I talked in my last post about one of the biggest marriage killers, selfishness. I’m sure none of you could relate with that? I want to talk about the next part of the journey I was on in our marriage. I was used to talking to my mom about many, many things. She and I were always close and still are. One thing I stopped about 3 years ago was discussing any of our marital struggles with her or anyone else. This was a hard one for me. I’m sure many of you ladies are close with your mothers or maybe a sister as well. It’s easy to sit around and moan and groan about things we don’t love going on at home. It’s easy to point out shortcomings or even call in tears when we are not getting along so well at home. I had a friend who gently came to me and told me…STOP. Go to God with all of it and keep it between the two of you. Such a wise lady. It wasn’t overnight or super easy but, I did! Are there days when I may be tempted to call my mom or friend and expound? Yes. I try very hard to guard my words and to lift Shan up when I am talking about him to others. He is an awesome husband, daddy and leader in our house.
When I was doing this act of keeping quiet…he didn’t know! I think it was a year or so after I had been working so hard on it that I mentioned it to him. I could see a change in our marriage and so could he. We were closer! He was trusting me even more with his heart. That is a true treasure and reward to me. I want his heart to feel safe with me. I want to encourage him with my words and not to tear him down. I don’t always accomplish that goal at home and as we go about our day but, it’s on my mind often.
“The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain.”
My challenge to you is for you to STOP and think about what you are saying to those close to you. Maybe it’s your mom, sister or close friends. How to you talk about your spouse? Do you lift them up or tear them down? Do you complain to someone the minute they fail or you are hurt in some way? Is their best interest at heart? I pray you will consider changing that if you know it’s a sin struggle in your life. I know you will see fruit from doing that. Confess it to the Lord and even to your spouse. They KNOW you are doing it! I am so thankful that my husband can trust me. I never wanted him not too and I didn’t realize by talking to others close to me that I was hurting our relationship. I know there are times when we hurt and are hurt. God cares and you can talk to Him about it all you want! He tells us too!
1 Peter 5:7
“Casting all your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you.”
Plain and simple….when we complain about our spouse, it’s gossip. Taming the tongue is no easy task but, we can do it! I know I used to think mom’s were to tell anything too but, that is God’s place. I love my mom but, my marriage is more important. When I committed to marry Shan, I had to “leave and cleave” as the Bible says. I am now one with my husband and tell him my heart, not my mom. There are many things I do share with my mom still but, it’s different now than it used to be. I am thankful for her and the place she has in my life. If you are a mom, friend or sister who is often on the listening end you may need to gently talk to the one coming to you and show them their sin in coming to you. Do it prayerfully and with scripture! I am so thankful that my friend did!
As far as gossip goes. I think it’s an extremely hard habit to break and one that runs wild in church circles. I’ve seen it run like crazy under the disguise of “Prayer Request”. I know you know what I mean! I did a little search on gossip and what the Bible says about it. Maybe this will be a good guide in knowing what to say and what not to say. Here are the definitions from GotQuestions.
“The Hebrew word translated “gossip” in the Old Testament is defined as “one who reveals secrets, one who goes about as a talebearer or scandal-monger.” A gossiper is a person who has privileged information about people and proceeds to reveal that information to those who have no business knowing it. Gossip is distinguished from sharing information in two ways:
1. Intent. Gossipers often have the goal of building themselves up by making others look bad and exalting themselves as some kind of repositories of knowledge.
2. The type of information shared. Gossipers speak of the faults and failings of others, or reveal potentially embarrassing or shameful details regarding the lives of others without their knowledge or approval. Even if they mean no harm, it is still gossip.”
“A man who lacks judgment derides his neighbor, but a man of understanding holds his tongue. A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy man keeps a secret”
I know that there are situations where godly counsel is needed. God’s word is so amazing! He really has everything we need to know right there at our fingertips. He tells us who and what wise counsel looks like. First, ask God for wisdom as He is our Great Counselor!
“If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.”
God also places godly people in our lives that are wonderful to go to for bible based counsel. I know there are dangerous situations for many women that call for them to have the authorities involved and I hope the elders in the church. I hope your church has a pastor or godly elder’s who you can go to for wise counsel when it is needed.
Take the next week or month and focus on how you speak about your spouse to others. If there is a hurtful word spoken or decision you don’t agree with, go to them about it and work at it. Watch how you respond and make sure it’s how God would want us to react. Don’t let your first response when they are gone or out of listening range to call someone and sing the blues. I know I struggled with this just last week!!! I failed big time right in front of family. I am thankful for God’s mercy and forgiveness as well as my husbands. Try it! Commit some amount of time to the Lord to work on this. If something comes up…talk to God about it. He does care about every single nook and cranny of our lives.