Author Archives: Mark Merrill

About Mark Merrill

Mark Merrill is the founder and president of Family First. Mark hosts the Family Minute with Mark Merrill, a nationally syndicated daily radio program and has appeared on NBC’s Today Show, numerous ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC network affiliates and national radio programs. Mark is also the author of a new book, All Pro Dad—Seven Essentials to Be a Hero to Your Kids. Mark and his wife, Susan, live in Tampa, Florida and have five children. For more about the book visit

5 Ways to Filter What You Say to Your Spouse

5 Ways to Filter What You Say to Your Spouse

5 Ways to Filter What You Say to Your Spouse

A couple weeks ago, I stumbled upon a post by Mark Merrill on the power of words and how to filter them (without losing who you are).

I knew a similar post, focused specifically on ways to do this in marriage, would be great for this Club so I reached out to Mark’s lovely wife, Susan Merrill, and asked if she thought her hubby might be up for writing this post.

As a super strong-willed person, I can always use more help in this area!  And item #2 was definitely an aha moment.  I’m glad Mark said yes to my request.  And I think you’ll be happy he did too. 

Until tomorrow…make it a great day!

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I’ve often shared about the power of the tongue…how it can be used for good or evil.  One of the strongest places we see the power of our tongue and our words play out is in our marriages. 

Your spouse is your best friend, your hero, the love of your life.  So what you say to them has a much stronger impact than you can imagine. 

Due to this importance, I recently thought about some filters our words should have to pass through before they come out of our mouths.  If they don’t make it through all of these 5 filters, then they probably should never be spoken.

5 Ways to Filter What You Say to Your Spouse 

1. Do I have good motives? Is my reason for saying it beneficial to my spouse or only for selfish purposes? I have to be careful on this one. There have been many times in my life that I’ve said something that is very true, but I only said it so my wife would be impressed with me or because I was trying to manipulate her to do something for me.

2. Does it build my spouse up? Words are not neutral. They either tear down or build up. They are either hurtful or helpful. It makes me sad that I’ve let my hurtful words toward my wife pass through this filter all too often.

3. Is it confidential? Growing up, my dad stressed to me the importance of confidentiality. If someone tells me something in confidence, my job is to make sure I don’t ever mention it to another person.

4. If my spouse was present, would they be pleased with my words?  You’ve heard this one before, but it’s always worth remembering. We should always honor our spouse whether they are with us or not.

5. Is it true? Truth trumps all. If it’s not true, don’t say it.

Many of us have struggled with one or more of these filters. And, of course, none of us regularly pass our words through all of them. But, these filters will hopefully guard our tongues from speaking evil and, instead, give us the encouragement we need to pour good into our spouses’ lives.

Which of these filters is toughest for you? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Please share with me below.


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