Keep it Shut


Sunday morning fights. Ugh…

Kids fighting, shoes missing, and Dale and I who are usually in crazy love- nearly ready for separation before we walk inside the church on Sunday morning. Yikes!

This past Sunday wasn’t a lot different. I wanted to go in late and leave early so as not to touch any of the “sick” folks carrying that horrible flu bug. Yeah it’s the one with the high fever and has been going around lately.

I’m speaking at a retreat this coming weekend and can’t get sick. I gave my rules before entering…  “When the last song starts- we leave. Agreed? We can’t talk to or touch ANYONE.”

The last song started… I texted him to remind him of our plan and asked for the keys. He didn’t give them!  I gave him the look.  It didn’t work.

By the time the car doors shut we were arguing.

Why do I do that? The poor man had barely done anything wrong and I couldn’t keep my mouth shut. Have you ever had a fight so uncalled for that by the end of the day you can’t remember why you were so mad?!

Oh my goodness- my fight with Dale was just wrong.

That afternoon I was opening my mail and got a package from one of my most precious friends and prayer partner, Karen Ehman. It was her newly released book, Keep it Shut.  

How appropriate was that? I needed to learn to keep it shut and here was the tool to help me.

I started to read.  Oh my goodness… the book is full of wisdom and practical help for mouths like mine. I don’t know about you but I need to learn to Keep it Shut! 

Here are a few of her guidelines for choosing words more wisely.

1. Trade Places. Imagine you are hearing rather than speaking your words. How would you feel if what you are about to say
were addressed to you?

2. Leave some things left unsaid.

3. Temper your tone. What we say may not be wrong, but if the tone is off, harm can be caused and the meaning misconstrued.

4. Consider your countenance.

5. Believe the best before assuming the worst!

6. Don’t get historical, rattling every offense off the person has done.

7. Choose Your Timing!

You’ve got read this book. I’ve only got two copies to give away.

Dale and I made up before the night was over…  We’re in love again. Thank You Lord. I learned several invaluable lessons on keeping my mouth shut! I hope you win- so that you can too!

You can even take a “test drive” and read a chapter- for free!  Just click here! The book is about the power of our words in every area of our life.

To enter to win the book, just describe a situation in the comments below that makes it hard for you to “keep it shut.”  If you’re in a hurry- just say, “I’m in!” I’ll announce the winner next week!

In Michigan this past June at the 6 week video Keep it Shut Bible Study recording! w/ Melissa Taylor, Lindsey, KAREM EHMAN, me and Kim

In Michigan this past June at the 6 week video Keep it Shut Bible Study recording! w/ Melissa Taylor, Lindsey, KAREM EHMAN, me and Kim

“Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.” Proverbs 16:24

Buy Keep it Shut HERE!  RANKING #1 best seller in Christian living on AMAZON!

  • wanda said:

    I've been praying over my words. Keeping it shut isn't in my natural DNA. So, I've been convicted to watch it!
    My attitude, negative talk and assuming heart have caused enough problems!

  • Julie said:

    God continues to teach me that there is death and life in the power of my words, and how important it is to speak "words of life". For about 2 years The Holy Spirit "highlighted" the words people repeated that I had spoken just a day or two before, so that I would recognize the power behind the words I chose to speak. It was really quite an amazing, loving way to teach me to watch my words, because I would constantly and consistently hear people repeat things I said.

    I'm in. :-)

  • Bobbie said:

    My daughter just completed her first semester of college, and is living in the dorm! HARD for mamma, to say the least. She just shared with me that her grades included all A's (hooray) and a D!!!!! Okay, this is NOT possible, right?? Something's wrong, we can fix this...right??? Lord give me the strength to accept the things I cannot change.....Help me KEEP IT SHUT! and guide my daughter to find out how this can be avoided next semester, and not make her feel worse than she already does, as she is a very sensitive child, and beats herself up over the simplest mistake...she's always been a perfectionist, and has NEVER received a D!! I could say a LOT right now, but I'm really working to choose my words wisely and bless her, rather than curse her in this instance.

  • Kelly Willie said:

    I' m in! Sounds like a book we all need to read!!

  • Kim C. said:

    Oh Sharon, I love how real you are when you write! So glad you and Dale were back to lovebirds again by nightfall. :-) XXOO.

