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A Marriage Destroyed by Words

Sharon Jaynes

(My devotions will focus on marriage for the month of February. If you’re not married, I encourage you to read them anyway! And while you’re reading, pray for your friends that are married.  Believe me, they will appreciate it. Also, give a special blessing by passing these devotions along to them! Here we go…)

Today’s Truth

“Let no foul or polluting language, nor evil word, nor unwholesome or worthless talk [ever] come out of your mouth, but only such [speech] as is good and beneficial to the spiritual progress of others, as is fitting to the need and the occasion, that it may be a blessing and give grace (God’s favor) to those who hear it,” (Ephesians 4:29 Amplified).

Friend to Friend

I talked to a friend of mine about what went so wrong in his marriage that led to divorce. Girlfriend, we need to pay attention to his response.

“When I met Jona at the beach retreat,” Don explained, “I was struck by her vivacious, fun attitude. Oh and did I mention, she looked great in her purple bathing suit? (This is 20 years later and he still remembers the color!)  She stole my heart and as soon as we got home from the retreat, I called and asked her out.”

I had always been a people pleaser.  At first I was always trying to please my parents, then I moved to pleasing my friends, and when I met Jona, I always tried to please her as well.  We were soon married and I couldn’t have been happier. She was so encouraging, loving, and supportive.  After a few years of marriage and several poor financial decisions, I began to see her lose her respect for me. That was most evident in the words she spoke.”

“In the past everything I touched turned to gold. I was president of the student body, won athletic awards, and succeeded in business. As a result, I over promised to Jona and expected her to trust me. Jona was the one person I wanted approval from and the one person from whom I was not getting it. She grew frustrated, angry and bitter towards me. She also withdrew physically, which was the crowning blow to my manhood.”

Jona said things like, “If you cared about us, you wouldn’t make all these bad decisions, you’re a loser, you’re worthless.”

“I’m not putting all the blame of our past marriage problems on Jona. I was shooting for the moon instead of a ten yard gain. I was trying to hit a homerun instead of a base hit. But honestly, once I realized Jona had lost respect for me, I felt the marriage was over. Her words cut too deep and no bandage could stop the bleeding.”

I asked Don what could have made a difference and prevented the eventual separation and divorce.

“If she had said, ‘I’m with you, Don,’ or ‘Let’s work on this together’ or ‘How can I help?’ it would have made all the difference in the world. I didn’t feel like we were on the same team. Instead, she said, ‘If you don’t fix it, I will.’ Instead of constantly pointing out my failures, because believe me, I knew what they were, encouraging words would have made all the difference.”

“At one point,” Don said with tears in his eyes, “I found a list of 80 things that Jona didn’t like about me and 3 things she did like. That list broke my heart. She had no intention of me finding the list, but I happened across it one day when I was looking for something. That was the final nail in the coffin. Jona had nothing but disdain for me. A marriage without respect is no marriage. I saw no hope.”

After Don and Jona’s divorce, he met a woman who gave him all the adoration and encouragement that his wife had not. She was gentle, soft spoken, affectionate, hung on his shoulder, smiled at him, and was very affirming. Her beautiful spirit was a breath of fresh air.

“Don,” I asked, “what advice do you have for a woman who is withholding encouraging words or perhaps cutting her husband down with critical jabs?”

“I don’t think any single thing takes away a man’s strength of character more than the loss of respect,” he said. “Don’t dwell on his weakness, but dwell on the positives. Men are in a fight for our lives. We are at war mentally. We’re out there trying to conquer the world.  A man needs to know that home is a safe place to be instead of feeling like you’re leaving one battle for another.”

Maybe you have not been giving encouraging words to your husband lately? Perhaps it has been so long you’ve forgotten how? I hope Don’s and Jona’s story stirs your heart to build up that man of yours and become the woman of his dreams.

Think back to when you were dating. What did you admire about that young man that captured your heart?  Look for an opportunity to praise him, but make sure it is genuine.  Find one attribute, character trait or task that he does well and begin there. If you are out of practice, this may be difficult at first. But I can promise you, it will become easier with time, especially when you see the results on your husband’s face and his attitude towards you.

Let’s Pray

Lord, oh how easy it is to see my husband’s flaws and ignore my own. Help me to use my words to plant seeds of love and encouragement and not weeds of bitterness and discouragement. I commit this very day to not use my words to tear my man down, but only to build him up. Help me to be like Job and put my hand over my mouth if any negative words attempt to escape my lips (Job 40:4).

In Jesus’ Name,


Now It’s Your Turn

Are you feeling brave? Really brave?

If so, look up the following verses:  [Proverbs 11:22; 19:13; 25:24; 21:19; 27:15-16]

Now, if you are willing to not be a dripping faucet this week, click over to my blog page and leave a comment that says, “I’m not going to be a drip today!”

If you read to the end of today’s devotion, I’m proud of you! You will have a special surprise. Don and Jona reconciled and were remarried! If you’d like to read about how that happened, click over to my website and read the article God Can Resurrect Your Marriage from the Ashes.

