I could have written an entire book called “Oops, Did I Say That?” that focused on what NOT to say to your spouse, but I will stick with just one blog entry. ( LOL) The thought that came to mind to talk about Tone, Attitude, and Intent of the things we say.
It came to mind because last week, I offered help to my husband when he had injured himself, and he turned the help down because I sounded irritated when I gave the offer. Oops……did I say that? It wasn’t WHAT I said, but HOW I said it. The tone as I offered to help him reflected the real attitude of my heart. Now in my mind, I thought I was being helpful and being a great helpmeet. When he turned down my help, I thought why would he turn down this offer? He proceeds to say “Well, it sounds like it irritates you.”
So right then, I had a mirror moment. I thought, you know what Tam?, You did sound irritated when you asked if you could do something for him! Oops…yeah I did! Has that ever happened to you? You tried to say something really nice thinking what you said sounds like “Sure I don’t mind doing that”, but what you really said it was ,“I really don’t want to.” Yikes! Now, none of us are perfect, but when we notice our tone is a little off, we have step back and do a heart check and fess up. Cause if you don’t fess up, you just end up trying to cover up the truth with defensiveness; never really apologizing from an honest place. If you married your best friend, then fessing up shouldn’t be all that bad though it will take some humility. I am sure your spouse will appreciate the confession and apology, more than attempting to defend the wrong behavior.
On that day, my tone toward my husband was not good. The real reason was not because I didn’t want to help him, but I’d had a very busy day and my thoughts were consumed with all of the things I needed to do. ( oops!) I really did want to help him, but because I was a tad bit overwhelmed at the moment my offer to help was given in the wrong tone. Instead of feeling like his wife was ready to help him, the message he received was one of irritation and he rejected the offer. (Which can happen with both husbands and wives)
So after I saw his reaction I thought, Hmmmmmmm you did sound irritated when you spoke to him. So I explained myself and he then understood where I was coming from. He accepted my apology and we moved on. Yes, you will have many “Oops, did I say that?” moments in marriage, but those “oopsies” can be great change agents if you get honest with yourself and your spouse. Often if our words, tone, and intent sound irritated, then usually our heart is irritated as well. So that means we need to get our heart before dad (GOD) and ask him how our heart should be properly postured in the situation. There are so many answers for attitudes of the heart in the scripture so I challenge you to ask God when your mouth and heart tone are a little off.
Proverbs 16:24– Kind words are like honey- sweet to the soul and healthy for the body. (NLT)
Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. (NIV)
Luke 6:45– For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.
When serving our spouses remember, to do frequent heart checks… especially if you are experiencing lots of “Oops, did I say that?” moments. It could be an alarm that there in something in the heart that needs to be addressed. I am sure I will have another “Oops, did I say that?” moment, but the great thing is I am not afraid to look to God to help be become a better spouse to the lifelong companion He gave me.
Raymon, I love you babe….and forgive my oopsies!
Keep growing y’all!
The Newlywed Nook