  • Jennie B said:

    I truly need this lesson. I tend to speak first and think later and feel terrible or worry if I should feel terrible. When I got the P31 email the other day I decided this was the study I needed! Going to try to get a few friends to do with me and also the online study. THis could be my tool! Thank you

  • Lori said:

    Since my husband and I were separated for over 6 years before reconciling it is way too easy to drag up alot of history. I just have to believe The Lord opened this door and He has a purpose and I have to try to keep my flesh out of it. Not always so easy for me to do.

  • Traci H. said:

    Thank you for this post! I have a teenage daughter and I need to learn to keep my mouth shut instead of flying off the handle when the "attitude" comes out! Prayers!

  • Emily said:

    Keeping it Shut - which I don't normally do well - is hard while waiting for my procrastinating son to finish up school projects. AND he's graduating this spring and we are working on college applications and decisions. Reality check - this can drive me nuts!!

  • Audrey said:

    Just this morning I yelled and even let a couple of curse words slip from my mouth at my 15 year old for refusing to wear a jacket to school. Yes he should have listened to me and yes I was right, but yelling and cussing a 15 year old? Why? Because someone wasnt doing something the way I wanted them to do it?

    • Oh Audrey, you need the book too! Oh my goodness! Lord help this momma!

  • Trudy Payne said:

    My biggest problem is that I keep hurts inside and when I do open my mouth I get loud and say things I later wish I hadn't. My husband now has dementia and doesn't talk much so I now feel only like saying loving things to him.

    • Oh Trudy, you're one of the most amazing people I've ever known. You've always kept it shut so well! I love you and pray for you and Oliver. Lord bless Trudy for her faithfulness. Thank You for blessing our family with such a treasure. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

  • susie nuss said:

    I'm in ... Keeping my mouth shut has been a BIG stronghold in my life whether hubby, kids or grandkids .. And Dont get me started on my tone ... I need help .. I even have this verse taped to my phone .. Set a watch over my mouth, O Lord

  • Angela said:

    Conversations with my boyfriend over our relationship and Faith are my biggest trouble and the most important time for me to learn to hold my tongue.

  • Beth said:

    I thought you were talking about me for a minute when I first read your post! I definitely could benefit from "keeping it shut!" Negativity, pessimist attitudes are my natural response. It makes it really hard to keep my mouth shut ever as I have an opinion about everything. This has caused many unnecessary fights in my marriage. My attitude is terrible along with my tone of voice. I struggle daily with all these things, but in regards to my husband it would have to be most difficult with the in-laws and the things he "doesn't do" - sounds like I could benefit to read this book :)

  • Julie Ullman said:

    Sharon, after hearing your story about just being "rotten" sometimes, I realized that I am a lot like that too. I strive to be more like you in every way and I think we are already a lot alike in many ways. I feel that many times the bad words come out of my mouth and cause pain to the people I love the most, before I realize what I'm saying. I will definitely read this book and also get copies for gifts because I believe this is something many people would benefit from. Being bubbly and talkative can be a blessing or a curse, especially when the words that are hurtful flow too quickly. Love you to pieces! Julie

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  • Charlotte Askew said:

    I continually have to pray about learning to keep my mouth shut. Too often my emotions and my rebellious actions succeed in unzipping the zipper and within seconds, all the venom sprays forth on my sweet husband. God blessed me with this man because he has a huge forgiving heart. I want to learn to think before the words take flight and leave my tongue. Thank you for this chance to win the book. God always works in mysterious ways and maybe this is His personal message to me.

  • Mia Callahan said:

    I'M IN! (Been sick as a dog, so that's all I can handle...but the idea would benefit all of us, for sure!) Thanks for the opportunity to enter! Blessings! Mia

  • Denise Dietz said:

    I am a work in progress. 'Keep It Shut' should be posted on every mirror, cabinet and window in my house! 37 years of marriage and sometime it just erupts from my mouth like lava from a volcano in a most ugly way. Damage done, and cannot 'undo' my words. My children have come to me in confidentialities with some life issues and I need to 'Keep It Shut' and not advise but do more listening than speaking. God has not given up on me however. Sounds like a wonderful book.

