The Bible says life and death are in the power of the tongue (Proverbs 18:21). People who recognize the power of words will benefit from it due to the three laws of sowing and reaping. What are those laws?
1) You reap what you sow. “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life” (Galatians 6:7-8).
Some people believe they can get a good response through bad words. They might threaten divorce or adultery. They might rip into a spouse with ugly names. They use these words in order to get a spouse’s attention, but more likely the bad words cause feelings of devastation.
I’ve never been in a counseling situation and had someone say, “You know, Jimmy, the other night we were having a fight. We cussed each other out and, man, it really helped.” You can’t just say whatever you want, because what you sow will come back to you. Words can be nuclear.
Sow corruption and you’ll see corruption in return. But sow to please the Spirit and you’ll see everlasting life.
2) You reap much more than what you sow. If you put a corn seed in the ground you don’t just get a second corn seed. You get ears of corn—hundreds of seeds. The results are disproportionate.
In the same way, your mouth has disproportionate consequences on your life. A few tiny words have the power to build a remarkable marriage and family. Speak positive, healing words to each other. Praise each other. Compliment each other. Open your hearts and you’ll reap the blessings of heaven.
It doesn’t take very many words to change a marriage because words are so powerful.
3) Some seeds have a delayed impact. Drop a seed into the ground and you won’t see a full, flowering plant within the hour. It takes time and patience. It takes faith and perseverance to wait to see the impact of your words.
A negative word may have an immediate result. But sometimes it can still be causing pain years later. I once counseled a sixty year-old man who ended up sobbing in my office over something his father said when the man was ten years old. That’s fifty years of pain caused by one careless word.
In the same way, positive words—sowing to please the Spirit—won’t always bring about change overnight. Galatians 6:9 says, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Every seed has its proper time.
You see this in parenting. Sometimes your words have to produce immediate results—for instance, if your child is running out into the street. But at other times, you take advantage of teachable moments years after year before you see the fruit. Sometimes it’s not visible until your children become adults.
Invest good seeds in your spouse by speaking good words. Invest good seeds in your children by speaking in the Spirit. You might not see the fruit of your words immediately, but you can trust that they are powerful.
God will come through. He always with you when you are planting good seeds.
Jimmy Evans // Marriage Today