Growing up on a farm my family would often burn off the stubble on our fields at the end of harvest. In a matter of a few minutes an entire 40-acre plot of land would be scorched. What is amazing to me is the massive burn only required one small spark to start the raging fire.
The Bible says something similar about the tongue in James 3:5 Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things. See how great a forest a little fire kindles! NKJV
I can do the same to my spouse and children by the words I say. The scorching words said in anger set ablaze an inferno that over the course of time can destroy a relationship.
Here are some questions to ask YOURSELF: Have I ever said things I shouldn’t have? Have I ever hurt my spouse’s feelings? Have I ever beat down my children with hurtful words? Have I ever needed to take a break and walk away for a while, before saying words that were on the tip of my tongue? Is anger a potential problem area for me?
The wise man said, Death and life are in the power of the tongue (Proverbs 18:21a). That truth is both a caution and an encouragement about how I should speak to my family.
When I fail and say things I shouldn’t I need to humbly seek forgiveness and be willing to forgive when words have hurt me. HOW ABOUT YOU?
Fire isn’t all bad. If controlled, it can help in the same as words of encouragement, support, and love can help.