I’ve heard it so many times—my words have great power in marriage. I have the ability to rip my man down or build him up, to embarrass him or encourage him, to laugh at him in front of others or stand up for him. I’ve watched too many women use their tongues to always speak such harsh words that I made a pledge to do the opposite: Only loving and encouraging things will pour out of this mouth when I’m talking to Caleb!
A few weeks ago I had the honor of sitting down to coffee with Dr. Juli Slattery and Karen Ehman to talk about Karen’s book, Keep It Shut. I walked into the conversation pretty confident because I had already worked so hard to refine the words I use. We were talking about gossip (not me), slander (not me), and then all of a sudden Karen mentioned flattery. “While gossiping is saying something behind someone’s back you would never say to their face, flattery is saying something to someone’s face you would never say behind their back,” she said. Karen went on to talk about how sometimes we don’t use truthful words but just happy and nice things to make people around us feel good, and that isn’t Christlike either. If you listened to this conversation on Java with Juli, you’ll hear I was pretty quiet during that part. Remember in Looney Toons when cartoons figured something out and their brain starts spinning and they just lay back in their chair and let their mind explode? Yeah, that was me.1