The Wise Woman has Kindness Is on Her Tongue
Welcome to Week Four
This is week four of sixteen. We are working through the workbook, A Wise Woman Builds Her House by Erin Thiele. If you missed the former weeks, you can start over with week one, A Wise Woman Builds Her House…On a Rock by clicking here. I hold a copyright release to reprint the book for you here, but you don’t. Therefore, the copying of this material in any form is illegal. I encourage you to buy the workbook. I have worked through it several times over the years. Every time that I do I find that there are new things that we need to work through. I also tend to write prayers in my book. I encourage you to do the same. Journal your thoughts, write prayers, even write confessions. The next time you work through it, you’ll be encouraged at how far you’ve come and how God answers prayers.
Remember that each week’s post is a week’s worth of study. I give it to you all at once for those who choose to work on it all over a weekend and ruminate over the information throughout the week.
I want to say a few words about the author, Erin Thiele. When she wrote this study, it was really for herself. Her husband had left her and the children. She prayed to God for wisdom and direction. Then she searched the Bible to see if her life actually lined up with the word. This workbook was the compilation of the notes she took at that time. Being that this was really her notes and not written as a study for others, it is written pretty plainly. Any godly woman facing a divorce or a serious situation in their marriage will appreciate the plain, straight-forward style of this book. Others may find it a little harsh or plain. It takes a woman in dire circumstances, a woman in pain to truly appreciate the style of this book. Here is a link to their site: Restore Ministries International.
As a reminder, this study is for WOMEN ONLY. Just as I encourage women to NOT study what a man should be doing once they marry so they don’t start judging their husband, I am asking the men to give us the same benefit. I am following the dictates of the Bible in Titus 2 for “the older women to teach the younger women to love their husbands and their children.” Thank you for understanding.
|Chapter 4 |
She opens her mouth with wisdom and the law of kindness is on her tongue. —Proverbs 31:26 KJV
What we say, everything that we allow to come out of our mouths, has to be one of the most important characteristics of a godly woman. The enemy has used the area of communication to undermine and destroy women and their relationships. Counselors and so-called marriage “experts” tell us that it is a lack of communication that destroys our relationships, yet, when searching the Scriptures, you will find, as I did, that God tells us the opposite. Follow me as, together, we discover the truth about communication.
It’s not a lack of communication! We are to watch how much we say!
Not only is it not the lack of communication that causes problems, but when there is a lot of talking and discussing, transgression (violating God’s Laws) cannot be avoided. “With many words transgression is unavoidable” (Prov. 10:19).
Others tell us to speak our minds and share what we think, but God says: “A man of understanding keeps silent” (Prov. 11:12). “One who guards his mouth preserves his life; one who opens it comes to ruin” (Prov. 13:3).
Close your lips
Actually, God says that we practice wisdom and appear wise when we say nothing. “Even a fool, when he keeps silent, is considered wise. When he closes his lips he is counted as prudent” (Prov. 17:28). “But let your statement be, ‘Yes, yes’ or ‘No, no’—anything beyond these is of evil” (Matt. 5:37). “Let the woman keep silent in the churches” (1 Cor. 14:34).
Gentle and quiet spirit
God finds the quiet woman precious to Him. Is this you? “. . . with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God” (1 Pet. 3:4). “Guard what has been entrusted to you, avoiding worldly and empty chatter and the opposing arguments of what is falsely called ‘knowledge’—which some have professed and thus gone astray from the faith” (1 Tim. 6:20).
Without a word
God speaks directly to wives in this verse: “In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands, so that even if any of them are disobedient to the Word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives, as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior” (1 Pet. 3:1-2).
God tells us to be careful about what we say!
Guard your mouth
How many times have you gotten into trouble with the words you have spoken? “The mouth of the righteous flows with wisdom, but the perverted tongue will be cut out” (Prov. 10:31). “There is one who speaks rashly like thrusts of a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing” (Prov. 12:18). “He who guards his mouth and his tongue guards his soul from trouble” (Prov. 21:23).
What proceeds out of your mouth?
