I am determined I will say nothing sinful. (Psalm 17:3b)
We have already considered a number of issues related to a man’s speech while examining the fruits of the Spirit. But the Bible has so much to say about words, that we will look in this chapter at a few more important instructions relating to the way a man talks. Keep in mind as you read these verses that they apply to women as well, and examine your own speech in addition to evaluating your boyfriend’s.
Read Matthew 12:36-37.
Why are words so important?
Proverbs 6:16-19 lists seven things that are detestable to the Lord. At least three of them involve words. What are they?
· How truthful is your boyfriend?
· Does he stir up trouble between family members (his family, your family, or the “family” of Christ)?
Read Proverbs 12:22.
According to this verse and what you know about your boyfriend, how do you think God feels about his mouth?
Read Proverbs 11:13; 16:28; and 20:19.
Contrast a gossip with a trustworthy man:
Can you trust the man you are dating to keep a confidence? _____ Give an example.
Worthy Things to Say
Proverbs 8:6-8 describes “excellent things” to say. List both what they are and what they are not.
· are not:
Which of these have you heard from your boyfriend’s lips? Give examples.
Read Proverbs 10:32.
With the help of a dictionary, define words that are:
· fitting (pleasing):
Which of these two words most often describes your boyfriend’s speech?
In each of the following verses, find what you should expect to hear from the mouth of a wise or righteous man.
· Proverbs 12:18
· Proverbs 15:17
· Proverbs 16:23
· Psalm 37:30
· Deuteronomy 30:11-14
· Colossians 4:6
· Ephesians 4:29
Which of these have you heard in your boyfriend’s speech? Give examples.
The last verse in the above list (Ephesians 4:29) contrasts words that benefit those who listen with words that are unwholesome. The following verses describe three categories of unwholesome words that do not benefit those who listen.
Write them on lines a), b), and c) below, then read the warnings below each. Place a check mark beside any of these that characterize your boyfriend’s speech.
a) Proverbs 26:23-25 __________________
A charming man is one who has a compelling attraction about him. His personality and his “fervent” words please and soothe people. If his charm is coupled with a sincere and honest heart, such a man will have many friends and can be delightful to live with. Because charm tends to inspire confidence and trust from other people, it can be a great asset to a man who uses it to influence people for good.
Unfortunately, charm can also be used to disguise evil intent and to deceive and manipulate people in ways that are not for their good. If you have heard your boyfriend use charming words to deceive someone else, be suspicious of the charming words he speaks to you. There’s a good chance they are not sincere.
b) James 3:10 ________________________
Take note if your boyfriend is prone to cursing or using other “bad language.” If he cleans up his language just to please you, it will last only until you are married, if that long. The only enduring change that will come in this area is change that he makes in response to genuine conviction from the Holy Spirit. Do not date a man who uses words that you would be embarrassed to have your children use in public. They will, and you will share his shame.
c) Proverbs 22:10 _____________________
Mockery is the practice of mimicking the actions or words of another person in scorn or ridicule, often in a sing-song manner. It is frequently disguised as “humor,” but it is not funny when it is directed at you—it is disrespectful, demeaning, and hurtful. Beware of the man who mocks or scorns people, either to their faces or behind their backs. He will eventually do that to you.