A Marriage Destroyed by Words

Sharon JaynesMarriage, Power of Words 77 Comments

 (My devotions will focus on marriage for the month of February. If you’re not married, I encourage you to read them anyway! And while you’re reading, pray for your friends that are married.  Believe me, they will appreciate it. Also, give a special blessing by passing these devotions along to them! Here we go…)

 “Let no foul or polluting language, nor evil word, nor unwholesome or worthless talk [ever] come out of your mouth, but only such [speech] as is good and beneficial to the spiritual progress of others, as is fitting to the need and the occasion, that it may be a blessing and give grace (God’s favor) to those who hear it,” (Ephesians 4:29 Amplified). 

I talked to a friend of mine about what went so wrong in his marriage that led to divorce. Girlfriend, we need to pay attention to his response.

“When I met Jona at the beach retreat,” Don explained, “I was struck by her vivacious, fun attitude. Oh and did I mention, she looked great in her purple bathing suit? (This is 20 years later and he still remembers the color!)  She stole my heart and as soon as we got home from the retreat, I called and asked her out.”

I had always been a people pleaser.  At first I was always trying to please my parents, then I moved to pleasing my friends, and when I met Jona, I always tried to please her as well.  We were soon married and I couldn’t have been happier. She was so encouraging, loving, and supportive.  After a few years of marriage and several poor financial decisions, I began to see her lose her respect for me. That was most evident in the words she spoke.”

“In the past everything I touched turned to gold. I was president of the student body, won athletic awards, and succeeded in business. As a result, I over promised to Jona and expected her to trust me. Jona was the one person I wanted approval from and the one person from whom I was not getting it. She grew frustrated, angry and bitter towards me. She also withdrew physically, which was the crowning blow to my manhood.”

Jona said things like, “If you cared about us, you wouldn’t make all these bad decisions, you’re a loser, you’re worthless.”

“I’m not putting all the blame of our past marriage problems on Jona. I was shooting for the moon instead of a ten yard gain. I was trying to hit a homerun instead of a base hit. But honestly, once I realized Jona had lost respect for me, I felt the marriage was over. Her words cut too deep and no bandage could stop the bleeding.”

I asked Don what could have made a difference and prevented the eventual separation and divorce.

“If she had said, ‘I’m with you, Don,’ or ‘Let’s work on this together’ or ‘How can I help?’ it would have made all the difference in the world. I didn’t feel like we were on the same team. Instead, she said, ‘If you don’t fix it, I will.’ Instead of constantly pointing out my failures, because believe me, I knew what they were, encouraging words would have made all the difference.”

“At one point,” Don said with tears in his eyes, “I found a list of 80 things that Jona didn’t like about me and 3 things she did like. That list broke my heart. She had no intention of me finding the list, but I happened across it one day when I was looking for something. That was the final nail in the coffin. Jona had nothing but disdain for me. A marriage without respect is no marriage. I saw no hope.”

After Don and Jona’s divorce, he met a woman who gave him all the adoration and encouragement that his wife had not. She was gentle, soft spoken, affectionate, hung on his shoulder, smiled at him, and was very affirming. Her beautiful spirit was a breath of fresh air.

“Don,” I asked, “what advice do you have for a woman who is withholding encouraging words or perhaps cutting her husband down with critical jabs?”

“I don’t think any single thing takes away a man’s strength of character more than the loss of respect,” he said. “Don’t dwell on his weakness, but dwell on the positives. Men are in a fight for our lives. We are at war mentally. We’re out there trying to conquer the world.  A man needs to know that home is a safe place to be instead of feeling like you’re leaving one battle for another.”

Maybe you have not been giving encouraging words to your husband lately? Perhaps it has been so long you’ve forgotten how? I hope Don’s and Jona’s story stirs your heart to build up that man of yours and become the woman of his dreams.

Think back to when you were dating. What did you admire about that young man that captured your heart?  Look for an opportunity to praise him, but make sure it is genuine.  Find one attribute, character trait or task that he does well and begin there. If you are out of practice, this may be difficult at first. But I can promise you, it will become easier with time, especially when you see the results on your husband’s face and his attitude towards you.

Let’s Pray

Lord, oh how easy it is to see my husband’s flaws and ignore my own. Help me to use my words to plant seeds of love and encouragement and not weeds of bitterness and discouragement. I commit this very day to not use my words to tear my man down, but only to build him up. Help me to be like Job and put my hand over my mouth if any negative words attempt to escape my lips (Job 40:4). In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 What do you Think?ow It’s Your Turn

Are you feeling brave? Really brave?

If so, look up the following verses:  Proverbs 11:22; 19:13; 25:24; 21:19; 27:15-16

Now, if you are willing to not be a dripping faucet this week, click over to my blog page and leave a comment that says, “I’m not going to be a drip today!”

