Idioms and sayings have all sorts of origins in English, some of which come from religious backgrounds. “From your lips to God’s ears” is a great example of one that has religious roots, but what does it mean?
What Does “From Your Lips To God’s Ears” Mean?
The meaning of “from your lips to God’s ears” is that whatever you say (or do) is seen and heard by God at all times. It’s often used to announce a wish or desire that God will hopefully grant. It can also mean “good luck with that” sarcastically.
From Your Mouth To God’s Ears
The saying is also seen written as “from your mouth to God’s ears.” The idea is the same behind both sayings, as it doesn’t matter whether we use “lips” or “mouth” (since both are synonymous in a broad sense).
The saying implies that you should act how you want to be treated because your God is always watching you and usually means that good things come to those who act accordingly. The phrase is applied to multiple religions (notably Arabic and Hebrew literature).
Generally, you won’t use this saying if you aren’t religious, as atheists and non-believers don’t believe that what they say has any effect on what happens to them in their life (or after they die).
Religious people believe that God is always watching them. In these cases, they make sure to live their lives according to how they want God to treat them. Since most people want to be loved and rewarded by their God, it makes sense for them to keep poisonous words (like swear words or insults) out of their mouths. God will hear anything that you do say.
Origin Of The Saying “From Your Lips To God’s Ears”
So, where did the saying come from? Well, it’s no surprise that it has deep religious roots. You can’t say anything related to “God” in phrases like this without it first coming from religious documents or texts of some kind.
The phrase most commonly appears in Arabic literature, with a few references in Hebrew literature. It wasn’t an original saying in the Bible or any other religious books and came along after multiple iterations of religious writings.
In Psalm 130:2 (a passage in the Bible), there is a slight reference to the saying that we know today. However, instead of using the saying above, it reads “Lord, hear my voice: let thine ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications.”
Since the way of writing in the Bible is dated now, we thought we’d explain what is meant by that phrase as we go.
- Lord, hear my voice
The speaker is, first of all, talking to their God. They want their God to hear their voice as they speak whatever words are about to come out of their mouth. This holds them accountable and makes sure they only say positive and kind things.
- Let thine ears be attentive
This is another way of saying, “please listen to me.” The idea is that they want their God to hone in on exactly what they’re saying because they want to be held to a high standard throughout their life.
- To the voice of my supplications.
The sentence is finished in this way. This means that whatever the speaker says, they want to be rewarded (or punished) justly by their God. It’s a way of showing the utmost respect and worship to whoever they believe in.
How To Use “From Your Lips To God’s Ears” In A Sentence
Let’s look through some examples of the phrase in a sentence now. With these examples, you can see exactly how we might go about using it (as well as what situations might bring us to use the phrase to someone else).
- I hope you can be there to see me graduate!
- From your lips to God’s ears, I’ll make sure of it!
- I love you more than you know! Will you marry me this summer?
- From your lips to God’s ears, why not!
- We work hard and deserve a reward. Let’s go on holiday in a few weeks! From my lips to God’s ears!
- How dare you speak to me in that tone! From your mouth to God’s ears!
- Do you have the courage to say that again?
- Of course. From my lips to God’s ears.
- You wouldn’t dare say it to my face, though! From your mouth to God’s ears.
- What does from my lips to God’s ears mean, father?
- It means that you should always watch what you say to people.
- I think I’m going to be a millionaire after the lottery this weekend!
- From your lips to God’s ears!
- I know I can win this tournament! From my mouth to God’s ears!
We covered as many of the variations as we could! Most of the time, we use it after someone makes a wish, hoping that God will hear it and allow it to come true. You can also see it sometimes used sarcastically in the same way after someone has made a wish, basically meaning “good luck with that.”
In other cases, we might use it to tell someone to watch what they’re saying because you never know when God might punish you for saying something you shouldn’t have.
Finally, let’s look at some related sayings that also come from a religious background. These sayings are used to keep people honest and make sure that they treat everyone with the respect they deserve.
- Love thy neighbor
To a similar vain, “love thy neighbor” teaches people to treat everyone with kindness. The idea that God is always watching your actions is implied with this saying.
- Treat others as you wish to be treated.
Rather than mentioning God or a biblical reference, we instead encourage people to treat each other equally with this saying. It works well to encourage kindness without the overbearing idea that if you act outside of God’s wishes, he will punish you.
Martin holds a Master’s degree in Finance and International Business. He has six years of experience in professional communication with clients, executives, and colleagues. Furthermore, he has teaching experience from Aarhus University. Martin has been featured as an expert in communication and teaching on Forbes and Shopify. Read more about Martin here.