Who sharpen their tongue like a sword, And bend their bows to shoot their arrows—bitter words.
Psalm 64:3 (NKJV)
Picture this. Carrying a bow and some arrows, you walk into a room full of people. You then start shooting arrows all over the room. Some of those arrows hit the wall. Some hit the furniture. But some hit the other people. You look over to see one of those arrows sticking out of the chest of your spouse. You cry out that you didn’t mean to. You were just shooting around and weren’t planning on hitting anyone. But you did. And now they’re badly hurt. That arrow is out there and you can’t bring it back.
Your words can be like those arrows in that they can be devastating. People are hurt by words that are thoughtlessly spoken as much as words that are said with the intent to harm. And like those arrows, you can’t take them back. They’re already out there. Those wounds can take a long time to heal. Many people are still hurting from words that were said years earlier.
And even worse, many are silently suffering from things said by their husband or wife. Your mouth is NOT a weapon. So don’t use it as one. Is your spouse walking around with an arrow sticking out of them? An arrow that YOU shot? Whether you meant to or not, those words hurt.
But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment.
Matthew 12:36 (NKJV)
It’s said of a person who can come up with a quick remark to something someone else said that they are quick witted. In actuality, that would really be slow witted. They would be quick mouthed, but their mind hasn’t thought quickly enough about the pain they may cause if they shoot off their mouth. Many people are hurt while someone is trying to be smart or funny. Make sure your quick remarks aren’t tearing others down.
So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath
James 1:19 (NKJV)
Start taking time to think about what you are going to say to your spouse…and other people for that matter. Consider what negative affect your words may have on that person. Is what you are about to say something that you would want someone to say to you?
Remember you can’t take those arrows back.