  • Tammy Anderson said:

    Could I ever use this book!! I have 3 teenage girls in my house and often find myself feeling miserable after a rushed morning getting out the door or after what I think starts as an innocent discussion but before I know it, words are said, feelings hurt, tears cried, and I ,no doubt, have said things I regret. Can't wait to learn how to Keep It Shut!

    • I wish I could send a book to everyone for free, boy do we all need it Tammy!

  • Debbie said:

    I'm in!

  • Becky J said:

    Oh my, I need this book! This New Year the Lord has been allowing me to see how broken I includes my heart and my mouth! We have been playing board games with our 22, 19 and 15 year olds to spend more time together-ahem, let's just say it has not brought out the best in us! This 'ol gal could use the advice mentioned today!! Thanks and blessings! xo

  • Susan Ruffalo said:

    Slow to speak is my goal, but soo many times with my children they are anything BUT slow!

    • Slow to speak has never been my strength either, but I'm working on it!

  • Dorothy said:

    I'm in!!!

  • Cheri said:

    I am so KNOWN for speaking what's on my mind - in other words I open my mouth & not just stick my foot in but both feet all the way up to my behind !! :) I try so hard to think first but most of the time I open mouth & disengage brain - not a good thing. I ask for wisdom, patience & the where- with- all just to shut my mouth instead of opening it. I am so looking forward to this study.

    • You might should get the whole DVD set Cheri! Hehe, we all need it!

  • Joanne Peterson said:

    I'm in please!

  • Kalina said:

    I am in. Sounds like a very good book.

  • Leslie Whiddon said:

    Getting the kids ready, making breakfast, packing lunches, cleaning it all up, and getting myself ready for work while the hubs tends to just himself makes it really hard to keep it shut.

  • Linda Casella said:

    My biggest problem is when my adult kids are making decisions that I don't agree with. I become an enabler. I need to learn when to keep it shut. Loved the first chapter.

    • Brenda S said:

      Oh Linda..........we have the same dilemma.....It is so hard to sit back and watch them fall. I/we have learned that when we take it upon ourselves to fix things in our kids lives that we may be getting in God's way. He has a plan for them. My husband and I have gotten much better at standing back in the last year or so and we have seen some growth through their trials. I recommend this book as it is full of how God wants us to be and shows you where to find the help in the scriptures. It gave me much peace.


  • Mary said:

    Sharon, thanks for the post. What a timely reminder.

  • Cheryl Sherry said:

    "I'm in!" This is something I really need to work on. I have a tendency to speak my mind. I need to work on quick to list and slow to speak. Book sounds great and so don't the Poppy Seed Bread.

    • Oh yeah, the Honey Lemon Poppy Seed Bread is DELICIOUS!The two people who win get a double treat, the book and a desert!! YUM!!

  • mona said:

    My husband just got out of jail 2 weeks ago. He accepted Christ as his Savior in jail. I am thrilled to have him home but it is hard. Instead of praising him for the things he is doing right...going to meetings, meeting with his counselor, setting up a marriage counselor appointment on his own, I blew it this morning and was ragging him because he hasn't found a job yet. I need to be quiet and let GOD Work!!! Take my fear to God not nag my husband. HELP!!!

    • Lord, Help Mona! She's weak like the rest of us but she's carrying a little heavier load than some of us. Take her fear away and replace it with Your peace. And Lord, PLEASE send her husband a job! In Jesus' Name, AMEN

  • Barbara Bigler said:

    I need this book! my whole life I have put my foot in my mouth. I thought by the time I was 58 I would have it licked, but no, I'm still doing it. Thanks for sharing your story. I don't feel so alone.

    • You're definitely not alone Barbara! Lord, help us ALL!

  • Yvette said:

    Man, I can use all the help I can get! This is a hard lesson for me to learn, but I am getting better w/God's help! BUT, I am still learning. I'm so thankful when God puts resources like this in my path. It is especially hard for me to keep shut when I have a very strong opinion about a situation that keeps hitting repeat. Or I see a wrong that needs to be righted and I don't pray and ask for wisdom before I open my mouth. Thank you.

  • Judy said:

    Thank you for being so transparent with us Sharon! I could be benefit from this book too! 6 kids..5 being boys and my hubby is a trucker and I homeschool... Plenty of opportunity to learn to better keep my mouth shut!

