Sometimes it’s good to just be quiet, and experience silence, and stillness. Not only in our relationship with God but also with others as well. If you’ll read and reflect on James chapter three, you’ll find that Scripture warns us about the use of our tongue. Just think about the damage caused by careless words, gossip, lies, sarcasm, hurtful comments, inappropriate humor and bitter arguments, and you’ll understand why James cautions us about the tongue.
You rememberthe old saying: ‘sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me’. It’s really not true, is it? In fact, the opposite is more often the case. Broken bones heal much quicker and easier than wounded spirits.
In the book of Ephesians, Paul said, ‘Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them’.
In light of what James and Paul wrote, it should cause you to think about guarding your tongue carefully. From the silence of not answering back when baited into an argument, to not spreading gossip, to forgoing that sarcastic remark that would’ve gotten a laugh at someone else’s expense, verbal self-control is a powerful to bless and encourage others.
I host a weekday call-in radio show with five other counselors called New Life Live! Since we handle many calls each day, it’s easy to spot common themes that arise.
One common theme is the one about blaming and judging a wife who ‘just isn’t enough’ for a man. It’s amazing the mental gyrations some men will go through not to take responsibility. One day we commented that the worst-selling T-shirt we could market would say, ‘It was my fault.’ No guys would buy it!
Here’s an idea for another T-shirt message: ‘You’re not to blame for my problems.’ But let’s not wait for that T-shirt to land in stores to own that truth. Because when we own this, we’re humbled and ready to do what needs doing: asking for forgiveness.
Every computer has a reboot key that allows for fresh starts. Everything cranks up as if it were doing it for the first time. For individuals, the reboot key is called confession. Confession realigns the person with God and removes the stain of denial. The reboot key for a relationship is asking for forgiveness. It places the relationship back at ground zero. It doesn’t ensure that forgiveness will be granted, but at least from the point of forgiveness the relationship has an opportunity to flourish. Men, if you and your marriage are stuck, consider the most humbling thing you can do: Ask your wife to forgive you.
Men, I want to share just five simple thoughts about families with you. Please listen to them closely. Let them be food for your thought, reflection, and prayer as you go about your business today.
1) Families form people.
2) The most crucially formative relationship for a man is his relationship with his father.
3) A man will spend decades of his life trying to compensate for gaps in his relationship with his dad. And until genuine healing occurs, these attempts to compensate will only draw him into destructive lifestyles, habits, addictions, and relationships.
4) Every man must face and deal directly with the wounds that prevent his progress.
5) Every man courageous enough to let God touch these so-called ‘father wounds’ can find healing and renewal.
Men, our heavenly Father will get to the root causes of our thoughts and actions if we’ll only stop running, stop compensating, and open ourselves in trust to Him to do so. His penetrating gaze can search even the most painful areas of our lives; His gracious touch is what we need in order to heal’there are simply no substitutes; and that touch will leave us as men who intimately know what redemption means’men who are prepared to be ‘wounded healers’ in the lives of others.
Think about these. Pray about them. Taste of the Lord and see that He is good.