How Your Words Can Build a Go-the-Distance Marriage

It’s an oft-spoken observation about marriage and family: it is easy for us to act the most hurtful toward the people we claim to love most.

Can I challenge you today to be purposeful about the words you speak to your husband?

How Your WORDS Can Build a Go-The-Distance Marriage //


Galatians 5:13-16 challenges us all:

“through love serve one another. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” But if you bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another… walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.”

Unless we work to do otherwise, we will “bite and devour” our husbands with our words.

Our human tendency is:

  • to tear down
  • to criticize
  • to complain
  • to attack
  • to critique his every move
  • to focus on the one thing that’s wrong, rather than all the things that go right

These are the things that easily escape our lips.

In our flesh, we will not find it difficult to grumble, grump, gripe, grouse, groan, and grouch. But these are the things that, Scripture warns us, will cause us to “consume” one another.

We can look around our culture and find more than ample evidence of this. Marriages crumble, business partners separate, churches split, and families fall apart, over words. We need to pay attention, or else WE will be the ones to consume one another, and end up with a broken, wounded, or ended marriage.


“Encourage one another and build one another up.” ~1 Thessalonians 5:12

My husband Doug has been so good about this, over the course of our marriage… he is a wonderful encourager. When I feel fat or hugely pregnant, he praises and embraces my curves. When I feel like a tired, terrible mama, he gives me specific encouragements, and also helps me consider if there are things I need to do differently.

He lately has referred back to an idea he read in Letters to Philip (a book about being ready for marriage as a young man that we’ve been reading with our oldest son), regarding positivity:

"If you like it, say so!" 

It’s such a simple principle, but it’s true. And, unlike the negative things that pour out so easily, these are all too often the things we find it MOST DIFFICULT to say.

The longer we’re married, too often, we become more likely to hold back things like:

  • praise
  • encouragement
  • kind words
  • affectionate names

We have it backwards!

Here’s the truth:

Positive things that seem like they’re not worth saying usually are. Negative things that seem like they are worth saying usually are not.
~Ben Crawford (@3enCrawford) 

With these two simple choices, you can build a “GO-THE-DISTANCE” marriage:



Do you need to choose different words today?

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Jess Connell

Jesus-follower, Happy wife, Mom of 8 neat people. Former world-traveler, now settled in Washington. Host of Mom On Purpose podcast ( I write and wrangle kids.

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2 Responses

  1. shannon bradbury says:

    I think what you said about being married for awhile we Don,t encourage as much..I want to be more intentional and encourage more because I am his wife.

  1. June 19, 2015

    […] I want to ask you to consider the significance of the little moments. Neither a strong, godly, go-the-distance marriage, nor adultery, happens in an instant. Both are the outplay of hundreds of little, daily […]

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