    • Oh Judy bless your heart! Yes, you do have plenty of opportunity to work on this! With five daughters I worked on it every hour and still have a long way to go in getting it right.

  • Charmé said:

    Oh my! I'm in...because yesterday I didn't keep it shut. My oldest daughter prepared a beautiful Bible lesson to teach our 6 grandchildren (2 of her own children) during our weekly time together. While she was describing the differences between a happy and sad heart (using white and black hearts), I felt the need to help her, by pointing out to her that we call the black heart dark...and so on. Although my motive was pure, we both came away from the Bible lesson having a sad heart. I quickly apologized. I am trying with Lord's help to say less and listen more. Thanks for sharing your personal upset with Dale, and the happy outcome.

    • Oh dear Charm'e! It's so hard for us to keep it shut, even when we have the best intentions.

  • MT said:

    You are so funny yet so real, Sharon. Thank you for sharing. You have just described what sometimes takes place in our home but praise the LORD for blessing me with a very gracious and forgiving husband (and kids) during those times when I could but chose not to "keep it shut". Need to listen and obey more.


  • Megan said:

    I'm in!

  • Julie said:

    When my husband tries to help out around the house, he always does it halfway. Gets out all the cleaning supplies, cleans, then leaves everything out. Does the dishes but leaves the dish water and one extra dish laying out. Instead of thanking him for his help, I'm usually going behind him yelling at him for all the things he didn't do. I definitely need to keep it shut in those occasions and graciously thank him for his love and help!!!

  • Hilda Quintanila said:

    Just last night I went off rambling! I didn't edify but tore down.

    • Oh Hilda, you too? You're such a sweet heart. I think I'm going to fast from all communication that doesn't edify.

  • Christine Fetrow said:

    It is very hard to keep my mouth shut when my dear sweet husband of 41+ years literally DRIVES ME CRAZY with his driving habits. Bless his heart, anyway! May God help me to hold my tongue in check and relax me when we travel together. Love to you, Sharon and Proverbs 31 Ministries today and in the days ahead!

    • Oh my Christine! Lord help you! It's truly hard to keep it shut in those instances!!!XOXOX

  • Noel said:

    I am in!

  • Lisa K. said:

    I have a hard time keeping it shut when I am low on patience with my kiddos.

  • Nancy said:

    I find when I DO NOT open my mouth and quietly speak what is pressing on my heart at the appropriate time - hours, days, weeks later the slightest trigger WILL OPEN my mouth and what was quietly pressing on my heart is now a "noisy gong and a clanging cymbal"!

  • Sue said:

    I want him to see my way instead of God's and our discussed way.

  • Kirsten said:

    I'm in!

  • Kathy said:

    I tend to become very defensive when I am criticized for any action that offends someone else. I always try to justify my actions and then it gets into a contest of words and I become upset and just clam up. I need to learn to take criticism as a constructive tool to help not to put me down. This book sounds like a great way to learn how to communicate without any hostile exchange.

  • Beth Mackey said:

    I just bought two of the books at Lifeway...didn't want to wait to begin reading! I didn't realize that it's a dvd study with workbook...double blessing!
    Sharon, as always, I appreciate your transparency and honesty! Love you!!

    • Hey Beth!!!! I can't wait to hear how you like the book and dvd study! I love you!! Bless you!

  • brenda said:

    I sure hope she didn't address the book, "Dear Brenda"!!!!!
    Yes, that's how bad it seems to be lately. I'm a full time care taker for my sweet dad who's pushing 90 and let me tell you these seniors can get a bit testy and I constantly find myself telling myself to, " just don't say anything" and when I do say something, say it in love! This is definitely a book I need on my nightstand!

    • Bless your heart Brenda!! That's SO hard!! Lord, PLEASE give Brenda more ability than EVER to watch her words and her tone. Oh Lord, only You know how hard it is!! HELP!!

  • Dona Haggerty said:

    I tend to be very critical of my husband.....I don't know why.....he is a dear sweet man!
    I AM IN!!!

