Good Words Bring Good Fruit: The Laws of Sowing and Reaping
by Jimmy Evans
Proverbs 18 is a very interesting passage of Scripture. Verse 21 says, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” Then, the verse right after that reads, “He who finds a wife finds a good thing, and obtains favor from the Lord.”
In other words, a verse about the power of our speech is followed immediately by a verse about marriage. The way we speak to each other is crucial to the health of our marriages. I experienced this reality in my own relationship with Karen. During our early years, we nearly divorced because I was verbally abusive. My words devastated her and nearly killed our marriage.
Your marriage will never be better than the words you say to each other. Good marriages are filled with good words. Bad marriages are filled with bad words—or no words at all. Life and death are in the power of the tongue. The best way to understand this is through the biblical laws of sowing and reaping.
“Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life” (Galatians 7:7-8).
The first law of sowing and reaping is that you reap what you sow. Whether you are a farmer or a backyard gardener, you understand that you can’t plant a bunch of tomato seeds and expect an orange tree to grow from them. Similarly, you can’t fill your marriage with negative words and expect your relationship to flourish.
When God convicted me of how I had been speaking to Karen, I started making time to talk with her, with kindness and without distractions. I spoke good words to her. I tried to be patient and loving. As a result, every area of our marriage began to transform. I planted good seeds and we saw good results.
The second law of sowing and reaping is that you reap much more than what you’ve sown. You don’t plant one seed and get only one seed back. You plant one tomato seed and get a plant that may produce dozens of tomatoes. Each of those fruits contains dozens of seeds. The production is exponential.
Our mouths have a disproportionate amount of influence over our lives. Like a small rudder can control the movement of a huge ship, a few good words can alter the entire trajectory of a marriage. Sow good seeds into your marriage and expect huge results.
The third law of sowing and reaping is that seeds grow according to specific timelines. A farmer won’t plant a crop of cotton on a Monday and then head out to harvest it on Tuesday. He understands that every seed has its own germination period. Farming requires planting—and then waiting.
When you sow good words into your marriage, be patient. Understand that there may be a delay. Just like the farmer trusts nature to take its course, you have to trust God to use your words to inject life into your marriage. Don’t grow weary. Trust Him for the transformation, according to His timeline.
The words we say are powerful. They can bring life or death into our marriages. We need to train our mouths to be life-giving so we can plant good, positive, hopeful words in the fertile soil of marriage. When we do, we will reap good results. We will reap much more than what we’ve planted. And we will trust God to bring those results—and to release the power of life—according to His plan.