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Escape From Ground Zero

By Donna Martin

“Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up.”  Proverbs 12:25 (NIV 2011)

We are bombarded daily with negative messages.  One article I read said that we receive around 25,000 negative messages a day just from advertisements on television, billboards, pop-ups, emails, even on park benches.  Add to that the negative remarks from people at work, news that is streaming in from our computers, radios, and televisions, Facebook posts, and the road rage from upset drivers.  All that negativity can make a person feel pretty beaten down by the time they get home at the end of the day.

In our book 366 Tidbits We Have Learned in 366 Days of Marriage, tidbit #281 says “Do your best to make your home an oasis from the storms of life, not ground zero where there is constant conflict.”  One way that you can make your home an oasis from the storms of life is to speak encouraging words to your spouse and children.

The words we speak are powerful.  I knew a woman once who continually complained about everything her husband did.  Her mouth was a fountain flowing with constant criticism. If something went wrong, she immediately said it was his fault.  If she did not have all the money she wanted, she complained that he did not make enough.  If he spent too much time working to make more money, she complained because he was always gone.  Nothing he ever did was right in her eyes.  He became a withdrawn, shadow of a man who was like a mouse scampering around trying to appease his wife.  The sad part was I don’t think she ever realized what her words did to him.  I don’t know how their marriage lasted because they both seemed so miserable.

Through the day, think about your spouse and the good qualities that your spouse possesses.  Make a list of ways that you can speak encouragement to your spouse.  When you and your spouse come home today speak those words of encouragement when you are together.   If you practice this habit overtime, I imagine that your home will become more of an oasis and your spouse will be refreshed by your words.

“The tongue that brings healing is a tree of life, but a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit.”  Proverbs 15:4 (NIV 2011)

The Martins currently present “Happy Together” marriages seminars for churches and organizations.  To schedule a seminar call Michael at 940-735-1515. They also publish a weekly “Happy Together” Blog about family and marriage issues.  You can order copies of their new books Dancing With Death and 366 Tidbits We Have Learned in 14,610 Days of Marriage, read, and subscribe to their “Happy Together” Blog by logging onto the Martin’s website at


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