This statement is clear; what you say is very important. “For by your words you shall be justified, and by your words you shall be condemned” (Matt. 12:37). “It is not what enters into the mouth that defiles the man, but what proceeds out of the mouth, this defiles the man” (Matt. 15:11). “. . . put them all aside: anger, wrath, malice, slander and abusive speech . . ..” (Col. 3:8).
Give attention to your words
This Scripture describes two types of wives; which one are you? “An excellent wife is a crown of her husband, but she who shames him is as rottenness in his bones” (Prov. 12:4). “He who gives attention to the word shall find good” (Prov. 16:20).
Sweetness of speech
If you have shamed your parents, your husband, your children, or someone else by what you have said (to or about them) or in your attitude (toward them), God has offered you a faithful cure. “A joyful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit dries up bones” (Prov. 17:22). “Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones” (Prov. 16:24). “Sweetness of speech increases persuasiveness” (Prov. 16:21).
Is there anyone who doesn’t appreciate a kind and loving word? “Righteous lips are the delight of kings, and he who speaks right is loved” (Prov. 16:13). “Speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord” (Eph. 5:19).
Do away with childish things
Have you matured, or are you still a child who says things that hurt others? One of the biggest lies we learned as children was Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me. We probably still have not recovered from some of the words spoken to us when we were children. “When I was a child, I used to speak as a child, think as a child, reason as a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things” (1 Cor. 13:11).
Arguments and strife are not good for any relationship!
Abandon the quarrel
The definition of strife is a prolonged struggle for power or superiority. “Better is a dry morsel and quietness with it, than a house full of feasting with strife” (Prov. 17:1). (A house that has loud and unruly children is anything but quiet. Be sure your children are quiet and under your control! See lesson 15, “Your Mother’s Teachings.”) “The beginning of strife is like letting out water, so abandon the quarrel before it breaks out” (Prov. 17:14). “A fool’s lips bring strife, and his mouth calls for blows” (Prov. 18:6).
Are you well content?
“Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Cor. 12:10). This verse seems so incredibly unattainable, but it is something to strive for. Let’s move through some other verses along with their practical applications . . .
The first step to victory is to thank the Lord for every adversity. “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!” (Phil. 4:4). Keep thanking Him either in your mind or out loud, depending on the circumstance, when strife hits your life.
“A brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city, And contentions are like the bars of a castle” (Prov. 18:19). Please don’t allow yourself to become offended by something that is said to you or how it is said; instead listen with an open and forgiving heart.
Don’t answer before you hear. “He who gives an answer before he hears, it is folly and shame to him” (Prov. 18:13). When you interrupt someone who is speaking to you, tempers usually rise! Again, listen to those who take time to speak and share their heart with you; always listening for what you agree with rather than the one thing you don’t agree with! If the person is being unkind or verbally abusive, never try to protect or defend yourself—this only increases the magnitude of their attack. Instead, agree, and then take what they said to the Lord. Ask HIM what the truth is.
The Truth shall make you free
“. . . and you shall know the Truth, and the Truth shall make you free” (John 8:32). Some of what is said, even if said in an unkind way, is often true. No doubt this is difficult to admit (to ourselves and especially to someone else). But once you try agree, you will find that agreeing is the most freeing experience on earth! Don’t fear speaking the truth especially about yourself—just try it!
Agree with thine adversary quickly
Being agreeable, especially when someone is angry, is very powerful. “Agree with thine adversary quickly, while thou art in the way with him . . .” (Prov. 20:3). “Keeping away from strife is an honor for a man, but any fool will quarrel” (Matt. 5:25, KJV). Usually the one who is angry is ranting and raving about something that is true or has some basis of truth in it. When you are humble enough to agree with another person, especially when that person is out of control, you are reaching spiritual maturity.
Go another mile
After you have agreed with the other person, there is another step; you must add a blessing to their insult or criticism. “. . . not returning evil for evil, or insult for insult, but giving a blessing instead; for you were called for the very purpose that you might inherit a blessing” (1 Pet. 3:9). Jesus, Himself, said, “But I say to you, do not resist him who is evil; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if anyone wants to sue you, and take your shirt, let him have your coat also. And whoever shall force you to go one mile, go with him two” (Matt. 5:39-41).
