Talk Trash, Eat Trash

A man shall eat well by the fruit of his mouth. – Proverbs 13:2

The older I get, the more I realize how much our words, good or bad, have power. Our words are like a field owned by a farmer. Farmers obviously don’t want weeds growing with the valuable crops they plant in their fields. I remember growing up on a farm myself. We had an annual family ritual of weed picking. This was not something we looked forward to, but it needed to be done. My dad didn’t want the weeds to choke out the soybeans. His goal was an abundant harvest, so for long, hot days, often with sweat dripping down our faces, we worked tirelessly to get rid of the weeds. Then as the sun shone and the rain watered the plants, they grew beautifully, and our whole family benefited from the bountiful harvest attained.
It’s the same with our words. Words are seeds which produce a harvest over time, good or bad! As Proverbs 13:2 tells us, “A man shall eat well by the fruit of his mouth…” Wouldn’t it stand to reason that the opposite is also true? If we talk trash, won’t we eat trash? Maybe not literally, but when we have negative words pouring consistently from our lips, it certainly isn’t going to produce good results in our life or relationships!
What we are receiving in life right now is most often a result of what we have been sowing (thinking and speaking) in our past, or possibly if you’re young, what others have been speaking over you. Therefore, from this moment on, if we want a harvest of excellent fruit in our life, our marriage, and our children’s behavior, it’s important to consistently speak the right words over each of these areas.
When we declare the promises of God, rather than verbalizing what’s taking place in the natural, we will eventually begin to see a change. The more intentional we are with reminding ourselves what God says about our situation, the easier this becomes to apply. Does this mean we deny reality? No. It means we stop repeatedly mulling over our problems. Instead, and on purpose, we declare God’s promises and God’s ability in our situation. We even encourage others to put God’s promises up around your house to keep them at the forefront of your mind. Whatever we magnify will become a giant in our life!

God’s vision for us is that we would speak His words of blessing over people and situations around us to infuse life into them. James 3:9-12 speaks of the importance of taming our tongues by saying,


With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren these things ought not to be so. Does a spring send forth fresh water and bitter from the same opening? Can a fig tree, my brethren, bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Thus no spring yields both salt water and fresh.


James basically said when we praise or thank God with our mouth then speak unkind things about a person made in God’s image, it’s not right. Just like a tree can’t produce fruit of a different kind than it was planted to be, so you and I can be certain the words we speak continually will produce fruit. If we speak respect and compliments to our spouse and children, we will eventually see the fruit in their personalities because they’ll feel loved. In addition to training our tongue to talk kindness and blessing to others, we show wisdom when we refuse to speak harsh and condescending words, no matter how a person may act.
A number of years ago, we led a Bible study for married couples. We agreed to lead a group for newlyweds like us, but instead we think someone secretly advertised that we were having a marriage crisis intervention class. Well, no one really advertised this way, but that’s what we largely ended up with. Talk about throwing us in with the sharks! Okay, they weren’t all sharks, but it did get pretty wild in there sometimes.
Being wet behind the ears at this marriage thing, we definitely felt in over our heads. We think God enjoys getting us out of our comfort zone sometimes though, because then we really have to look to Him for wisdom, and it helps us grow and pray in ways we otherwise wouldn’t. One couple in our group was having colossal marital problems. Although the husband had become a Christian years ago and attended church, he wasn’t living his life according to God’s direction. That’s a nice way of saying he was pretty off his rocker at the moment.
Our pastor called for a mandatory separation for the physical safety of the wife and kids when he found out the situation at home. In addition, they started Christian marital counseling, the husband attended classes for overcoming anger, and another man in the church who was a kind, mature believer became a mentor and accountability partner to the husband.
We will call the couple Jake and Sheila. Sometimes Sheila would come alone to our group, and sometimes they were together. After we had our study, we would all chat about how it applied to our lives. When Jake wasn’t there, Sheila would sometimes have her own reveal party with everyone in the group about their marital chaos. She didn’t shoot off pink or blue streamers. She just let lots of cats out of the bag on her husband of all the irresponsible, selfish, and unloving things he had done lately, including everything from the grenade launchers of his anger outbursts to buying her flowers with bad checks (we won’t write the really bad things because we want to keep this book at a PG level in case your kids pick it up).
One day in prayer the Lord dealt with us about Sheila repeatedly airing their dirty laundry and degrading her husband in front of the whole group. We had the thought, “She is eating the fruit of her lips.” Her husband definitely needed help, but she was drawing even more negative out in him because she would meditate on his behavior and repeat it to anyone who would listen. The more she told people about his poor behavior, the more he would increase in the crazy and irrational actions.
After one Bible study, we visited with her about this issue, giving her the Scriptures of Proverbs 12:14 and Proverbs 18:21, which remind us we will eat the fruit of our lips, good or bad. We encouraged her to share what she needed to with the pastor and those in leadership who were counseling them and also to feel free to ask us to pray for specific areas. However, we advised her to stop telling those around her the personal details about mistakes her husband made.
Instead, we suggested she start picturing him through what the Bible says about him as a believer and looking for any good things he did. What could happen if she even prayed Scripture over him consistently, like Colossians 1:9-12? We encouraged her to focus on and compliment every good thing she could possibly find. She said she understood what we were saying and would make an effort.
Several weeks later Sheila came and told us she had been doing what we suggested, only sharing details with those who really needed to hear them. She had also started making an effort to think positive thoughts about her husband and compliment him. She said things were definitely improving. They continued with us for several months until the Bible study wrapped up.
I talked to her several years later and found out their relationship had continued to steadily improve and they were now happily married again. He had become a genuinely loving, responsible husband and father. She told me she was so thankful she had persevered through the many storms and not divorced him. It wasn’t easy on her during this long period of time, but if she hadn’t stayed with it, her kids would not have seen how powerful God is. He was able to change their dad, which was an absolute miracle!
Praying this blesses you today, 
Pastor Amy