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  • Writer's pictureJonathan Painter

A Strategist of Words

“The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly.” (Proverbs 18:8)

God has made mankind in such a way that he is susceptible to the words that he hears. We are created thus that we might receive His perfect Word. Though the Words of God should have a positive effect on us sometimes others speak words to us that have the opposite effect. They do not make us happy; they simply make us angry or sad. We will be affected by the words that we hear, for this is how God made us. Yet, we must also keep in mind that people are also at the mercy of the words we speak as well. Therefore, we must speak with wisdom. We must truly be cool and calculated strategists with our words.

I have long been a lover of the classic game of chess. Chess is a game of thought and calculation. You must make your moves with caution and care having weighed the options and ramifications that each move will have on the game. Making a mistake will cost you a weapon, or may even cost you the game altogether. When each player sits down across the chessboard from their opponent they have taken on the role of a strategist. The outcome of the game will depend on his strategy.

This is very applicable to the game of communication. Every word that we speak to our spouse and our children should be weighed with caution understanding the ramification of the words that you have spoken and where you have spoken them. I recently read this quote, though the author is unknown. “Taste your words before you spit them out.” It is important that we choose our words carefully for they cannot be taken back.

Using a good strategy with your words is especially important in your relationships. The relationship between spouses can be greatly affected by words. Your words will either build up your spouse or will tear them down. What you say and where you say it can have a big effect on your spouse. It is important not to use words that belittle your spouse or demonize them either in private or in front of others. Never call out your spouse and correct them in front of others. These are terrible strategies to use in communicating with your spouse. God made your spouse to be affected by the words that you speak.

When you talk down to your spouse it will take a toll on their sense of value, especially in how they perceive that you value them. This is dangerous territory for if they sense that you do not value them your spouse may find someone else who values them more. It leaves open a door of temptation and opportunity for the Devil.

When you call out your spouse or correct them in front of others it is embarrassing to them. Your children you call down in public, but not your spouse. Doing so will embarrass them and make them feel as though you are treating them as a child. This then strains the relationship and creates a lack of trust in the marriage. One spouse feels the other cannot be trusted in public to do the right thing and the other spouse fears being in public with their spouse because they fear they will be called out and corrected like one of the children.

Words must be chosen carefully when dealing with our children. A wise parent does not call their children names or seek to demean them in correction. Yet, they use their words to teach and illustrate, as well as to reprove and correct. These are all done with a mindset of building the child, not tearing them down. Therefore, our words need to illustrate our intent.

It is vitally important that we choose our words carefully and become master strategists with our words in communication. Doing so will bring a sense of joy and peace to your family and will serve to keep your relationships healthy and strong.

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