Marriage Minute # 31 From the book, Marriage Minutes, available on Amazon.com
“Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person.”
This verse is about assertiveness. It is about strength, because Grace is strong, and not weak. The Assertive person is not trying to do something to someone else in order to get their point across, but rather they are doing something to themselves in order to deliver their thoughts, feelings, wants, etc.
This Assertive person invites others to see their perspective, but they are not trying to force the other to change their mind. (Force being the key word…) Neither are they going to let their own mind be driven into silence.
Grace seasons our speech, makes it flavorful, shows the passion we have for not only our ideas but also for the relationship. Grace preserves, like salt does, preserves the good will of our love, preserves the goodness of the relationship, and preserves the bond we say we want in our relationships, especially our most treasured relationships.
“Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad; for the tree is known by its fruit. “You brood of vipers, how can you, being evil, speak what is good? For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart. “The good man brings out of [his] good treasure what is good; and the evil man brings out of [his] evil treasure what is evil. “But I tell you that every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the day of judgment. “For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”
These words of Jesus describe Assertive speech… truthful, direct, from a good heart
From James, chapter 3 (NASB)
1Let not many [of you] become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we will incur a stricter judgment. 2For we all stumble in many [ways]. If anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to bridle the whole body as well. 3Now if we put the bits into the horses’ mouths so that they will obey us, we direct their entire body as well. 4Look at the ships also, though they are so great and are driven by strong winds, are still directed by a very small rudder wherever the inclination of the pilot desires. 5So also the tongue is a small part of the body, and [yet] it boasts of great things. See how great a forest is set aflame by such a small fire! 6And the tongue is a fire, the [very] world of iniquity; the tongue is set among our members as that which defiles the entire body, and sets on fire the course of [our] life, and is set on fire by hell. 7For every species of beasts and birds, of reptiles and creatures of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by the human race. 8But no one can tame the tongue; [it is] a restless evil [and] full of deadly poison. 9With it we bless [our] Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the likeness of God; 10from the same mouth come [both] blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be this way. 11Does a fountain send out from the same opening [both] fresh and bitter [water]? 12Can a fig tree, my brethren, produce olives, or a vine produce figs? Nor [can] salt water produce fresh. 13Who among you is wise and understanding? Let him show by his good behavior his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom. 14But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, do not be arrogant and [so] lie against the truth. 15This wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly, natural, demonic. 16For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing. 17But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy. 18And the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.