Sweetness of Speech
June 12, 2009
“The wise in heart will be called discerning, and sweetness
of speech increases persuasiveness.” Proverbs 16:21
In the marriage relationship, both partners do not always agree
on how to proceed in a given situation. When this happens, several
negative things can happen:
- Nagging. Wear the other person down – eventually,
they’ll give in.
- Dictating. Get on your power pedestal
and decree “This
is how it’s going to be!”
- Complaining. Even if you don’t get your way, you’ll
get even – because everybody around you will know exactly
how you’ve been wronged.
- Punishing. Use the silent treatment
or hold some other equally deadly weapon over the other person’s
head until they capitulate.
All of the above are foolish, ungodly, and ultimately unproductive.
Instead, consider Solomon’s alternative in the art of persuasion:
sweetness of speech.
Sweetness of speech. Not the saccharine sweetness that sours on
the tongue, but real sweetness, such as:
- Using reason to present
your point instead of volume.
- Seeking to understand your partner’s viewpoint.
- Respecting your partner at all times.
- Being willing to engage in positive give-and-take.
- Valuing the relationship and seeking your mutual good.
Will sweetness of speech always result in persuasion to your point
of view? Sometimes yes, sometimes no. But it will always result
in the strengthening of your marriage bond. And that should be
the ultimate goal from anyone’s point of view!
- How do you
approach differences of opinion or conflict? Why?
- Is your approach
in line with Scripture – demonstrating
love and respect for the other person in thought, word, attitude,
- If your approach is not in line with Scripture, what
steps will you take to effect positive change?