“I wish I never would have said that.”
I can’t count the number of times that I’ve spoken these specific words. I think them often – wishing that I could go back in time and take back all of the hurtful things that I’ve ever said. But words are so incredibly permanent, aren’t they? I know that I will never be able to wholly mend the negative effect and lasting impression that they have had on the people that I love.
Isn’t it true that the “big” problems we experience in a relationship are rarely the primary cause of destruction? Instead, it’s the build up of the little things that slowly eat away at us. I believe that, more often than not, it can be the very simple words, said aloud in the wrong tone, at the wrong time or with the wrong heart, that will begin to rot a relationship at the core.
This includes words that are said to our spouse in the heat of the moment. To our kids when both chaos and frustrations are at their peak. To friends when gossip or bitterness come to the light. To parents or siblings in moments of irritation. You may have already had one of these moments this morning; they happen much too frequently, don’t they?
How often have you regretted the words that you let flow from your mouth, realizing that you never paused to think?
Words are powerful. There is no marriage, friendship or family relationship that isn’t either made stronger or made weaker by the words that you speak every single day.