  • Patty said:

    I just blew up at my husband today when I returned home from a day cleaning job. My temper flared and words came out of my mouth that sounded like a drunken sailor. It was not pretty. As a matter of face, it was an ugly dark side of me that I've been praying about for quite some time. The husband has Alzheimer's Disease. I know that when he does things that upset me, it truly isn't's his disease. Why can't I keep my mouth shut and be the person God wants me to be? Growing in the Lord is a journey, but I guess I'm taking a little longer than some others I know.

  • Jill said:

    When my kids do something frustrating (for example, eating chocolate at 7:15 in the morning), I struggle to redirect them with the gentleness of Christ instead of using my distain-filled, angry outbursts. I'm in!

    On a side note, I'm a Michigander and I'm nearly certain I recognize that barn you're standing in front of!

  • michelle said:

    This is one of my biggest struggles, especially when it comes to my relationship with family. I always feel the need to correct or make a remark about my younger sister's behavior (She is the rebellious one in the family). Especially since she's come to Christ last year, her huge ego and pride are so contradictory that i can't resist but to call her out on it, but it rarely does more good than harm. I've gotten better about it and when i come home, i just take a deep breath and ask God to help control my tongue.

  • Lee Lynn Crowell said:

    I'm 54 yrs old & still haven't learned to "Keep it Shut"! HELP!!!

  • KJ said:

    Sounds like my house with two teenagers! One wrong look, word or tone and it's over . Glad to know that we aren't the only ones.

  • Cindy Might said:

    Today was a day where I acted like people I complain about! Ugh! Lord help me not take offense and to watch those words coming out of my mouth too!

  • Karen said:

    My New Year's Resolution is to "be present". I am learning to "be present" when others are speaking. That goes right along with "Keep It Shut". In being present and listening, a response or comment is not always necessary. This has led me to start thinking more, before I speak and sometimes I am closing my mouth and not saying anything. There are things that are better left unsaid.

  • amy said:

    As a mom of 3 - keeping it shut seems impossible. Even on the rare occasion I actually hold my tongue (and believe me it is very rare) and "pretend" not hear the fighting, complaining . . . . they hunt me down and then - well, I keep it shut no longer:(. Between the counseling of 2 preteens, being a referee of 2 boys, math tutor to one who despises math, shoe finder, snack giver, problem solver . . . . the incessant talking is even exhausting for me. However, I was recently and kindly reminded by one of my 11 year olds that "sometimes mom, it's not what you say to us, but how you say it." Ouch! Need I say more -

  • Jeanne said:

    I'm definitely in.....needing to even address the ungodly, unspoken words racing through my mind when I'm upset! Thank you for your transparency and honesty, Sharon!

  • Debbie K said:

    I'm in BIG TIME. There are times when I know I should leave it alone, but my mouth takes over and I instantly regret it.

  • Tuija said:

    I'm in!

  • Nina said:

    Oh my, I NEED this! My 40-year old daughter and her 21-month old son whom I love dearly but she REALLY loves to push everyone's buttons and only lives a mile from me---"nuf said". Lord, help me to know what to say, when to say things and when to "Keep It Shut"!

  • Janice said:

    Please count me in. The table of contents looks very good. The first chapter concluded with an excellent prayer in the sample you have posted.

  • denise h said:

    I'm in the thick of this right now. My husband is quitting smoking and is VERY irritable. It's hard to know when he needs encouragement, a kick in the butt for accountability, and when to just let him rant.

  • Becca said:

    I'm in! My husband and I both struggle with this constantly. Dealing with sobriety and all the struggles that came before it, we are always stressed and frustrated. I struggle a lot with what to say, or if to say anything when I get frustrated with him(usually multiple times daily). I would love to have some help in this department!

    • Becca said:

      *his sobriety

  • Shaila said:

    I'm in. My husband has this mastered. Me not so much.

  • Kathy DeFilippo said:

    “I’m in!”

  • paige said:

    My husband owns a business and i tend to have a hard time keeping it shut when i dont agree with what he is doing. I keep working on thinking first before i speak.

  • Christi said:

    I'm in! I pray for my words to be encouraging and healing but spend a lot of times rewording what I meant to say or should've said or praying for words of healing instead of hurt in times of frustration!

  • Darla said:

    low frustration tolerance and quick tongue. ????

  • Debra Holway said:

    I'm in!

