“The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” (Proverbs 18:21)
Have you ever had a moment in your life that you believed was relatively insignificant only to realize several years later that the moment was far more important than you could have possibly imagined? I am going to share with you one such moment in my life. In order for me to adequately address the importance of the event with you, I must share some of my background.
I grew up in a home where we were in church every time the doors were open. I have vivid memories of seeing my dad sitting in his recliner, reading the Bible every morning. I remember my parents praying with my two sisters and my brother and I every night just before bedtime. From all accounts, I grew up in what many would consider a Christian home. You can imagine my surprise when my parents announced to my siblings and I that they were getting a divorce after nearly 25 years of marriage. I was thirteen at the time, and my world was shaken terribly. For quite some time, I was not only immensely and deeply hurt, I also was angry and confused. How could my parents just throw away 25 years of their lives? I did not understand.
The rest of my years of adolescence were hard. I wrestled with issues of self-esteem, and I felt very insecure and rejected in my relationship with my father. The feelings haunted me well into my twenties. With the exception of coming to Jesus at the age of 27, my parents’ divorce is one of the most significant events in my life. My world completely changed, and not for the better. My life became classified into “before my parents’ divorce” and “after the divorce.” The divorce affected the way I saw life, the way I saw myself, and the way I saw God. Everything in my life was filtered through that lens. Because of the anguish my parents’ divorced caused, I vowed that I would never put my child through what my parents had put my siblings and me through. I did not want my child to have to make a choice about which parent to live with. I did not want my child to ever have to feel the rejection and insecurity I felt. I knew full well how profoundly divorce can affect a child, and I wanted no part of it.
Not long after my husband and I were married, we moved to his hometown. Before long, we had found a church home. We knew the first day we visited our church that it was where God wanted us to be. Our church, which I will call NC, taught some things that I had never heard, yet the truth resonated within me. I knew that the preaching and teaching we were sitting under was pure and true, and so did my husband. At the time, NC was having what were called “Encounters.” Encounters, which lasted an entire weekend, consisted of a series of teachings about various topics that were aimed at helping members encounter their past, encounter themselves and ultimately, to encounter Jesus in a new way. The teachings dealt with such topics as forgiveness, healing, recognizing open doors in our lives, and canceling curses that had been placed upon our lives for any number of reasons. During the teaching on generational curses, I realized that one curse that was active and had never been addressed in my life since coming to Christ was divorce. My parents divorced; many of my aunts and uncles (on both sides) divorced. My husband’s parents had divorced. The legacy of divorce existed in both families. I had to face the truth that apart from God’s help, my marriage could quite possibly end in divorce. My husband and I, though strong Christians, had not been raised in homes with healthy marriages. We had both learned some dysfunctional relationship and communication patterns that were starting to strain our relationship.
As I heard the teaching on canceling generational curses, on slamming open doors that were giving Satan access to our lives, I began to weep. I wept because I realized just how profoundly my parents’ divorce had affected and was affecting me, and I understood that I was on the same course without some drastic changes. At the end of the teaching, I realized divorce was an area where there was an open door; it was an area in my life where Satan had a foothold. I began to ask Jesus to help me. I did not know where to start or how to start, but I knew that I did not want divorce to be a part of my legacy. The leaders began to lead us in prayer, and any of us that desired could go forward and have one of the leaders pray over us and with us. As I stood there, waiting for my turn, God’s spirit spoke to me. I knew I had to speak life over myself and my marriage. I remember that moment so clearly because it was so liberating. With conviction and raw determination, I said, “The buck stops with me.” Five little words. So simple. Yet so powerful. I was not going to let divorce be visited upon my children.
Looking back, I had no clue how spiritually significant that moment was. I had no idea that those words that flowed out of me would be of much consequence 7 years later. I never imagined that speaking those words could cause a force to be unleashed in the spiritual realm. I had no inkling that those five small words would be so severely tested 7 years later. In some ways, the event was somewhat prophetic. I was, in essence, prophesying over my marriage, reclaiming lost ground, taking back authority that had been given to Satan. When I found myself, several years later, wrestling with God over the issue of divorce, He reminded me of those words numerous times. I suppose I was naïve enough to think that what I spoke out of faith years earlier would never be tested. How wrong I was!! Satan was not easily giving up the ground I had taken back in the spiritual realm 7 years earlier. Those words now required action. I had talked the talk; now I had to walk the walk. My words meant little if I was not willing to fight to see them fulfilled. I resolved to do all I could do to stop the curse of divorce from landing on my children and on my marriage. I had no control over whether my husband would choose to let that curse fall on our child, but I was determined that, as much as it depended on me, I was nailing divorce to the cross where my Savior died to destroy ALL the works of the devil.
Praise God that the buck stopped with me!
Words… Never underestimate their power. The power of life and death is in the tongue! Speak life!