One sure fire way we as single ladies tend to get noticed is by our mouths: better yet what comes out of our mouths. We might be in a singles’ class at church and want to have the most clever, wittiest, or most godly answer so the myriad of available guys will notice us. Or we might be at a party and desire to be heard over the throng of others so that our beautiful, melodious voice will be noticed. God has given us our words to help build up others and bring glory to Him, not to bring attention to ourselves. So, how can we use our speech in a way that is beautiful?
I’ve been tempted to “de-friend” people on my facebook or un-follow Twitter friends who make it a habit to constantly cuss or use jabs to put others down. There is no point to it. It doesn’t make us as women look prettier or smarter. It is quite offending, actually.
How important is our language? I’m mostly talking about words and tones here – not body language (that is a whole different topic). Why does it offend me more when I hear women using cuss words or speaking of sexual topics? Why does it sadden me when I hear women arguing with or defaming their husbands or other male leaders in their lives?
This is what I am NOT saying: I am not saying that women can’t talk about tools, cars, football, etc. I am not saying that women can only talk about babies, tea, shopping, baking, decorating, and makeup. I love to talk about football and have actually started talking about makeup, fashion, and raising babies. The afore mentioned is not the kind of language is not what I am referring to.
I am more referring to warrior terms, battle terms, pastoral terms (pastor role in a church), cussing, language that tears down others, sexual language that is not meant to be talked about outside of a bedroom of a married (male/female) bedroom (and sometimes not even then because it belittles and secularizes the act of sex that God meant for our good as a husband and wife).
Why does it make me just a little uneasy when I hear of women going and fighting in the wars? Why am I uneasy when I hear women teaching in a position that has not been ordained by God’s Word? Why do I dislike watching movies where women are in bars or gossiping about things that they shouldn’t be talking about?
I have considered a few reasons:
1. We are not obeying Col 3.16: Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. This is my life verse. It is how I got my personal blog domain. I have done weekend retreats on this topic. This verse permeates my mind and hopefully makes its way into my actions.
2. We are not obeying Prov 4.24: Put away from you crooked speech, and put devious talk far from you. This verse doesn’t say see what you can say that will be close to cussing, or might be considered gossiping. No – it says to put it FAR from you.
3. We are not obeying Prov 5.3: For the lips of a forbidden woman drip honey, and her speech is smoother than oil. (We are being the forbidden woman.) I love Mary Kassian’s book Girls Gone Wise in a World Gone Wild where she compares the worldly woman with the woman of God. We want our speech to be becoming of the God who sent His Son to purchase our pardon.
4. We are not obeying Col 4.6: Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.
5. We are not being like the Proverbs 31 woman in that we do not follow these three traits: The heart of her husband trusts in her,and he will have no lack of gain. She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life and she opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue (Prov 31.11, 12, 26).
So, how can we change this disobedience to obedience?
1. Build up the men in your lives. Encourage them in their masculinity, in the roles that God has created them for, in their walk with Christ. This applies to a Dad, husband, pastor, boss, and your brothers in Christ.
2. Think about what is going to come out of your mouth before it actually does.
3. Watch and read with eyes wide open. Engage your world with a biblical worldview.
4. Encourage other women in your life (your younger women) to be setting the example in speech (as 1 Tim 4.12 says).