If you read to the end of today’s devotion, I’m proud of you! You will have a special surprise. Don and Jona reconciled and were remarried! If you’d like to read about how that happened, click over to my website and read the article God Can Resurrect Your Marriage from the Ashes. 

Want More?

14-Day Romancing Your Husband Challenge: How would you like to join your girlfriends in a 14-day Romancing Your Husband Challenge? Click over to www.localhost/sjold, click on the challenge sign-up button in the right column of the home page, and your 14-day challenge emails will begin. Come on girlfriend, February is the love month – it’s time to spice up your marriage.

February is  a wonderful time to contemplate our marriages.  Do you want to become the woman of your husband’s dreams? The woman who makes him sorry to leave in the morning and eager to come home at night? Then you’ll want to read Becoming the Woman of His Dreams for an insightful look at the wonderful, unique, and God-ordained role only you have in your husband’s life.


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Comments 77

  1. I’m not going to be a drip today! Thank you for all of your sound advice and experiences in life that have truly affected my life in a positive manner.

  2. I am NOT going to be a drip today! (I sure was yesterday!) I just am so in love and so amazed at how God speaks to me what I most need to hear, when I most need to hear it! Thank you for being an instrument!

  3. I will not be a leak or a drip today ! I have been down this road, so this hit home. 2 years ago, my husband and I seperated for about 8 months and even though I asked him to leave and go to therapy; it took those 8 months of the most soul searching and hardest days and nights and lots of books, therapy, prayers, for me to realize that I was part of the problem and that if I changed the way I treat him, he will want to change and be a better man. Of course, he had to do the same. Luckily, he did and we are happier now than we have been in years. We’ve been married now for 20 years, tomorrow Feb. 8th will be our 21st wedding anniversary. There were times when I didn’t think we would make it but we have ! Praise God through the storms, I wish back years ago that I knew then what I know now. It would have saved a lot of heartache and time :0) but I firmly believe all things happen for a reason…

    1. Congratulations Michelle for things turning out for the better. Glory to God. May you both experience more and more joy each passing day


  4. I’m not going to be a DRIP today!!! I was so happy to read at the end that Don and Jona reconciled. All praises to our Lord and Savior. With Him all things are possible.

  5. I don’t want to drip today but I can’t make promises. How do you respect a man that is bitter and angry all the time? I have lost respect for him and find it very hard to find anything to compliment him on. Please pray for me and for him.

    1. Tracey, I’ll take a minute and pray for you. I know that God surely works things out. He is Almighty God and nothing is too hard for Him.


  6. I’m not going to be a drip today! I’m so happy they reconnected and got re-married. That gives me hop for my relationship with my ex-husband. We was married for over 20yrs then divorced. We have been back together trying to reconnect and re-marry. It’s been difficult and I have been patient, understanding, loving and using my words wisely. Although, he says he wants us to work and re-marry his actions says another. I’m getting tired of the what I believe to be is lies, deceite, distant. I’m doing the best I know to do. How long do I hold on? I have been in constant prayer. Getting tired of holding on to someone I feel that does not want to totally be here. I know he has strugles etc. But I feel like enough of the excuses, if he don’t want to loose the our relationship and possible re-marry, he needs to show me. Can’t take much more!! I stand still and wait on the Lord! Thank you for allowing this platform. God bless marriages around the world in Jesus name, Amen!

  7. As hard as it can be…today, I will not be a drip. I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me. I call on You, Lord, to help me.

  8. I’m not going to be a drip today and although I am not married, I will pray for my married friends and families and also pray that one day I will be blessed with a husband who I can support, love and encourage unconditionally!

    I lost my way with GOD many times because of the choices I’ve made but I’m trying to do and be better. Thank you for your inspiring words!

  9. I’m not going to be a drip today – I’ve been so wound up in my stressful job for the last 6 months that I didn’t stop to think how that was translating at home. I was on my home from the airport last week and thought about how I had been reacting to my husband and realized that I was dripping often so I’m embarquing on a new way to respond to him. I asked for God’s help then and I do so every day to eliminate the dripping. THanks for your timely message

  10. Hi just trying to be more loving and understanding at this point feel as though my hubby doesnt understand me I will keep praying.Whats the drip about?

  11. Hi, Sharon! I did go back through Proverbs and I read all of those passages. I even copied and pasted them into a Word document entitled: “Proverbs Reminders for a Good Wife”! So, I’m not going to be a drip today! Justine 🙂

  12. Sharon,

    Thank you so much for your words of encouragment and wisdom. God has used you to inpsire me. I so want to be a woman that inspires my husband! I want to be the woman of his dreams! I will not be a drip today.
    I look forward to your challenges and posts. Thank you for allowing God to use you to help me!

