KMS…Keep Mouth Shut
I think the best piece of marriage advice that I’ve ever received is KMS. Honestly, it’s been some pretty good advice in a variety of settings. However, it’s probably been some of the hardest advice to actually follow. Especially for me. Those who know me well will understand.
You see, several years ago I was serving on a volunteer team at my church. My team leader, Shelli, was amazing. She was such a great leader. I really looked up to her. One day as Shelli and I were serving together she mentioned that she and her husband were celebrating 17 years of marriage (or maybe 18 or more, I can’t remember offhand). I think I was only about 10 years into my marriage at that point, and we were going through some marriage problems.
So, I asked her, “What’s the best advice you could give me on marriage?”
Shelli quickly responded, “KMS.”
“KMS?” I questioned, “What’s KMS?”
She smiled at me and said “KMS…Keep Mouth Shut.”
I laughed and said, “Oh, I can’t do that! That’s your best advice? How do you do that? What about when you know you’re right?”
She laughed and jokingly replied, “Oh, I’m ALWAYS right, but I still keep my mouth shut!”
That was such a hard concept for me to fathom. How can I possibly believe that I’m right about something and still keep my mouth shut?
God had already told me as much
Honestly, God had already been working on me to “KMS” for some time on this one. Even still, it took a while for me to get it through my thick head. Wait a minute! What am I talking about? I STILL struggle with this one a lot. 🙂 However, it is getting a lot easier.
After my conversation with Shelli, I started noticing bible verses about this exact topic of KMS during my quiet time readings…
“The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace and remain at rest.” Exodus 14:14 (AMP)
“In the same way, you wives must accept the authority of your husbands. Then, even if some refuse to obey the Good News, your godly lives will speak to them without any words. They will be won over by observing your pure and reverent lives. Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God.” 1 Peter 3:1-4 (NLT)
“…So let your words be few.” Ecclesiastes 5:2b (NLT)
“In the multitude of words sin is not lacking, but he who restrains his lips is wise.” Proverbs 10:19 (NKJV)
“A truly wise person uses few words; a person with understanding is even-tempered. Even fools are thought wise when they keep silent; with their mouths shut, they seem intelligent.” Proverbs 17:27-18 (NLT)
Did you see that? God was so nice. He started correcting me softly with phrases like “hold your peace”, “without any words”, “gentle and quiet spirit”, “few words”, “restrained lips” and “keep silent”.
I didn’t take the hint
Unfortunately, I still wasn’t taking the hint. Therefore, God got a little firmer and starting being a little more blunt about this KMS thing. Sometimes I need a good kick in the pants anyway!
Often, I like to read and study my bible in several different translations. One of my favorite things to do, as I’ve mentioned before, is read a chapter of Proverbs each day corresponding with the day of the month (since there are 31). Then, I start over again the next month reading in a different translation or version.
Several of these verses I kept reading about KMS came right out of the book of Proverbs. Can you believe that as I started reading in different translations, many of these same verses that I had already read (and had already been corrected on softly mind you) ACTUALLY had the KMS command in them! In fact, they flat-out said “keep your mouth shut” right in the verse! Who knew God could be so blunt and direct? Ouch!
“God will fight the battle for you. And you? You keep your mouths shut!” Exodus 14:14 (MSG)
“…Keep your mouth shut, and let your heart do the talking.” Psalm 4:4 (MSG)
“Too much talk leads to sin. Be sensible and keep your mouth shut.” Proverbs 10:19 (NLT)
“I wish you would keep your mouths shut! Then people would think you were wise.” Job 13:5 (NIRV)
“So those who are smart keep their mouths shut, for it is an evil time.” Amos 5:13 (NLT)
“Watch your tongue and keep your mouth shut, and you will stay out of trouble.” Proverbs 21:23 (NLT)
“Even dunces who keep quiet are thought to be wise; as long as they keep their mouths shut, they’re smart.” Proverbs 17:28 (MSG)
“I promised I would watch my steps so as not to sin with my tongue; promised to keep my mouth shut as long as the wicked were in my presence.” Psalms 39:1 CEB
“As you enter the house of God, keep your ears open and your mouth shut. It is evil to make mindless offerings to God.” Ecclesiastes 5:1 (NLT)
“Those who control their tongue will have a long life; opening your mouth can ruin everything.” Proverbs 13:3 (NLT)
I finally started to get the idea
When I started reading these verses that were pretty much just in my face about the whole KMS issue, I finally started to take the correction. Boy was it humbling! I started to learn that sometimes fewer words (or no words) can speak volumes. The old cliché “silence is golden” can actually be pretty accurate.
One time God even threw in an extra analogy for me during my studies to drive His KMS point in really well. Wasn’t that nice of Him? 😉 One morning as I was sitting there studying these KMS verses about remaining silent, I had a thought cross my brain. Miranda Rights. All of a sudden these words ran through my mind, “You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you…” Consequently, this reminded me that I will also be held accountable for everything I say. What I say can and will be used against me. Yet another reason to KMS!
“But I tell you, on the day of judgment men will have to give account for every idle (inoperative, nonworking) word they speak. For by your words you will be justified and acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned and sentenced.” Matthew 12:36-37 (AMP)
Now, it’s YOUR turn to KMS!
Take Some Practical Steps to KMS…Keep Mouth Shut:
- First, read over the bible verses about KMS. There are LOTS of them! God probably deems this as a pretty important concept if the bible repeats it that much. There are some really good insights in these verses, and you can see some benefits of keeping your mouth shut. For example, when you KMS, God will fight for you, you appear more intelligent and wise, you stay out of trouble, you win people over, and you can keep yourself from sinning.
- Next, pick a verse or two that stands out to you, write them on index cards and post them where you can see them daily as a reminder to KMS. Consider memorizing them.
- Additionally, you might even turn some verses into a positive affirmation. For example, you could say, “God will fight for me. I will hold my peace and remain at rest.” Another affirmation might be, “I watch my tongue, keep my mouth shut, and stay out of trouble.”
- Pray, and ask for God’s help to KMS. I try to make this a daily routine. A helpful verse to pray is Psalm 141:3. This is another verse I have written on an index card and posted on my bathroom sink so that I see it every morning.
“Set a guard over my mouth, LORD; keep watch over the door of my lips.” Psalm 141:3 (NIV)
- Remember that sometimes saying nothing at all has more effect than your words might. The bible even mentions this power to win people over without saying a word in 1 Peter 3:1-4.
- Lastly, if you need some additional help and encouragement, revisit a few of these posts:
Has God encouraged you to KMS in your relationships? How has KMS (keeping your mouth shut) been effective for you? Share your experiences by leaving a comment below.
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