Adding a blessing to an insult or criticism must be in the form of a compliment to your accuser. This may seem impossible or too incredible to believe; however, I am not the only woman who has walked this walk easily. Many of our husbands were living with other women when they said insulting comments and criticized us, yet we came back with a kind compliment in return for their cruelty. Hopefully, this will encourage you to believe that you are capable of doing what the Lord is asking you to do, no matter how you may feel.
Eliminate constant friction
Is there constant friction in your home? “Deeds of the flesh are evident . . . strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, envying . . .” (Gal. 5:19-21). “If any one advocates a different doctrine and does not agree with sound words, those of our Lord Jesus Christ, and with the doctrine conforming to godliness, he is conceited and understands nothing; but he has a morbid interest in controversial questions and disputes about words, out of which arise envy, strife, abusive language, evil suspicions, and constant friction between men of depraved mind and deprived of the Truth . . .” (1 Tim. 6:3-5).
“But refuse foolish and ignorant speculations, knowing that they produce quarrels. And the Lord’s bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged” (2 Tim. 2:23). “Urge bondslaves to be subject to their own masters in everything, to be well-pleasing, not argumentative” (Titus 2:9).
Slow to anger
You have heard some say that, since Jesus was angry and turned over the tables in the temple, we can be angry too. But the Scriptures say, “But let everyone be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger; for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God” (James 1:19-20).
Two of you agree
Be sure you comment on all the areas that you agree with, and never focus on the area of disagreement. “Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by My Father who is in heaven” (Matt. 18:19).
God is very specific about how we are to answer!
Do you ponder how to answer?
When anger or wrath is directed toward us, God tells us the response we must make in order to glorify Him as Christians: “ A gentle answer turns away wrath, but harsh words stir up anger” (Prov. 15:1). “The heart of the righteous ponders how to answer, but the mouth of the wicked pours out evil things” (Prov. 15:28).
Do you answer before you hear?
How many times have you jumped in before you heard what the other person was saying? “He who gives an answer before he hears, it is folly and shame to him” (Prov. 18:13). “By forbearance [a proper facial expression] a ruler may be persuaded and a soft tongue breaks the bone” (Prov. 25:15). (Or “soft answer” in the KJV.)
Be content—NEVER murmur, never complain!
Without murmuring or disputing
Even if we don’t continue to fight with the other person, we may continue to murmur or dispute under our breath or behind the other person’s back. “For lack of wood the fire goes out, and where there is no whisperer, contention quiets down” (Prov. 26:20). “Do all things without grumbling or disputing” (“Murmuring or disputing” in the KJV.) (Phil. 2:14).
Learn to be content
“Not that I speak from want; for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am” (Phil. 4:1). “. . . being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, ‘I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you’” (Heb. 13:5). “But godliness is actually a means of great gain, when accompanied by contentment” (1 Tim. 6:6).
My late Grandma Brown was a woman who demonstrated this fruit of contentment. No matter what she was doing, scrubbing the floor on her hands and knees or doing her handiwork, she was happy. She never complained. She said she never thought about where she would rather be nor what she would rather be doing. It is because of her example that I can be happy when I am traveling and away from my children and my home. Instead of thinking where I would “rather be” I choose to be happy because I know I am where the Lord wants me to be.
Do not crush the spirit
Proverbs also tells us what our speech can do to our friends, family, children, our husband, or our friends. “A soothing tongue is a tree of life, but perversion in it crushes the spirit” (Prov. 15:4). The definition of perversion is “obstinate.” Therefore being obstinate can crush the spirit of someone we say we love.
Your tongue: small, yet deadly!
Set on fire by hell
“So also the tongue is a small part of the body, and yet it boasts of great things. Behold, how great a forest is set aflame by such a small fire! And the tongue is a fire, the very world of iniquity; the tongue is set among our members as that which defiles the entire body, and sets on fire the course of our life, and is set on fire by hell” (James 3:5-6).
