New Man

Want to receive New Man by email? Sign up here
Angry couple argue
(David Castillo Dominici/Digitalfreephotos.net)

I was shocked recently during a recent Marriage Intensive as I listened to a man and woman talk to each other. I watched as the man and woman, Gene and Victoria, sniped at each other mercilessly.

What was just as amazing as the potshots they easily took at one another was the fact that neither seemed to even notice the wincing their mate did when the other made their sarcastic digs.

The woman opened the sarcastic volleys with this shot:

“You think I’m supposed to get excited now that you decide to change,” she sneered. “It’s a little late for that.”

Feeling the bite and clearly hurting, Gene countered with, “Hey, at least I’m changing. That’s more than I can say for you.” Ouch!

“I’ve been begging you to change,” she continued, “so don’t expect the band to play now that finally seem to be listening,” she sniped.

“I could become a brand new man and you probably wouldn’t even notice. But watch out if I make any comment on how much you spend on your nails and hair.” Another jab.

“Folks,” I interjected, amazed that they would talk this way in the first place, and do it so easily in front of me. “Do you see what you’re doing to each other? Do you even hear how sarcastic and mean you are to each other? You seem to use hurtful language so easily, and I don’t think you notice the deadly impact it’s having on your relationship.”

Both looked at me blankly. Again. What was incredible was that if I didn’t step in and stop this bloodbath, it would likely continue. This is likely the way they talk to each other behind the closed doors of their home and the impact on their marriage is horrific.

“We’ve been doing this for years,” Gene said. “I guess we’re hardened to it.”

“You mean there’s another way,” Victoria questioned.

Sarcasm is a cutting remark intended to hurt. There is a deadly bite that may have an ounce of truth hidden in the lines, but it is said in a way to bring pain.

Why would we want to intentionally hurt the one we love? Because, we have been hurt by them. I’ve said before, “Hurting people hurt people.” It’s easy to see why we might be motivated to strike out against the one we love. Yet, doing so only causes deeper wounds--more repairs that will one day need to be made.

Let’s consider how to eliminate this kind of language from your marriage.

1. Be honest with yourselves about the cancer of sarcasm in your relationship. Sarcasm is not funny nor is it innocent. It is terribly destructive. There is nothing healthy or helpful that comes from sarcasm. We may believe our words are “only the truth,” but that is not accurate. Sarcasm is hurtful. It never leads to reconciliation or honest change.

Solomon had this to say about the tongue: “The tongue has the power of life and death. Those who love it will eat its fruit.” (Proverbs 18:21) This clearly says that if we plant positive seeds with healthy, loving talk, we will reap its fruit. If we plant weeds of hurtful talk, we will reap that fruit.

2. Take responsibility for your sarcastic language. You will never change your language unless you take responsibility for hurting others with it. Look carefully and honestly at the impact your language has on others. Look into your mate’s eyes after you have said something hurtful. Notice the ongoing impact of your actions. Notice the lasting damage to your mate’s self-esteem. Then, after taking this fearless inventory, determine to change.

3. Make an agreement with your mate to change your language. Replace indirect, sarcastic insults with clear, respectful, direct messages. Be assertive, using calm, concise, conciliatory language that leads to a healthy connection. Ask for what you want and need in a respectful way.

4. Hold each other accountable for change. Changing longstanding patterns is never easy. You may be surprised at how entrenched your behavior patterns are and how difficult it is to change them. However, if you quickly and honestly confront each and every violation, change will occur.

Emotions are contagious. Thus, if you change, it is very likely that your mate will change as well. If you apologize for your sarcastic, biting words, it is likely that your mate will begin changing as well. Loving language encourages loving language in another.

For the original article, visit cbn.com.

Dr. David Hawkins is the director of The Marriage Recovery Center and has been helping couples in crisis restore and revitalize their relationships for more than 30 years.

Draw closer to God. Experience the presence of the Holy Spirit every month as you read Charisma magazine. Sign up now to get Charisma for as low as $1 per issue.

Get to know the Holy Spirit and how to interact with Him on a daily basis. Learn to enter God's presence and hear His voice clearly for yourself! Go deeper in your faith with Life in the Spirit and change your life and destiny. Are you ready to start your journey?

Your Turn

Comment Guidelines
View/Add Comments
  • Hillary Clinton

    What if Hillary Clinton Wins the White House?

    Polls have Mrs. Clinton leading by 11 points. The church must be prepared.

  • Holy Spirit prophetic

    7 Ways to Cultivate Sensitivity to the Holy Spirit

    Too many of God's people are led by fear, doubt, man-pleasing, presumption, assumption, idols ...

  • Jezebel puppets

    10 Ways to Spot Jezebel's Spiritually Slick Undercover Con Artists

    It's time to stop tolerating Jezebel in all its many manifestations.

  • Highway exit signs

    Prophetic Word: Watch for the Exit Signs to Light Up This Season

    Don't be afraid to get your hands dirty in the harvest fields. The "barnyard anointing" ...

  • Finger pointing

    The Accuser vs. Donald Trump—and Us All

    This isn't a political persuasion piece, but a current-event case study in the strategies of ...

  • Daily scripture reading, meditation and prayer can seem elusive with your busy schedule.

    10 Small Steps to Deeper Intimacy With Holy Spirit in Your Quiet Times

    If deep quiet times seem just out of your reach with your busy schedule, try one of these ...

  • Lance Wallnau

    Lance Wallnau Is on Fire and on Target With His Insights on the Culture and This Election

    I'm sickened by the self-righteous, weak-kneed "evangelicals" who want to be liked by ...

  • In October, many things will be realigned in your life, including your vision.

    5 Prophetic Revelations About God's October Surprise

    "The winds of apostolic change are blowing across the land and realigning you."

  • Continue Your Journey with the Holy Spirit

    Continue Your Journey with the Holy Spirit

    Follow God on the most fulfilling journey of your life with Encounter the Holy Spirit! Break away from past hurts and press into the One who wants a personal encounter with you.

  • Dream the Unimaginable In His Presence

    Dream the Unimaginable In His Presence

    Reach your full potential and be led by His Spirit. In His Presence takes you to a deeper understanding of who God is and how he communicates with us.

  • Set Your Spirit on Fire

    Set Your Spirit on Fire

    Receive the power and gifts that come through the Holy Spirit Baptism. Don’t go empty-handed; accept all that He has for you! His power is available to those who ask.

  • Put on the Full Armor of God

    Put on the Full Armor of God

    Break every stronghold with the power of the Holy Spirit. Use the power of your tongue to declare and decree the Word of God. Witness heaven move on your behalf.

Use Desktop Layout
Charisma Magazine — Empowering believers for life in the Spirit