  • Brenda S said:

    In the past I have just plain forget go be discerning. I get to chatting with someone and next thing I know I've said something I shouldn't or was not mine to tell. I'm not malicious so it's nrver on purpose but that doesn't matter . I am very conscious of my wordsand who I am speaking to most of the time now.

  • Katie said:

    I need this book! I'm in!

  • Missy B said:

    It's hard to keep my mouth shut and tone right while talking with my teenagers. Ugh. I'm in!

  • Danelle said:

    I'm in!!! Signed up for the bible study too. Thanks! :-)

  • Kathy said:

    I'm in! So hard to keep it shut, hardest with my husband, my mother-in-law, and sometimes a few other close family members. Ouch.

  • Debbie said:

    I have a hard time keeping it shut with my sons. They have a disability and sometimes they get upset if someone says something they don't like. I have learned that in these situations it is better to just not say anything. There are still times when I need to work on this. I would love a copy of Karen's book.

  • Mary Lou said:

    I struggle to keep it shut. I have to have the last word especially with my long-suffering husband. I don't even know why sometimes. I've been working on this problem, with help from God because otherwise there would be no change, and I'm slowly seeing some progress. This book is just what I need!

  • Amy Lester said:

    Keeping it shut is hardest when I feel not heard. I just want to shout because I think if I say it louder, somehow I will get through. It isn't true though, and it only hurts me and the people I love the most.

    • Becca said:

      I just had an epiphany reading your comment Amy! I have said it out loud to my husband before(him saying "why are you yelling at me???" and my response being "maybe you'll understand how serious I am!!!"), now that I think about it, but it never really occurred to me that this is what I do! Yikes, I really need to be more aware of this and pray on it. Thank you!

  • Dana said:

    With 4 teenagers and a 9 year old some days are harder than others to keep my mouth shut and or to speak in a gentle is so easy to bark orders at everyone to keep things moving but the Lord is showing me that I need to Listen, Understand and then Respond! I just love the way you real!! Thanks!

  • Ashley said:

    I'm in!

  • Dina Young said:

    Hmmmm...Most recently I'd have to say Lord please help me keep my mouth shut about my husband's hair cut. The barber didn't trim one side enough and it's driving me crazy! Lord please let me overlook this tiny imperfection and be reminded of all of my husband's PERFECT imperfections. I really love him!

  • The two winners from the Keep it Shut post are Mary Lou who Submitted on 2015/01/13 at 9:51 AM and Patty who Submitted on 2015/01/08 at 6:41 PM. Email me your address!

  • Martha said:

    All to often I speak to my children with a temper and a tone that I would never talk to an adult that way. I know I have lots of love and gentleness for them but I do need the holy spirits help in controlling my tongue! Prayers please :)

  • Shirley said:

    My comment is working on a job for 29 years and did not receive a promotion. The Director promoted all of her friends. I am a Christian in the workplace and she is always going behind my back trying to get me fired. It is very difficult for me to keep my mouth shut!!!!!! All of my coworkers to not talk to me now because of her. My coworkers goes in their office and close their doors especially when she is at work. It is very frustrating. God "Grace" is keeping a smile on my face.

  • Janet said:

    It's 5:30 am Sunday morning and I'm up getting ready for Church and nothing seems to be going rite. My Husband and I both are in the bathroom getting ready and He will ask me to iron his shirt and pants so I do so . I try not to say anthing because I know it will come out all wrong so I keep it to myself. Now its time for me to put on my clothes and as allways they just don't seem it fit the way I like them to. My Husband will say well you know if you stop drinking the soda and stop eating the junk food you would lose so of the weight,(I know you didn't just say that) under my breath. So I get dressed and we are off to Church all the way there I'm saying to my self don't say anything He means well he's just a man rite. After being married for 40 years you would think He would know what to say and what not to say. So Church is over and we are on our way to go grocery shooping and we get to the snack aisle and He is putting my favorite candy in the cart and yes the devil has spoken I let Him have it and the look on his face isn't too good. So I keep on walking and he catches up to me and says honey you know I love you I'm sorry for saying anything about your weight. Of course I say thats ok I know you mean well but it still hurts me when you say that. I know that the devil wants us to fight but he isn't going to win. Thanks for letting me vent may God Bless You and Your Loved ones.