Both blessing and cursing
“But no one can tame the tongue; it is a restless evil and full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father; and with it we curse men, who have been made in the likeness of God; from the same mouth come both blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be this way.
Does a fountain send out from the same opening both fresh and bitter water?” (James 3:8-11).
Guard my mouth as with a muzzle
Here is a sobering thought: “Even before there is a word on my tongue, behold O Lord, Thou dost know it all” (Ps. 139:4). “I said, ‘I will guard my ways, that I may not sin with my tongue; I will guard my mouth as with a muzzle’” (Ps. 39:1).
What does God think of a lying tongue?
An abomination to Him
We have no idea how our lying can affect our testimonies as believers. “A soothing tongue is a tree of life but perversion in it crushes the spirit” (Prov. 15:4). “There are six things which the Lord hates, yes, seven which are an abomination to Him: Haughty eyes, a lying tongue . . .” (Prov. 6:1617).
Six things that the Lord hates
Let’s continue to read more verses in Proverbs that tell us more about lying. “There are six things which the Lord hates, Yes, seven which are an abomination to Him: Haughty eyes, a lying tongue and hands that shed innocent blood . . .” (Prov. 6:16-18). Most of us are pro-life; yet, have we taken the time to see what that verse is saying to us? God not only hates lying and thinks it’s an abomination, but He also compares a liar to an abortionist! Therefore, “Deliver my soul, O Lord, from lying lips, from a deceitful tongue” (Ps. 120:2).
The father of lies
Another reason that we never want to lie—the devil is the father of lies! “You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature; for he is a liar, and the father of lies” (John 8:44).
What does physical abuse have to do with what we say?
Calls for blows
How many times have we actually egged our husbands, children or friends on with our cruel words or cutting remarks? “A babbling fool will be thrown down” (Prov. 10:8). “A fool’s lips bring strife, and his mouth calls for blows” (Prov. 18:6).
Guards his mouth
“The one who guards his mouth preserves his life; the one who opens wide his lips comes to ruin” (Prov. 13:3). When you are quick to judge, belittle, or challenge your husband, you may be headed for blows (since he is our authority and was created to deal with attacks in a physical way). Instead, please be silent rather than always having a comment. “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger” (Prov. 15:1).
To sum up:
- Watch how much you say—with many words transgression is unavoidable. Instead, let your communication be “Yes, yes” or “No, no”—anything more than this will lead to evil.
- Be careful what you say—by your words you’ll be justified and by your words you’ll be condemned! Wives, be submissive to your own husbands, so that when they are disobedient to the Word, they may be changed without a word by your chaste and respectful behavior.
- If healing is needed, remember a joyful heart is good medicine, pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones, and sweetness of speech adds persuasiveness.
- Do not argue—agree with your adversary quickly!
- Think before you answer. Give a gentle answer, ponder (think a while) how you should answer, and don’t answer before you listen, because it is folly and results in shame!
- Take the time to learn to be content. Contentment is a learned attribute. You must learn to be content in whatever circumstances you are in.
- Walking in the Spirit. Whatever is easy for us to do in the flesh; is of the flesh. Whatever is difficult to do and requires us to draw on the Holy Spirit’s strength; is walking in the Spirit. “But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh . . . these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please” (Gal. 5:16-17).
Let us all first strive to appear wise by keeping silent.
Next let us make sure that when we do open our mouths it is with wisdom, in kindness, and for edification.
Let our words be sweet and gentle.
Let each be a “crown” to their husbands, but more importantly “precious” in the sight of God.
Personal commitment: To open my mouth with wisdom and kindness. “Based on what I have learned from God’s Word, I commit to remain quiet, to wait before I answer, and to be sweet in all my words.”
May God be with you as you strive to be more like Christ!
“She opens her mouth with wisdom; and on her tongue is the law of kindness” (Prov. 31:26, KJV). Ladies, this was one of the first verses that I memorized when my husband left me the first time. I can never begin to tell you how many times I said this to myself in my heart, nor could I tell you how many times this verse saved me from blowing it!
