"When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. 4 Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. 5 Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. 6 The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.
7 All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind, 8 but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.
9 With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. 10 Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. 11 Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? 12 My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water."
The tongue is a powerful thing. Our words have such profound power. I think it’s sad that for some reason it has become ok or normal to bad mouth our husbands with one another. We take on a sarcastic tone and as we cut him with our words, somehow everyone ends up laughing and joining in. Husband bashing is almost like a fun secret past time for women and it’s becoming culturally acceptable in some ways. What appears to be female bonding over innocent, light hearted jabs at our husbands, is really a poison that begins a slow death.
My mom used to say when something was going wrong, “do you go to the phone? Or do you go to the throne?” Well… all too often, I go to the phone. It feels good to vent a bit and share with someone else my frustrations and anger. But when it comes to frustrations with my husband, going to the phone can be a spark that starts a forest fire. As women, we don’t want anyone to feel alone, and if a girl friend starts to bad mouth her husband to us and share her frustrations, it’s easy to join in.
A few weeks back I wrote about the importance of having a healthy community surrounding your marriage. The same goes for having healthy girlfriends to share marital frustrations with. There are certain friends we have that make husband bashing so easy, they’re almost like kindling to our spark. Those are often the friends we think of first to call when we’ve just had a fight or our husband did something that made us furious. And then there are friends, perhaps we’re lucky to have even one, who will gently cut us off in the midst of a rant and remind us to uphold our husbands with our words. A friend that will offer to pray, right then, for our marriage and not allow us to continue with our sharp tongue. A friend that listens and doesn’t encourage bashing. Do you have a friend like that? Are you a friend like that?
A little trick I do is to get in my car and go for a drive where I share my frustrations out loud to… my steering wheel! My rehashing of whatever happened with my husband often turns to a prayer where I’m asking God to forgive me for my part. Don’t get me wrong, there are times when I take my frustrations to the phone instead of the throne, but if I can get away in the car, I seem to advert the possible bashing.
The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.
The soothing tongue is a tree of life, but a perverse tongue crushes the spirit.
It’s just that powerful! Think about the word bash – to destroy or a party! Our words about our husband can be destructive to who he is, or they can be like a celebration of who he is.
The Bible tells us that out of the heart the mouth speaks. In the moment our heart has been wounded or upset, it’s easy to speak harsh words that can do far more damage than the initial incident with our husband. As women, let’s make a commitment to uphold our husbands in our words with one another. Let’s put an end to husband bashing and be the friend that redirects our sisters to the Lord when they are starting to say words they might later regret.