By Rev. Mark Hunnemann
If I were the devil (no comment) there is one small muscle in the human anatomy that I would work over-time trying to influence—the tongue.
“Possession and oppression are okay, but this is where we are inflicting maximum damage without being detected…and it all seems soooo mundane and natural. Without a hint of our diabolical presence, we are destroying: marriages, friendships, churches, and cultures; we have even caused these verminized humans to start wars with it. He he…on Sundays they praise the Enemy and on Monday they murder-mouth each other! And by muzzling their mouths, we can get the Enemy’s preachers to be silent about my most extreme deceptions. I know a few are bound to slip through the cracks, but you better not let them talk about my darling—ghosts… growl…And make them embarrassed to mention that NAME. Yes, human words are spreading the dust of darkness faster than anything else. Now, say after me: sticks and stones….” (over heard at a daily Satan-led strategy meeting discussing his “speech therapy”)
What happened? Thirteen years after our divorce, I am still plagued by that question. After starting off so well, not a day goes by that I don’t grieve the destruction of my family—as a family. I ask this question here, because this is where the paranormal rubber meets the road of hard reality. I usually speak of supernatural type occurrences, but along with sin, there is a demonic ploy that seems to be a common denominator in all relational meltdowns. Keeping an eye on the paranormal is useless unless it can shed some light on the ever growing problem of marital distress—the most basic, God-ordained institution that is the cement of a culture. Satan is culture wise, and he knows that if he can get marriage in trouble, then that society will begin to unravel and self-destruct. Tragically, much of what occurs between many husbands and wives is the result of the influence of the demonic denizens of the paranormal realm. My intent is to educate and equip us to be discerning of Satan’s relational schemes and discuss practical insights in how to achieve beauty in our earthly relationships.
Though much is uncertain, and varies from one situation to the next, I am certain of the primary cause of why a marriage either flourishes or flounders. Communication…what we say, and how we say it, is by far, the chief determiner of marriage wellness. If a digital recorder were strapped to you, what communication patterns would it reveal? .Since self-examination is fast becoming a lost art, then self-awareness is at all-time low.….Couples can experience all manner of stressors (finances, in-laws, sex, and so on), but it is how they talk to each other in times of stress that will make them either bitter or better. Stress is, in a sense, neutral; whether it pulls people together or drives them apart, is largely dependent on how they communicate…what is said, and how it is said. If you walk into some folk’s houses you are immediately hit with a stench; like something died. The friction is palpable.. I remember with sadness what one of my children said at a young age, “Daddy, I like it when we have people over because the house is happy then.” What and how we say things will either create an ambience of security, warmth, and sweetness, or it will create a palpable sense of insecurity (walking on eggshells), chilled anxiety, and sourness.
One couple forecloses on a house, and they become even more devoted to each other. Another couple forecloses on a house, and they start sleeping in separate beds. The difference? One listens to the demonic temptation and the blame game begins, but the other resists the same temptation and encourages each other in the Lord. Statistics show that being a Christian (or professing so), sadly, makes no difference in how this couple handles the stress. Recently, a friend went through a cluster of serious setbacks (some might call them crises), and there is good reason to suspect demonic attack. Though smashed with initial anguish, they chose…CHOSE…to believe that God is good.. all the time. And they verbalized their contentment in the Lord. I was, and continue to be, amazed and blessed by their attitude and tongue control.
