We want to communicate lovingly, effectively, and honestly in marriage. Improving communication, however, depends on the way we understand communication, and all too often we skip that step. Today we are taking a pit stop at the intersection of words and thoughts. Why? Thoughts become words.
What Does Your Thoughts Become Words Mean?
Our words matter, but our words don’t mysteriously appear. Nope, our thoughts become words, the very words that can cause so much drama.
What does your thoughts become your words mean? It means we have to pay attention to what we think about because those thoughts will eventually leave our mouths!
To Improve Communication We Must Understand The Power Of Our Thoughts
Improving communication requires understanding what happens when we leave our thoughts unchecked.
Why did I say that?
Did he really mean what he just said?
I’m just a negative person, I can’t change who I am.
If you only knew what he did, repeatedly does, will always do, you would understand why I said that.
Words – the very topic of our Marriage Communication Workshop (of which this is a free lesson)– get me into more trouble than I care to admit.
Maybe like me, you’ve asked the question:
How Can I Control My Words?
Seriously, how can I stop saying what I don’t mean to say and say the things I need to say?
Interestingly Paul asked a similar question.
“I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.” (Romans 7:15 NIV)
The struggle to do, say, and think the right thing is real and has been around since the beginning.
Can Thoughts Become Habits?
What’s the big deal if I entertain negative thoughts about my husband?
So what if I replay his latest mistake and think through all the ways I’d like to get back at him?
Oh, is that just me, or do you let your thoughts linger on the negative side of things as well?
There was a time I kept a detailed list of all the things Bud had done wrong, probably since we met. I didn’t keep that list intentionally or even conscience but it reared its ugly head when he did or said something wrong and I began to tell him off. Do you do that?
My first reaction to his mistakes was often to read him the riot act, listing off every similar mistake he’s made. That was followed by an accusation that he is thoughtless, careless, self-centered, and would never change!
Why could I so easily go there? Because my thoughts lingered on the negative pieces of my husband’s character and past. I had been balling him out mentally for so long that when he did mess up it was all prepared.
Can thoughts become habits? Absolutely. The old warning is true: be careful your thoughts become words!
Understanding The Power of Thoughts: Thoughts Become Words
I think we can all agree that our thoughts become words. I was shocked to learn how our thoughts work, however. The power our thoughts hold is incredible and understanding that power can help us break the cycle of negative thinking in our lives and in our marriages!
What Are Your Thoughts Each Day?
Do you think about the same things, like a broken record, day in and day out? How many of your thoughts are negative?
When I began working to change communication in our marriage most of my thoughts about my husband and our marriage were negative. Can you relate?
Then I began to learn about the power of our thoughts. Scientists suggest that nearly all of our daily thoughts are repeated thoughts from the day before. Let that sink in a moment.
It’s no wonder your thoughts become words if we basically think about the same thing day in and day out!
What’s more, Scientists claim that 80-90% are negative thoughts. Say what?!?!?!?!?!
“A single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives.” ~Henry David Thoreau
Related Post: More Fun Thoughts Become Words QuotesThoughts become words: Understanding the power of negative thoughts isn't enough. I have control of my thought life. I must confess the sinful pattern of my thoughts to gain a heart ready to change. Click To Tweet
Are Negative Thoughts Your Normal?
What do you think happens when you think the same negative thought day in and day out?
Those negative thoughts are bound to come out of your mouth, at least that’s how it works for me.
Philosophers have noted for centuries that our thoughts affect our lives.
“Change your thoughts and you change your life.” ~ Norman Vincent Peele
In fact, the phrase we are focused on today holds that same message. But who said thoughts become words? It was an Eastern Philosopher from 560 BC named Lao Tzu. What we see in that is that the focus on shifting from negative thoughts to positive thoughts has been taught from the beginning of time!
The Negative Thought Superhighway
You may find it shocking to know how many studies show that repeated negative thinking leads to a deep pathway in your brain to those same thoughts… making it difficult to change.