  13. This could be my husband and I in this story – same same thing. I had much disdain because he was not the “man of God” I wanted him to be. Little did I know, God was bringing ME down the road of regeneration! Three books were very instrumental in my transformation: Love and Respect by Eggrich; Women’s Wisdom by Arush; and Sacred Marriage by Thomas. I don’t agree with everything each said – but together through them, God formed a picture of what a true Godly wife with all the boundaries necessary looks like. And then HE went to work on the inner change, He led, I followed. Today, we are both still “in progress”, but any day I can lay down my head at the end of the day and look back on the day and smile, thinking about the time I spent with my husband that day – well, it reminds me just how great a God I serve – and Who loves me.

  14. Behind many critical words spoken out is deep pain … when a husband loves a wife as his own body he will want to do somehing about the pain she is feeling … and when she knows his pain … the same will happen. To not seek reconciliation and to teach us to focus on encouraging words alone is only half of the solution. For a husband to never seek to help heal the pain his failures have caused his wife is not good … she may not even know how to help him by using different words – but with grace and love from him and others, she can learn.. They are both equally yoked and equally responsible, and where their failures cannot be addressed by each other … that’s when wise and Godly counsel of others is invaluable. We should seek not only our own good but the good of others. Bless you for all you do for our Lord and others – I appreciate your many many helpful words.

    1. I hope you took the time to click over and read the rest of the story. I think you will be very encouraged as to how their marriage was restored. http://localhost/sjold/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/God-Can-Resurrect-Your-Marriage-from-the-Ashes-.pdf
      Hurts and wounds may explain the source of harsh words,but it does not justify them. There are times when only God can heal those wounds, no matter how much the husband may want to or try to. And while we are yoked together as man and wife, in the end we are responsible for our own actions. Much love! Growing together. Learning together.

      1. I will check out the rest of the story. Thank you for your wise guidance. I trust you will be blessed by the ‘pain’ I shared with you (even though not explained precisely) which is from my own experience … most of which has been long, hard and yet miraculously covered by God’s amazing grace. Blessings for each moment with Jesus, from Jane

  15. I’m so happy I found this website. I recently found out my husband was talking, more than talking to a friend/was a friend of mine. It broke my heart that I got complacent and let the wiles of the devil slip in. Instead of crying and having a pity party for myself I rolled up my sleeves and asked our heavenly father to forgive me. I called satan out and told him he would not have my husband. My husband left our home Christmas Eve when I found out. I prayed for God to bring the holy spirit upon me and lead me to restoring my marriage. My husband didn’t think I wanted him back. After talking he was back home two days later.AMEN.. The holy Spirit has lead me to many prayers to many web sites such as this one and the power of praying for my husband daily. I have learned the heavy weight our husbands carry and what I took for granted. I have been thanking my husband and appreciating him more since the day he got home. I have been doing this challenge since he has been home. He even told me he liked when I organized our home. Of course he looks at me funny sometimes, I just smile. As far as my home this challenge will go on forever. 🙂

  16. I wish I could say I’m not going to be a drip today but I probably will. Everything that I’ve been reading this week seems to revolve around marriage and all of it has made me realise what a complete failure I am and that there is no hope for me or my marriage. No matter what I do or how much I try I will never be good enough. I’ve exhausted myself this week and it’s not enough so i will probably be a drip today.

  17. I am not going to drip today. Woman to woman…this is powerful because our tongues are deadly weapons. I am learning and watching what I say. Just as Don said…being the helpmeet we’re designed to be is a tough job but being the husband constantly under warfare is a harder job. Fellow sisters…please don’t let the tongue destroy the covenant God has created. I learned from this lesson and also my personal.

  18. Im not going to be a drip today. I wont lie i am guilty of these actions were committing to do no more! Lord help me be like Job and keep my mouth shut when nothing good will come out and allow me to be the woman of my mans dreams!

  19. Mrs. Sharon this story is so Amazing. I would say I am not Don but that I am going through the same challenges. I have made so many mistakes, I haved learned to love God through my failures (trials and tribulations), and in return he has given me endless hope and faith. I am a better husband, father, and companion and friend to my wife. I can listen now to her heart instead of thinking about myself.

    I would like to hear Don’s story. I know this is a woman’s website and my wife sent me this message God bless her heart, thank you so much for this story.

  20. As a single woman, I almost skipped reading this devotional, but then I read “…destroyed by words” and I knew I had to read it, for you see, I have been the giver and the receiver of words that destroy, it doesn’t matter if you are married or not. Your words do matter (along with attitude).

    Just yesterday at work, I was having a “killing spree” with my words towards others that I work with indirectly…and you know what? By the end of the day I felt exhausted, flustered and angry and still the issues, MY ISSUES, were not resolved by my destroying words.

