Your spouse is one of the only people that has seen the good, the bad, and the ugly side of you. They have seen you naked in every respect of the word. They know your ins and outs, your quirky habits, and your loves and hates. But what happens when you use this information as venom, when you talk negatively about your spouse to others?
On countless occasions I have heard people publicly discuss their spouse in a negative way, display negative feelings towards their spouse, or portray their spouse in a negative manner to others. This is no bueno for you, your spouse, or your marriage relationship. First, let’s look at the power of our words, and then we will dive into the damage that it causes when you speak negatively about your spouse to others.
The power of words
Proverbs 18:21 tells us,
Death and life are in the power of the tongue
Solomon was the wisest man to live, and he understood that when you speak, your words actually do something more than just rattle the vocal chords in your throat. They actually bring life or death.
Have you ever praised somebody for something they did, whether that be a child or an adult? When they hear those words, it’s like you can see them instantly light up. You have spoken life to them mentally, emotionally, and even spiritually.
On the contrary, if you scold or condemn a person for something they have done, you can see the life instantly drain out of them. You have spoken “death” to them.
You can speak life or death into a person based on how you speak to them.
Dr. Masaru Emoto conducted an experiment on water as it crystalized during freezing. He studied how words and intentions affected the water. The results are interesting to say the least. Once you correlate his findings to the understanding that the human body is made up of 50-60% water, you will understand how much power your words have.
You can find Dr. Emoto’s studies HERE.
What you say to others about your spouse
Now that you understand that your words actually carry quite a bit of power, literally life and death, let’s discuss how you talk about your spouse to those around you.
When you speak negatively of your spouse to others, you do a number of things. It doesn’t matter whether that is your family, friends, acquaintances, or even to the spouse himself or herself. Your negative words do something.
First, you destroy their character. Any relationship they have with the Lord, any good they have done, or any achievement they have achieved now becomes marred by the tarnish of your words. Their character will never be the same to those people, which leads us to our next point.
Second, you paint them in a bad light, so that when they come around those people, the first thing that will come into their mind is the negativity that you spoke. This again destroys their character.
Third, you allow the devil to get a foothold in your marriage, by dwelling on the negative things that may happen.
Paul instructs us in Philippians 4:8,
Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. – Philippians 4:8
By dwelling on the negative things within your relationship you foster the negative emotions and reactions that coincide with those thoughts. And out of the overflow of your heart, not only does your mouth speak, but your actions are lived out. By dwelling on the negative you create a wedge within your relationship, and allow the devil just a tiny foothold. You give him an inch, and he will take a mile.
Fourth, the more you speak those negative things, the more you speak death into your marriage. This further destroys the bond of relationship within your subconscious, therefore perpetuating the cycle of relational death. This expounds on point three. The more often you think about it, and especially speak it out publicly to others, the greater damage and death you are fostering in the spirit of your relationship.
Fifth, when speaking directly to your spouse, think of the death that you are causing inside of them. (Refer to Dr. Emoto’s study above and the make up of the human body.)
Consider these verses:
Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear. – Ephesians 4:29
So also the tongue is a small part of the body, and yet it boasts of great things. See how great a forest is set aflame by such a small fire! – James 3:5
Finally, I would add this: if your spouse is a believer and follower of Christ, regardless of their spiritual maturity level, they are part of the body. When you speak negatively about your spouse, you are speaking negatively about the body and bride of Christ.
You can’t love Christ and despise His bride. If your spouse is not a believer, how then can you expect them to become one if you are not speaking life to them or about them?
When you dwell on those negative aspects about your spouse you destroy the life within your relationship. Decide today that you will commit to only speaking life into your marriage by speaking positively about your spouse to others. EVEN IF your spouse has done something negative or something that hurt you, I challenge you to even speak well of your enemies.
Allow Christ to be the head of your marriage and to be glorified in all aspects of it. Crucify the flesh, and allow Christ to be alive within your marriage through wells of living water within you.
Here is another great resource, from a woman’s perspective. –