You read that right, negative thoughts actually rewire your brain to automatically think negatively.
So we think about mostly the same things each day. Most of those thoughts are negative. Every time we think about a negative thought we create a path in our brain making it that much easier to think negatively about that thing.
Imagine you move to a new city and the drive to work is 30 minutes. The longer you live in this city the more familiar you become with the back roads. Every week you try a new way to work, each shaving off a few minutes of your drive. Then one day you find a route that gets you there in 20 minutes. Victory!
This superhighway in your brain is like that. One day your husband forgets to take out the trash. The can is overflowing by the next week when it’s trash day. You are angry with him and begin planning out what you will say the next time it happens. Each day you remember the last time he messed up and rehash all his shortcomings. A few months later when he forgets again, your brain knows exactly what to think and directs those thoughts to your mouth. It found a shorter trip from what happened to what you needed to say, trying to help you.
The Problem With The Superhighway
But here’s the thing, does a forgetful moment mean your spouse is a failure and your marriage is doomed to end in divorce? Should missing trash day lead to a civil war in your home?
Our brain is trying to help us get to the destination we’ve thought about so often… but most of us don’t want to fight, don’t want a divorce, and don’t want to crush our spouse.
Most of us just want them to see how they hurt us, we want things to change.
Now, our brain only knows what we tell it. So if we spend 90% of our time telling our brain all the bad things, of course, it concludes that we need to act. Why? Because thoughts become words – words become actions.
What Does The Bible Say About Changing The Pattern Of Our Thoughts? Thoughts Become Words
First of all, let’s be clear about our goals. Here are some of my goals:
- Never lose hope and joy in marriage.
- A strong healthy relationship with the LORD.
- No divorce.
- Deeper intimacy in every area of marriage.
- A legacy of faith to pass down to my children.
- Spread the Gospel through the example of my life.
What are your goals in life?
Are they being met by your negative thinking?
So, since we know our brain isn’t that smart and the superhighway these frequented negative thoughts create is not helping us reach our real goals, we need to change.
If we want to change the communication in our marriage we have to accept that it begins in our thoughts. That means you no longer have a license to think negative thoughts about your spouse or your marriage!
We have to stop:
- Recounting their mistakes.
- Brooding over their insensitivity.
- Stewing over their intentional digging to pick a fight.
- Lingering over thoughts of a life without them.
- Imagining a way out of your negative marriage.
Thoughts Become Words, Words Become Actions Bible Verse
Shwew that’s a lot to take in. Our thoughts matter. What does it mean to watch your thoughts?
“but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” (Matthew 5:28 NASB)
Jesus told us that thinking lustful thoughts was as bad as committing adultery.
“But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust (thoughts of sin). Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death.” (James 1:14-15 NASB)
James told us that sin begins in our thoughts.
Thoughts Can Be Sinful
Our thoughts can be sin. Did you realize that?
That sin affects our hearts, comes out of our mouths, and destroys the path of effective communication even when the words themselves were not bad.
Our thoughts matter. To improve communication we must admit where our negative thoughts are causing harm. Understanding this helps us begin to fight the enemy for peace of mind and unity in marriage.
That is really what is behind the watch your thoughts meaning… your thoughts, they become words but they also become actions that you never meant to allow!
More Bible Verses About Negative Thoughts Becoming Words
So far what we’ve seen from the Bible about negative thoughts is that sinful behavior starts in our thoughts.
Are there more Bible Verses about communication and our negative thoughts?
“Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship and do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Romans 12:1-2 NASB)
Our mind is a part of this flesh that God is transforming.
Do you give Him access to your thoughts to transform? He will change them if you let Him.
Thoughts Are NOT Private Sin
Often I think my thoughts are not hurting anyone. My own private sin can’t hurt others… or can it?
The problem is, my thoughts are hurting me and they are hurting others when they come out of my mouth.
Paul in Romans 7 goes on and on about how he often does what he didn’t want to do and struggles to do what he knows he ought to do. He continues to say the flesh is weak and sinful. We will not live without sin, only one person ever did that – Jesus Christ – and He is now seated at the right hand of God.
