In Matthew 12:36-37, Jesus warns, “But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”
This Scripture surprises a lot of people. Most of us tend to think that, because we use words casually, the things we say are of little consequence. But according to the Bible, every word—the significant ones and the ones we consider unimportant—is recorded in heaven. We are responsible for them.
When we repent of sins, they are forgiven and erased. Our “idle words” are sins for which Jesus died. Still, in some manner, we will be held accountable for them.
Consider also Proverbs 18:21, which says, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.”
We all know the pain of harsh words spoken to us. Careless, insensitive speech has caused some of our deepest wounds, and many people live in families where words are used as weapons.
Sarcasm, criticism, verbal abuse, shame, and anger—these kinds of words bring death. They can be part of a negative, relationship-killing arsenal.
The enemy loves nothing more than to turn a house into a verbal war zone. When these environments are created, a husband and wife will suffer. So will their children. Negative communication can destroy a healthy home.
However, as easily as words can kill, they can also bring life. With our mouths we can bless. We can encourage. We can heal. We can communicate love and affection.
Positive communication is powerful.
The first step toward building an atmosphere of healthy words is by realizing that every single word we speak has incredible power.
Will our words bring life or cause death? Will they build up or tear down? Moment by moment, that choice is yours.
Submit your speech to the Lord.
Dedicate your mouth to being a vessel for his healing, hope, and encouragement. The mouth that produces a successful, healthy marriage and family is one that submits to the Lord.
James 3:4 compares the tongue to a small rudder that steers a mighty ship. Though a rudder seems insignificant compared to the rest of the ship, everything depends on it for the ship to get where it is going.
Communication is the same way. Our tongues determine the direction of our lives. The small words we speak to each other impact our marriages and families on a large scale. Every area of family life requires healthy communication for success.
Ask God to help you and your family learn to speak to each other with kind and uplifting words. Ask Him to transform your language into a praising, healing, loving, fountain of life.