When Crystal first asked me to guest post on her blog on the topic of marriage, I wondered what I could really say that hasn’t been said already.
I had an entire post written about creative ways to find time to communicate with your husband, since that is something we struggle with because of the crazy hours my husband works as a chef.
And then I changed my mind. It just didn’t feel like the right topic.
So I started to think about what I wished I knew or what I was glad I knew early on in our marriage. I could ramble on and on about what I wished I knew early on, but the one thing that kept coming to my mind was a piece of advice given to me by an older woman in a Bible Study one morning many years ago. (Wow, that makes me sound old!)
It’s probably something we’ve all heard before, but if you’re like me, sometimes I need to be reminded.
The advice was this.
Never speak badly about your husband to others.
That doesn’t sound too hard. Or does it?
So today, I’d like to give you (and myself) a challenge.
First, let’s just state the obvious. I know I’m not perfect and I didn’t marry someone perfect. My husband is going to do things that drive me crazy and really bother me. It’s just going to happen. We are two different people. But how we handle those things is so important and can be the difference between a happy marriage and a struggling marriage.
In the Bible in Ephesians 5:33, husbands are called to love their wives as they love themselves and wives are called to respect their husbands.
If every time my husband does something that really bothers me, I run and gossip about it with my friends, or gossip about it on Facebook, is that respecting him?
Yes, I said gossip.
No one likes to talk about that word. I don’t even like the sound of that word itself. It just sounds horrible. But if we’re not careful, it’s easy to do!
The Free Dictionary defines gossip as talking casually or maliciously about other people.
So thinking about that definition, is it respecting my husband if I call and “vent” to my friend right after he leaves for work, telling her what a slacker he is because he keeps leaving his breakfast dishes on the counter instead of putting them in the dishwasher? (And then sometimes even ask that they pray for me that I won’t be so upset by this. Yikes! Sometimes we even disguise our gossip as a “prayer request.”)
What should I be doing instead of speaking negatively about my husband to my friend? How about telling my husband that it really bothers me. Or just let it go. It’s just dishes. Does it really matter at the end of the day if he or I put them in the dishwasher? I know this is kind of a silly example, but you get the picture.
I’m sure there are enough line cooks, restaurant managers, servers, etc., who gossip about my chef/husband all the time. He doesn’t need me talking about him negatively as well.
Instead, I need to be respecting him and I need to be his #1 cheerleader, full of encouragement and love. My words (and actions) need to be showing him that I respect him. . . words that I say to his face, but also when he’s not around.
I’m not saying this is easy or that I’m perfect in this area. PLEASE don’t think that! There have been times I have stopped mid-sentence as I’ve realized what I was about to say was gossip about my husband. I have said things to a friend about my husband that I have later regretted.
Being married isn’t easy. It takes work. It takes good communication. It takes love and respect. We need to be intentional about the things we say not only to our husband, but also about him when he is not around. So today I challenge you (and myself) to speak respectfully about our husbands. Let’s be encouragers and not gossips.