More From the Girlfriends

14-Day Romancing Your Husband Challenge: How would you like to join your girlfriends in a 14-day Romancing Your Husband Challenge? Click over to, click on the challenge sign-up button in the right column of the home page, and your 14-day challenge emails will begin. Come on girlfriend, February is the love month – it’s time to spice up your marriage.

February is the month of love and a wonderful time to contemplate our marriages.  Do you want to become the woman of your husband’s dreams? The woman who makes him sorry to leave in the morning and eager to come home at night? Then you’ll want to read Becoming the Woman of His Dreams for an insightful look at the wonderful, unique, and God-ordained role only you have in your husband’s life.

8 Responses

  1. Thelma Nieto says:

    Thanks for the encouraging words on this topic. I have been that women you talked about for a long time. BUT God had a plan for our marriage. Until about 4 months ago we have attended a Bible Study with other couples and we were studying the word of course, but also the Book called the “Five Love Languages”. You have probably heard of this book but for me it was the book that helped me realize my Husbands love language is Words of Affirmation. Needless to say, I started “practicing” saying nice things to him, and let me tell you it has changed our marriage for the better! We are more loving towards each other and we even went to a weekend getaway just the two of us for our 10 year anniversary this month! This was the second time we have done a trip alone without kids and the last time it was 5 years ago. I truly believe our tongue has the power to speak life and death.
    Today I chose my words carefully and chose to speak in love.
    Thank you for sharing your stories I truly admire and appreciate the Girlfriends and God website this has also been so helpful for me!
    Thelma Nieto

  2. cristal says:

    Thank you so mucho for sharing this with us. In my own experience I have to tell you it is true…when we get married. We do not think of bad times. We promise we’ll be good wives;we’ll support our husbands always but when we have to spend bad times or tribulation we forget everything we promised. Last year my husband didn’t have a job and he couldn’t pay for the bills. I was working very hard to help him but we were having difficult times so I told him I would go to my parent’s house to live there and I would take my teenagersteenagers with me so that he could pay for his bills and I told my Pastor but he said to me : No Cristal you cannot do this. Your marriage is like a boat. Everybody is on board ; if the boat sinks ;everybody sinks. I then realized that I was not fair. I had forgotten what I promised when I got married and I wanted to leave him alone; he was so sad.We had to pray and pray and my husband got a job. We have been married for 22 years. Sometimes we as women think that men are strong and women are weak and we forget men feel and we can hurt their feelings if we don’t show them love or respect. We must ask for forgiveness when we make mistakes. God bless you! Sorry about my English :)

  3. Miriam says:

    Am a dating girl..this devotion makes me feel ready to be married today!!!!! lol!
    Thanks Sharon .God bless.
    I know a few married friends going through the stages.I’ll be sure to forward this.

  4. Sandy says:

    I married a non-Christian 28 years ago and being unequally yoked, we disagreed about just about everything when it came to raising our three kids. They all accepted the Lord when young, but their dad has convinced them that the Bible is written by men and not to be trusted. All three have no relationship with God and two don’t believe in Him right now. This has been heartbreaking for me, and I too have lost respect for my husband for what has occurred. Seven years ago, my business was booming and I convinced him to quit his stressful job. Now my business is losing a lot of money and I’m angry that he won’t try to help support us. Most of our retirement money is gone, and I think he blames me, so things are just really bad right now. We took a weekend trip last week, and barely spoke to each other. I will work on building him up with my words…thank you for the very convicting message. This week, my daughter will marry a Hindu non-U.S. citizen. I am an example of how there are SERIOUS lifelong consequences to not being in God’s will and all I can do now for my kids is pray for them, and for my husband to be saved soon.

  5. krista says:

    I just found your site and this is exactly what i needed to read. I have been focusing so much lately on the little things that irritate me that i have forgotten all the wonderful things about him and what he brings to our marriage. We decided to go to church today, our first time ever together, and the sermon was about not taking people for granted. I guess i have alot to pray about. Thank you for the devotional!

  6. Wiltoria Baryou says:

    Hi Shoron, what a wonderful woman of God you are, may he gave you the strength to continue this great work.
    i love these even though i am single, but they are great, i need some for a young lady who want to live totaly for the Lord. A guy n I dated for two years plus outside of sex,of recent he left me because he wer’nt ready to live according to the word of God ( that’s marriage before sex).can i get some resources from on waiting on God’s time as a single, even though is not easy but it worth it.

    • Christine says:

      Hi Wiltoria- I’m so impressed and glad that you have decided to save yourself from now on for your future husband. I can hear in your words that this is a hard time for you, but you are willing to move ahead according to God’s plan and leave the past behind. I’m not sure of resources for this but I just wanted to encourage you. I think this is definitely the right decision, be strong in the Lord, he can accomplish anything through you! <3

  7. Crystal says:

    Thanks so much for this post.I have been gone from home for 3 months and like the lady in the story I can tell you everything my husband did wrong and nothing he did right.neither one of us is perfect in our marriage and we didn’t put God first and to make it 10 times worst I’m the believer in the marriage. I’m getting ready to go back home in a few weeks and thank you for putting in a way that knocked me on my butt

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