- 3×5 cards. Ladies, please use your 3×5 cards and write down the verses from this I never would have changed from the “old Erin” to the “new Erin” without constantly being bathed in His Word.
- Are you keeping these cards in your purse and bringing them out regularly as the Holy Spirit prompts you? If not, why not?
- Share the wisdom from this lesson with one other woman who seems to be talking all the time.
Make sure you are first to share your weakness in this area. Now write her name on the line below.
As I read through this lesson I have many flashbacks in my life. I think about the deacon’s wife at a church who went around telling all her “closest friends” her husband was abusing her. She went on to say that she had been to the pastor many times and he wouldn’t do anything. So she was embittered with the pastor. I wasn’t a close friend but she told me anyway so you have to wonder how many people she told.
I remember being at their house once. I don’t remember why my husband and I were there. It was a quick stop. Maybe we were picking up my daughter as their daughter and mine were friends. This lady had always said that her husband wanted 30 minutes when he came home from work to read the paper and just decompress. While we were there he came home. She was on him immediately nagging and complaining. He repeatedly asked her to just give him a few minutes to unwind from work. But she didn’t let up. When he snapped at her, she turnedto us and with a look of “See, this is what I’m talking about” she told us that he was often abusive like this and sometimes it got physical.
As short time later she came to church sporting a broken arm. She told the ladies that her abusive husband did it and again said that she had gone to the pastor but he still wouldn’t do anything.
As much as it isn’t right that anyone physically or emotionally abuses a person, can you see that she “asked for it” by her actions? She egged him on until he reacted. Didn’t we read the Scripture above that said that exact thing would happen? While any wrong actions he did were not right she was totally wrong. In the sight of the law, for any other crime, she would be considered an ” agent provocateur” – an enticing agent.
She isn’t the only one I’ve seen this with over the years. It is a form of rebellion – rebelling against authority. It starts in childhood. For whatever reason, that character trait is not trained out of the child. Then it moves on to school (no respect for the teachers) and government (no respect for government or the law). Finally, if it is not overcome that trait turns into rebellion towards all forms of authority in adulthood: bosses, spouses, law enforcement, and government. Then when they have kids, the cycle repeats as they don’t respect the teachers over their children. Many of these parents actually teach their children to be rebellious, all the while complaining that their children don’t respect them or do anything they say.
This whole talking thing is a hard lesson. As I said in the last lesson, I decompress by babbling. I don’t get violent or angry. It’s just my way of “getting it out of my system.” Once it’s out, I usually forget all about it. I need to do what the Bible tells us to do instead. It says to “Think on good things, not bad.” This is accomplished by rehearsing good things about the person or situation. I’ve done this in the past and it’s really effective. Here are some examples (most are made up, just for ideas):
My husband expects dinner on the table at 6 pm every night. This is hard for me due to other commitments, but I strive to do it and as a rule, supper is on the table at six. Some days he decides to do something on his way home from work without telling me. He strolls in at 6:30, 7, maybe even later. No apologies, just strolls in, usually asking if dinner is ready. Has this happened to you? What can we do so our tongues don’t get us into trouble?
- Be grateful that he comes home most (or some) days on time.
- Be grateful he comes home at all.
- Be thankful he has a job.
- Be grateful you are even married and not alone.
- Rehearse a list of things you do love about your husband.
- Set some food aside to keep warm, feed the kids, and set the table for a romantic dinner for the two of you when he does come home. You could even say, “I’m glad I had time to create this special time for just the two of us.” Now that is exactly how Jesus would have us act.
All these are loving responses. Remember, that love is giving without expecting anything in return. Nothing. Nadda. Love (on our part) covers a multitude of (their) sins – and also keeps us from sinning ourselves.
I was going to give some more situations, but I think you get the idea. It is my hope and desire to offer a webinar and study with a lady who has really figure out this speech thing after this workbook is completed. I will be putting out the request in the next week and hope to have an answer. This study is slated to be finished on May 6th. That would put the webinar in Mid-May.