    The people who are sometimes the hardest to love are the ones God puts in our lives to grow us up in our walk with Him and become more like Jesus. The choice is mine to want to grow. So thank you God for those difficult people in my life whether they are relatives, co-workers or passing acquaintances.

    God I ask that you would help me to respond to people who are “hard to love” in a manner that is worthy of your Son’s name. I pray that I the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight today.

    I will not be a drip today!

  21. I agree that a woman should show the man respect and tell him things to make him feel good but a man should do the same. When a husband goes out and says things about his wife and it is bad he has no respect for her, he never tell her that she looks good it always something negative. I am going thru a separtion now and its hard but I am going to continue to serve my God and hold my head up high. When you love someone for 19 plus years it just feels like my world has crashed but thank God for praying friends.

  22. My husband was permanently laid off and his company shut down recently. I know he’s been feeling somewhat like a failure lately, even though we can financially afford for him to stay at home and there’s lot of work there for him to do. So, I decided from your 14-day challenge to give him a Valentine card for each day with candy in it. On each card, I’ve written what I love about him. We’ll be celebrating 25 years of marriage on the 19th of this month. Just this little gesture has made such a difference! He said last night I probably couldn’t think of anything else to say in tomorrow’s card. I told him I could write forever and never run out of words for how I love and appreciate him. Thanks for giving me the idea to show him I do love and care for him deeply, no matter what the circumstances.

  23. The “Recharging His Battery” post is not here yet, but it and yesterday’s post just makes me say … I so wish God had wired us (wives and husbands) the same way. The constant prayer is “Lord, make me want/desire my husband for intimacy in the same way and at the same time.” #realtalk

  24. I am NOT going to be a DRIP today! I will rely on Jesus because I have proven over and over that it cannot be done in my own strenght!

  25. I love the 14 day challenge suggestions but I must say that I often do these things anyway. I want to be romanced. How do I get the message across to him that I am the one missing something?

    1. Women are so intuitive. We just know things in our knower. Guys, not so much. I suggest you simply tell him how you are feeling and give him some examples of what he could do to make you feel loved.

  26. I an not going to be a drip today.
    We are at a point of contacting a counsellor at my suggestion – thankfully he has agreed after many prayers. My husband’s words cuts right to the core, and even though I have pointed out to him so many times, he cannot help himself. It has got to a point where I flinch any time he opens his mouth and we are growing apart because of that. He is bitter and angry with the world, especially his mother and thinks I should pay for the wrong. Prayers is our only source of hope.

  27. I hear you so loud and clear. But I continue to be disrespected and un-adored. I am tired and weary. I don’t know that there is a bandaid big enough to cover both our wounds when repentence is only one sided.

  28. I’m not going to be a drip today. My husband divorced me this past summer, but I will continue to tell him how wonderful he is and how blessed I am to have been married to him for 32 years. I know God has restored our marriage.

  29. Thanks for the encouraging words, I have been really struggling in this area. All this time I thought I was right with my approach to my husband, that I was justified for getting mad when I did after all I was the victim. Now I realise the Lord is telling me to look at myself and see my contribution to all the problems we have gone through. I now honestly see that I have let my husband down so many times by not being what he needed me to be, supportive, attentive, appreciative and carrying. Thanks again, “I am not going to be a drip to day! and I am going to make it my life’s mission and secret gift to my husband to try and stick to it for the rest of our lives…God bless:)

  30. I’m not going to be a drip today! Lord, Help me to be the encourager to him that you created me to be. I pray this in Your Name, Amen.

  31. I am not going to be a drip today. I actually have a wonderful marriage. God blessed me with a sweet man who I adore. He is deployed right now, which could make it very easy to let things go. But I read Sharon’s 14-day challenge, and saw how important words of affirmation are to our husbands. So for Valentine’s Day I sent my sweetheart a care-package. It had his favorite candies and nuts, and an envelope where I had made a list of 50 things I love, admire, and respect about him. (Sharon had suggested 10-15, but since he turned 50 last month, I kept with the “50” theme.) He told me that list made him smile, made him laugh, and made him cry. He was so touched. He said he never doubts my love for him, and that no one has ever loved him like I do. It makes him want to be a better man. I don’t know if that’s possible, but I am thankful anyway. We need to always encourage our husbands to be the men they are. The best way is to pray for them and give them those affirming comments…and mean them!

  32. I am not going to be a drip today – Father I ask you to set guard over my mouth – Create in me a right spirit and a clean heart!…I just love marriage devotional – February!! We know what our husband wants from us – so we make it our business to be good at it – I always make sure his clothes are always clean – PRAISE THE LORD for my husband (eventhough he could be painful at times) – obedience is better than sacrifice!

  33. I’m not going to be a drip today. Thanks for opening my eyes again to see all the wonderful qualities in my husband that I have been taking for granted.

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