Words Matter

 Weddings are wonderfully joyous occasions. When I go to a wedding and witness the honest love of the two being uniting in marriage - it is difficult to feel anything but joy and celebration. Then when the lovers say their vows to each other and speak the words of promise: I take you, to have and to hold from this day forward, in joy and in sorrow, in plenty and in want, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish as long as we both shall live. Hearing these words can make even the mentally and physically strong get caught with a tear in the eye. It is a beautiful occasion of solemn commitment that love will endure everything else.

 Yet, that day of joy and celebration often is broken later. Percentages reveal that about 50% of marriages end in divorce. The vow “as long as we both shall live” is broken. Certainly, there are factors and reasons for divorce and often the reasons to dissolve a marriage can be healthier than continuing it especially if abuse is involved. We are not meant to bind ourselves to a marriage that is infected with addiction or physical and mental abuse.

 Still, what happens to the relationship is tragic. The result was not anticipated at the wedding when the love was tangible and the words spoken so powerful. The grief is especially tragic when the marriage could have been saved if only the couple would have remembered to use words properly.


 See, a critical component we have forgotten in our society is that we know longer honor the power of our spoken words. We blurt out profanity and insults without thinking about repercussion or considering the ears listening. Our tongues dance easily with speech that tears down. Have we forgotten that our words are active in the world once we speak them? Our words are active in power for the positive or active in power for the negative. Let us remember to say the words that build people and support integrity. 

Tom Holdcraft