Words

I’ve never been very talkative. As a child, I was extremely shy and spent a lot of time by myself. The only exception was when I got angry, then the words seemed to flow out of my mouth without any problem. Of course, what I said when I was angry wasn’t very good. In fact, most of the time, I wish I hadn’t said it. One time, when my ex-husband and I were in a heated argument, I told him I was going to leave him. Immediately, I knew I shouldn’t have said it, but the damage was already done.

It says in Proverbs 13:3, “He that keepeth his mouth keepeth his life: but he that openeth wide his lips shall have destruction.” The phrase open wide his lips is referring to the free flow of speech. There is no filter of what is being said. The words translated keepeth mean to guard or watch what is being said (5341, 8104). In other words, keeping your mouth shut instead of saying what is on your mind. The Hebrew word translated destruction is properly translated as a dissolution (4288). The idea being a breaking apart or breaking down of something.

In my relationship with my ex-husband, the threat of me leaving became like a self-fulfilling prophecy. Although we remained married for another ten years, our relationship began to slowly disintegrate after that argument. The lack of trust and insecurity undermined our ability to resolve our differences. When the topic of divorce came up, it was as if the matter had already been settled. There was no expectation that things would ever get better. The interesting thing about my relationship with my ex-husband was that he ended up leaving instead of the other way around, perhaps because he didn’t want to be the one left behind.

 

Forgiveness

A significant flaw in my development as a Christian was a lack of forgiveness. Not only did I have a difficult time letting go of the past, but my physical and emotional wounds as a child and young teenager made me want to isolate myself rather than engage in healthy relationships. My marriage was a constant struggle because I had a tendency to keep track of my husband’s mistakes and would not give up trying to get my own way when we got into a conflict. Many times my husband got the cold shoulder when we went to bed because I was still angry from a fight we had.

Proverbs 10:12 contrasts two ways of dealing with conflict. It says, “hatred stirs up strifes: but love covereth all sins.” This verse refers particularly to the love between man and wife. Solomon indicates the choice to stir up strife or cover one’s sin is based on your feeling toward that person. The word translated hatred, sânê’ (saw – nay´) means to be unloved. “The word covers emotion ranging from bitter disdain to outright hatred (8130). Whereas love causes us to cover up or overlook an offence, hatred rouses us to action, it makes us want to fight.

If someone would have asked me, do you love your husband? I’m sure I would have said yes, but my behavior was consistent with hatred more than it was love. The problem with emotions is that they can be suppressed and hidden within the unconscious mind for many years. I didn’t actually feel a lot of what was going on inside of me while I was married. It wasn’t until I exploded that I realized I was angry and even then I sometimes blamed my anger on things that had nothing to do with the real issue.