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Dangerous Reactions

By: Donna Martin

The young wife drove home from Bible study filled with excitement.  She had just learned of a local volunteer mission opportunity that was available.  The entire family would be able to participate.  She knew it would be an experience that would be fun, helpful, and fulfilling.  As she rushed through the front door, she couldn’t wait to share it with her husband.  However, she found him busy at work trying to pay the month’s bills.  She couldn’t wait to tell him her news, but his reaction was not what she expected.  “I can’t believe you want to add something else to our already over scheduled life!  When do you think we can fit that in?  What are you thinking?”  She was not expecting that kind of reaction.  She was stunned, hurt, and broken hearted. 

The young husband had been working hard trying to do everything possible so that he could earn a better position in the company where he worked.  Finally the day came.  His hard work had paid off and within a couple of months he would begin his new position.  It would require relocation, but he was excited about the move and a fresh start.  He couldn’t wait to share the good news with his wife.  But instead of praise and congratulations he was greeted with, “How could you even think about yanking our kids up and moving them away from their friends and our families?  We have a good house, great schools, a wonderful church!  Did you even think about asking me if I wanted to move?  How could you be so insensitive?”

The young husband was shocked.  He thought he would be greeted with praise and celebration.  He felt dejected and disrespected.

We have all been the recipient and the deliverer of harsh words.  Some people may believe the old adage that says, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never harm me.”  Words may not bring physical harm, but they do leave huge scars emotionally and psychologically for days or even years to come.   Proverbs 18:21 tells us, “The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences.”(NLT)

We may not always agree with our spouses’ plans, but how we react to their ideas or thoughts can make the difference in giving life or death to their souls.  We should always think before we speak.  If our spouses’ suggestions or ideas do not please or agree with us, we must learn to speak our feelings with kind words.  We should build each other up and encourage one another.  Instead of blowing up, it might be best just to shut up until we are in a frame of mind to discuss our true feelings adult to adult with loving and kind words.  It is best to take the advice of James 1:19, “Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters; You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.” (NLT) If we follow this advice, the amount of time we wait to speak will be a lot shorter than the amount of time it takes to correct the damage that our harsh words may cause.

The Martins currently present “Happy Together” marriages seminars for churches and organizations.  To schedule a seminar call Michael at 940-735-1515. They also publish a weekly “Happy Together” Blog about family and marriage issues.  You can order copies of their new books Dancing With Death and 366 Tidbits We Have Learned in 14,610 Days of Marriage, read, and subscribe to their “Happy Together” Blog by logging onto the Martin’s website at



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