by Pastor Tim Burt
A few years ago, Renee and I had to remodel two of our bathrooms. After 20 years, one of them in particular had some moisture problems. Some of the frame work had to be ripped out and redone because the moisture got into some of the sheet rock and framework.
Over time, some of the framework of our lives suffer from deterioration. In the early days of the relationship with your spouse, words of love poured out. Long conversations flowed with interest and excitement. Hugs and embraces carried great affection. In the early days of your relationship, you may have been a champion at creating and giving beautiful letters, cards, poems, and creative ways to express your heart. The framing going on then was definitely the framing of love. But then over time, deteriorating forces creep in. Few people intentionally mean to be the vessel that brings deterioration to something they once so greatly cherished. They usually get caught up in a negative way of thinking and acting that builds momentum and that they don’t know how to escape from. Words most often play the biggest role.
The old saying, “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never hurt me,” is one of the greatest lies and fallacies ever taught a child. Words can bring life and words can bring deterioration leading to the death of something precious to us. Proverbs 18:21 says, “The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” This is telling us that our words have great power to produce life and blessing – to frame and create what is beautiful as God did, or to tear down and destroy – much like Satan, the destroyer of all does. It is a terrifying thought I know – to think that your words could be the handiwork of Satan to destroy. But, when you give over to wrong thinking and let emotions and words fly (that you know are wrong,) that is who you are yielding to.
What is God’s plan? Hebrews 11:3 gives revelation on the power of our words. Hebrews 11:3 says, “Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.” This is revealing that words create and carry the force to frame and build with the result of having something good appear that previously wasn’t there. Words can create what didn’t exist or destroy what does.
At the beginning of my marriage I had learned this truth by reading a book “The Tongue: A Creative Force” by an author Charles Capps. It opened my eyes to the exhortation of scripture to take our words seriously. It radically changed my life and it is one of the most critical areas I continue to think about almost daily.
At that time, Renee was a new wife that did not know how to clean, cook, or house keep. She had lived at home all her life and her mother did most everything for her. I had lived on my own for five years and was way ahead of her in home economics. I had a choice, complain and nag which I knew would bring a touch of death to our love, or I could frame her with words. I did that. I had Proverbs 31 written in calligraphy and beautifully framed and I gave it to Renee as a gift to hang in our living room. I told her she was that virtuous woman. I’d take her in the living room and read to her the work that God was doing in her. I’d do this often and remind her what God was doing in her by His grace. It helped me avoid the temptation to complain and instead exhorted her to try hard. She did! She became the best! Renee is sincerely an amazing wife.
Whenever we’d have a disagreement like couples sometimes do, and I’d let my guard down and say something negative about her, it took so much wasted time to recover. It made me that much more it determined to get my words right. When the kids were young, I taught them to praise their mother all the time. It was common to hear them say at almost every meal, “You are the best cook in the world mom.” “You are the best mom in the world.” If I didn’t hear them say it, I’d lead them in the chorus.
Over the years I’ve failed in keeping my words right far too many times. Most people do. But most people that fail in these areas are not doing what I purposed to do – frame what I wanted to create with godly words of edification. At least I had a good repair and remodeling plan going on. And I became better over time.
Proverbs 18:7 says, “A fool’s mouth is his undoing, and his lips are a snare to his soul.” God doesn’t want us or what is precious to us to be snared or torn down by our words. That is what God wants us to avoid. He wants us to learn to speak life. If we see things that aren’t great, then He wants us to frame the world we want to see by calling things that are not as though they were as instructed to in Romans 4:17. “…-God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did…”
Have you got any remodeling you need done? Don’t do patchwork. Rip out the frame and rebuild from scratch with words that create and bring new life to what was dead. Let the fruit of the Spirit reside in you and spill from you. If you are sincere and consistent, you will eventually get your harvest. As Proverbs 18:20 says, “From the fruit of his mouth a man’s stomach is filled; with the harvest from his lips he is satisfied.”
Proverbs 18:4 says, “A person’s words can be life-giving water; words of true wisdom are as refreshing as a bubbling brook.”
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
Published by Pastor Tim Burt
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