The power of life and death is in the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” (Prov. 18:21) How does one comment on a verse like that, except to urge each of us to really embrace and acknowledge the reality of the life and death nature of our words. In James 3:1-12) James laments that hardly anyone has good tongue control. In v. 6 he says that a word can set the whole course of our lives on fire, and that this tongue fire is itself lit by hell. We spread Satan’s kingdom when we sin with our mouths; he is known as the Accuser of the brethren. We should be very cautious before we open our mouths, but many let dribble out whatever comes to our minds. “Where there are many words, sin is unavoidable, but the one who controls his tongue is wise. (Prov. 10:19) Introvert or extrovert, it makes no difference—we are not to engage in diareha of the mouth. Also, you will look in vain for a text that minimizes mouth-sin due to how we feel. (some medical conditions can make obedience more difficult) We would not use feelings as an excuse for stabbing a person’s body, so why use it as an excuse for stabbing someone’s heart?. The power of life and death lies in what we say; we should control our tongues as if it were a 44 magnum handgun, with the safety off….VERY carefully.:
Listen to the words of Jesus, “For the mouth speaks from the overflow of the heart.” (Mat. 12:34) What we say is an accurate indicator of what is habitually happening in our thoughts. With Satan, the mind or heart is where the real battle is waged because the mind is the contact or entry point for the words of temptation, accusation, anxiety, and so on. Right then and there is where the battle is won or lost. Are you still wearing the digital recorder? I hope so because listen to what Jesus says next, “I tell you that on the day of judgment people will have to account for every careless word they speak. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.”(Matt. 12:36-37) Believers will undergo a judgment, and much of the divine scrutiny will center on our communication. How you speak to your spouse or family will be the area of closest scrutiny. Before the eternal pleasures of heaven, there will be a real judgment…if that does not get our attention, I don’t know what will.
Most everyone is probably familiar with Eph. where we are warned to not let the sun go down on our anger, or we will give the devil an opportunity or foothold. Paraphrased…”Hey, if you have had an argument with your spouse, make sure it is dealt with before you fall asleep. Because if you don’t, that gives the demonic a green light to graduate from mere temptation to demonic influence. The protection is lowered, a door is opened, and they are allowed to begin oppressing you.” It then becomes a vicious cycle, as the oppression increases so does the anger; harsh words flow and then the door is opened wider..and so on.. Friends, please make it a habit to not fall asleep angry. Christian couples are to help accelerate each other’s sanctification; .to be ministers of each others joy; to help them FEEL the security and significance we have in the Lord by what we say; to increase each other’s fruitfulness in extending the Lord’s kingdom; to enjoy each other and experience a piece of heaven here on earth. ”I am sorry, please forgive
me.” and “I do forgive you” should come out of our mouths more frequently as we mature in Christ, because more spiritual nerves are exposed…we become more sensitive to motives and tone. Forgiveness does not mean forgetting, but it does mean not bringing the matter up again and holding it against the person. God cannot forget because He knows all things, but the beauty is that he does not hold our sins against us anymore.
One way to test your tongue control is to look at compliments versus criticisms, and the ratio between the two. Under criticism would come: constructive criticism, destructive criticism,, helpful hints, advice, suggestions, comments, and so on (you get the picture) When we mention criticism we usually are thinking about overtly destructive criticism, but any comments that “corrects” the other person has the potential to be destructive if:
it is said too often, spoken in an unloving tone, and is not balanced by a preponderance of overtly constructive compliments.. In this context, kindness is NOT correcting every mistake you see or hear; Jesus didn’t. "Love covers a multitude of sins." Let me hasten to add that some constructive criticism is necessary in a healthy relationship. My point is that we should compliment each other much more than we correct or criticize. This is where some of us will need to do some repenting, because the compliment versus criticism ratio is way out of whack. No wonder the “Song of Solomon” is so lovely; it is filled with compliments and no criticisms! If we did that one thing, our relationships would be a thing of real and observable beauty. Would the digital recorder show a preponderance of compliments or criticism? Let us offer up to God our mouths as a living sacrifice—it may keep trying to crawl of the altar but we put it right back.
Looking back now, I know that our house was infested, and we were under demonic oppression because of Satan’s speech therapy at work. My ex-wife cannot keep tenants in the house, because there is “something wrong with it.” I literally ran out the back door and fled…an utterly broken man. The Lord has been so kind and tender to such an unworthy sinner. Praise be to the Name—JESUS!