As culture shifts and changes over time, so does the language we use to express ourselves to one another. In light of this, today’s post is hopefully going to be a helpful lesson in how to honor one another with the things we say.
There are practical and generic ways to honor everyone with our speech and there are specific ways we can honor the opposite gender as well.
Practical & Generic
- Encourage one another daily (Hebrews 3:13)
- Use uplifting speech (Ephesians 4:29)
- Speak with words seasoned by grace (Colossians 4:6/Proverbs 16:24)
- Speak with gentleness and kindness (Proverbs 15:4)
- Exercise wisdom and Righteousness (Proverbs 10:31-32)
There are several more verses on how one should bridle their tongue and how we should speak to one another.
These are all examples that God has given us so that we may look more like Him and honor one another.
The difficult part is that even these good things can be misinterpreted when shared with the opposite gender. Most people think that the same encouragement that a man offers to another man (or woman to another woman) translates the same as when a man encourages a woman or a woman encourages a man.
Unforuntately…it doesn’t work that way. The vast majority of Christians don’t realize what they are telling their counterparts in simple conversation. So to follow along the joking theme of “What Christian guys/girls say” the next few lists are some things that each gender says, how the opposite interprets them, and what was really meant.
Christian Men to Christian Women
What He says: “Hi”
What She hears: “Marry Me”
What He meant: “Hi”
What He says: “You deserve a Man who will respect and Honor you”
What She hears: “He’s right! I DO deserve a Man that will respect me!”
What He meant: “I respect you. Pick me! Pick me!”
What He says: “We should hang out sometime”
What She hears: “Did He just ask me on a date?”
What He meant: “I’m not a creeper and would like to get to know you…I haven’t bought a ring, nor do I have intentions of naming kids today, but yes I would like to take you on a date”
What He says: “Nothing”
What She hears: “Omg what’s her name? What’s wrong? Are you dying?”
What He meant: “Nothing”
Christian Women to Christian Men
What She says: “Hi”
What He hears: “Hi”
What She meant: “Are you my husband?”
What She says: “You deserve a woman who will respect an honor you”
What He hears: “You mean….like you?”
What She meant: “You deserve a woman (NOT ME) that will respect and honor you.”
What She says: “We should hang out sometime”
What He hears: “We’re going on a date”
What She meant: “I just want to be friends”
What She says: “Nothing”
What He hears: “Uh oh… I did something wrong. How do I fix it?”
What She meant: “Everything is crashing down but I want you to read my mind…know that I just want you to hug me, and don’t speak unless I ask you to. “
So often we talk AT someone and don’t talk WITH them and we wonder why we have communication breakdowns.
What we all need to understand is that each one of us is unique and we don’t communicate the same as the person standing next to us. What is intended for good (encouragement) can often cause relationships to bridge into undesired places of intimacy. In order to honor one another, generically or specifically, we need to seek Christ and then learn to understand one another. The best way to do this is to follow what the scriptures say:
Be not rash with your mouth, nor let your heart be hasty to utter a word before God, for God is in heaven and you are on earth. Therefore let your words be few. (Ecclesiastes 5:2)
We need to remember that God is the one that should be speaking through us and that when we are in doubt about what to say or how to say it….HE is the one we need to turn to. It is very easy (using the examples above) to misinterpret the words of our brothers and sisters, but rather than stress over what that person could have meant (just like we do with bible translations), why not just go to the source and listen?
Isn’t this how the Lord directs us when we have concerns regarding HIS will?
I think so!
Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition (definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God. (Philippians 4:6)
We were individually created with a unique design so that we can collectively worship together as the complete body of Christ.
So let’s honor one another AND understand one another.
Love one another with brotherly affection [as members of one family], giving precedence and showing honor to one another. (Romans 12:10)