a big, untrained nuisance. Taking her on walks is impossible without her choke collar. Without accountability around her neck, she would take off, dragging me across grass and concrete alike. I've tried to train her, but she's just a big, overgrown puppy. Forever young...and annoying. Still, how can you not love this face?

My dog reminds me of my tongue. When I wear my Wife hat, I feel like I'm the lead in Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew, but in my case, the production is called, Taming of the Tongue. James 3:8 says no human can tame the tongue, and oh, do I agree! The day I found out my husband's love language was words of affirmation, I knew I was in for a life-long lesson. While growing up, I saw words used as weapons. My father had a terrible tongue. Yes, he cussed like a sailor, but it was more than that. He knew exactly what words to say to cut the spirit. Fortunately, he had only wonderful, uplifting words for me. But monkey see, monkey do, right? I learned quickly how to use my tongue to harm instead of heal.

Now, almost ten years into my marriage, I'm still making gigantic messes. Just a couple days ago, I dropped an atomic bomb of nasty words on my hubby's head. I tore him down when my job is to build him up. For whatever reason, I have more difficulty biting my tongue when with the people I love most than anyone else.

Silence is often key. Proverbs 10:19, 11:12, 17:28 all say that holding our tongue is a wise move. Psalm often compares our tongue to that of a sword. Thank God His word is a sharper sword that can cut out our rotten parts, including our tongues. I bumped into a verse that really hit home for me. Psalm 4:4 says, "Don't sin by letting anger control you. Think about it overnight and remain silent" (NLT, emphasis mine). 

I'm sure you've all heard this analogy some time during your upbringing, whether in church, home or school, but the illustration is so true, I can't resist using it. Words are like toothpaste.
Once squeezed out, there's no squeezing them back in.

To end, I choose lyrics from an ageless children's song:
"Oh, be careful little mouth what you say. Oh, be careful little mouth what you say. For the Father up above is looking down with love, so be careful little mouth what you say."

Hats off to you, my friend. I will write again, but until then...
hang on to your hat! ;-)

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