John Younts (Everyday Talk) sledges home the didactic power of speech:
“How do you talk to your spouse in front your children? Do you make fun him? Do you complain about her? Do you insult each other? Do your children hear you argue incessantly? Are irritation and smoldering anger common in your home? Or do you deal with conflict by just ignoring each other? How do you talk about your spouse to others?
The way you talk to or about your spouse is a model of instruction for your children. Your conversation is a powerful influence, either for good or for bad. Comments to and about your spouse, made in your children’s hearing, tell them about your marriage. If you often speak of marriage as a pain, a risk, a disaster or a trial, you are teaching your children what you think marriage is really like. You are also displaying a view of marriage that is contrary to God’s view” (p. 134).