“DO EVERYTHING WITHOUT GRUMBLING OR ARGUING, SO THAT YOU MAY BECOME BLAMELESS AND PURE, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation .“ (Phil 2:14-15). In the small group Bible study for Men Are Like Waffles, Women Are Like Spaghetti we joke: “Argument (ar*gyou*- ment) n. A discussion that occurs when you’re right, but your mate just hasn’t realized it yet.”
Once I refereed an hour-long argument over if the Chevy my dad was driving was a 1959 or 1958!!! Couples can get into a cycle of disagreement where everything becomes a point of contention. We could have repeated this unhealthy, destructive, time-wasting way of life but instead, we made a simple choice: Let God’s Spirit select our words.
Psalm 141:3: Set a guard over my mouth, O Lord; keep watch over the door of my lips.
Now that we have the principle in place to think and pray before you speak. In our book, A Couple’s Journey with God, we look a little closer at the type of words to avoid and why:
Proverbs 4:24: Put away perversity from your mouth; keep corrupt talk far from your lips.
Perversity is words that are “bent,” “crooked,” or “twisted,” applied to persons involved in moral error.” You know when you twist words just to make your mate feel bad or look bad.
Corrupt talk is a pretty strong word meaning things like: to debase, brutalize, demoralize, degrade and ruin. This goes to your motive, the “why” of your word choice. What was in your heart when you said what you said.
In Ephesians 5:4: Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving.
Obscenity means filthy or shameful. Foolish talk is silly or unnecessary. Coarse joking is anything vulgar or nasty. To sum it up, ask “Would my mama, Nana, or pastor want to hear me say this?”Then Jesus wouldn’t want to hear it or have you say it either.)
But by far, the couples that allow poor word choice to destroy their love comes from one main source: tearing down their mate, word by word, like a slow steady drip.
We live on the side of a mountain, and one winter, a gentle a rain soon turned into a full-on storm, then a torrential downpour that pounded away at the mountainside.
The puddles turned into streams, and the streams became rushing rivers, creating a flash flood until, in a moment, the entire side of our yard slid down the hill. It was gone in what felt like a heartbeat, but in actuality, it eroded one tiny raindrop at a time. We just hadn’t noticed until what was once ours was washed completely away.
The devastation was immense, and everyone had a view of the catastrophe because it was so apparent.
In the same way, harsh words are like the consistent rain and it will wash away your love. Nitpicking, criticizing, critiquing, name calling, fussing, cruel, unkind, inconsiderate, mean words will ruin your marriage and the devastation will be obvious to all around. There is an art to the unsaid.
PAM FARREL is an international speaker, author of 40 books, and co-director of www.Love-Wise.com
Penelope Carlevato’s Cranberry and Meatball Baguettes
Here’s a holiday favorite if you’ve already become “turkey-ed out.”
Ingredients:2 pounds pre-cooked, frozen turkey or Italian beef meatballs 2 (14 oz ) cans cranberry sauce, with or without berries 1 12 oz jar Heinz Chili Sauce 1 tsp fresh, finely-grated ginger 1 tsp cinnamon 1 large Baguette Arugula Thinly sliced red or green peppers 1 very thinly sliced red onion
Combine the cranberry sauce and the chili sauce in a crock pot and stir in the ginger and cinnamon. Add the frozen meatballs and stir until the meatballs are well coated with the sauce.
Cook for 4 hours on low. Slice the baguette in half lengthwise and spread thinly with butter. Place under broiler until lightly toasted.
Cut the baguette into four-inch pieces and place the meatballs and cranberry sauce onto the baguette. Top with arugula, and have peppers and onions available for each person to add to their sandwich as desired. Serves 6 to 8
Serve with potato chips, a hearty green salad, or a nice assortment of fresh veggies and a dip.
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