Paul is NOT giving us permission to live in sin. No, he is saying that sin is not private and to overcome it we must set our minds on Christ and give the Spirit within us permission to transform even our thoughts.
All Things Work Together: Thoughts Become Words
I love the conclusion of Paul’s thoughts in Romans 8.
“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose…
What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? …
But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:28-33 NASB)
Maybe you don’t agree that our thoughts are sinful.
Can we at least agree that allowing those negative thoughts to go unchecked is not helping to improve communication?
Day in and day out, rather than helping us, they are fortifying that Negative Thought Superhighway in our brain, making it harder to change... making it more likely we will speak words of death and destroy any chance of reaching our goals in marriage!When negative thoughts go unchecked – day in and day out, fortifying that Negative Thought Superhighway in your brain – we are not helping to Improve communication. Click To Tweet
How To Change The Negative Thoughts Become Words Pattern
As we have taken a deeper look at our thoughts, trying to understand why our thoughts become words that become actions we may regret, there have been small steps woven in. Let me pull them out into a list to make it simpler.
- Understand the power of our thoughts.
- Especially negative thoughts.
- Stop negative thoughts.
- Accept that you can no longer allow any negative thoughts free reign in your mind.
- Confess sinful thoughts.
1. Understand the Power of Our Thoughts and Why Thoughts Become Words
We have already seen the power of understanding our thoughts. Let’s sit here for a moment and just review what we learned.
- We think the same thoughts daily.
- 90% of those thoughts are negative.
- Repeated negative thoughts create a route for our brain to quickly jump to the worst case.
- Those thoughts often become words as a result.
- The words and actions defeat our real goals.
2. Stop Negative Thoughts
How do we banish negative thoughts?
We have to be intentional to identify our negative thoughts and stop them in their tracks. Honestly, this is such a huge thing that I’ve created an entire series about how to stop negative thoughts. It focuses on Philippians 4:8-9.
“Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things” (Philippians 4:8 NASB).
Related Post: How To Have Peace of Mind No Matter What
3. Confess your thought life to God
Lastly, we saw that those negative thoughts lead to sin. And yes, sinful thoughts need to be confessed. It is important to talk to the Lord about all the things in our lives, including our thoughts, the positive thoughts, the negative thoughts, and everything in-between.
Listen, He already knows all of your thoughts anyway. You will not shock God or drive Him away. But you will find forgiveness and help to change the pattern of thinking that is robbing you of joy in your life and in your marriage.
Fight Guilt and Shame
I want to pause a moment and beg you to be on guard.
Don’t let the enemy whisper guilt and shame about your negative thoughts of your husband. We serve a God of grace, mercy, and second chances.
But we also have a very real enemy who would like to get you stuck right here. An ugly snake who would like to convince you:
- You can’t change.
- You shouldn’t have to change until your husband changes.
- This won’t work because nothing has worked before.
Ignore that liar.
Give this area to God.
Listen, Sweet Sister, God loves you. He already forgave you at the cross and has victory in mind for you. You are here, reading this because God loves you and longs for change that brings victory in your life and marriage!
Prayer Leads to Change
Spend some time alone with God today. If talking through those negative thoughts is too intense, journal through them instead.
If you found this through a search, please consider joining us in the full Marriage Communication Workshop. The worksheets and videos to go along with this lesson and all the rest in the series. There are even prompts to help you process those negative thoughts in the workbook!
Your Thoughts Become Words! What Will You Do To Speak Life?
The truth is, thoughts become words which will eventually become actions. We have to understand that to begin change.
Understanding how our negative thoughts affect communication in marriage is only part of the bigger picture, but it will create the fertile soil for the hard work of change we will be doing next week!
What will you do to begin speaking life into your spouse and marriage? What will you do to reach the real goals in your life and marriage/
Next, we will learn how to stop thinking negative thoughts in a relationship and see the power of positive thinking in marriage!
in HIS love,
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