Taming My Tongue in Marriage

Written with love, by Pastor Dave Page

Nancy Orozco Photography

Nancy Orozco Photography

Remember when you used to go to the doctor as a kid? What was the first thing he asked? Stick out your tongue. Now, the first thing he asks is, “Do you have insurance?” Ha. Why stick out your tongue? Because the tongue reveals what’s going on inside of you. The tongue is the table of contents for your health.  I’d say the tongue is also a good barometer of marital health.


The Power of the Tongue

“The tongue has the power of life and death.”[1]

Fill your mouth with life, not death.  Tongues can be weapons of mass destruction and the death of marriages.  But people also live because of something said. The tongue can bring life. Tongues can make marriages sweet, families strong, and communities healthy.

My Tongue Directs My Marriage

Where is your marriage headed in the next 5-10 years? Look at your conversation. We shape our words then our words shape us.  Words are significant and will direct where our marriage goes.

The tongue is one of the smallest muscles in the body and yet one of the most powerful. A bit in a horse’s mouth can control the horse. A rudder on a large ship can control the ocean liner.

The average American man speaks approximately 7,000 words per day. Care to guess how many words the average American woman speaks?  Careful guys!  The average American woman speaks approximately 20,000 words per day with gusts up to 25,000 or more.[2]  This means on average, women talk three times as much as men.

Sometimes it’s best to say nothing. “He who holds his tongue is wise.”[3]

My Tongue Can Destroy My Marriage

Megan Mack Photography

Megan Mack Photography

The tongue, like a fire, can destroy an entire forest or city overnight. I wonder how many couples through the careless use of words have destroyed their marriage?

Remember the nursery rhyme, “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words (names) can never hurt me.” It may be a nice nursery rhyme but it’s not true. Words can wound us.  The pain of a word spoken against us can hurt us for a lifetime.

On the other hand, fire under control can bring warmth and light. King Solomon said, “Like golden apples set in silver is a word spoken at the right time.”[4]


Think Before You Speak

“Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.”[5] Thomas Jefferson said, “When you get angry count to 10. When you get really angry count to 100.”

Learn to THINK before you speak.  Be wise in your speech to one another.



Here is an acrostic I use:

T        = True. Is it true? If so, share it, but share it in love.  Speak the truth in love.

H       = Help.  Will it help my spouse for me to share?

I           = Inspiring.  Will it build up my spouse or tear them down?

N         = Necessary.  What if I choose not to say it? Does it really matter?

K          = Kind.  Is what I’m going to say kind or harsh?

[1] Proverbs 18:21
[2] Louann Brizendine’s research at the University of California
[3] Proverbs 10:19
[4] Proverbs 25:11 (ISV)
[5] James 1:19