On Tuesday I encouraged you to stop destroying your marriage. Incessant complaining to and about your husband is bound to rip a marriage apart, no matter how justified you might feel in doing so. Laziness, inconsiderate moments and pet peeves do not give a woman a free pass to berate her man. Since we looked at the things we need to stop doing in our marriages, it is time to consider what we should be doing.
I have always hated that old saying, “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” It’s a lie straight from the pit of Hell. Here, I’ll prove it. Think about the last nasty argument you had with your husband. How many times did you repeat the argument in your head and the words kept piercing your heart? Ahhh…. Yes, we’re on to something here.
Start mending your marriage by changing your words. “Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.” (Proverbs 16:24) He may not deserve your gracious words, but you didn’t deserve Christ’s graciousness either. Think about that the next time you want to lash out viciously. That’s just what grace is: undeserved favor. Plus, Paul was clear to us that we need to extend the same mercy as Christ. “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:32)
This means no more correcting him over insignificant matters, especially in front of other people. It means meeting his harshness with kindness. It means exchanging criticism for gratitude. (C’mon, he has to do something right for which you can express thanks.) It means no longer manipulating him with guilt or threats. It means no more “you” statements: “you always…” or “you never…” Because “you” is very accusatory. And chew on this – do you know whose very name means “The Accuser?” That’s right, Satan.¹
Ultimately, we want to live lives that honor Christ. The most important relationship in which we honor him is our marriage as it symbolizes our relationship with Jesus himself. This means the weight of our words take on a whole new meaning in light of Jesus’ warning in Matthew 12:36-37, “I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”
Begin changing the way you speak to and about your husband, and if you are persistent, you will be amazed at the change in your husband’s behavior. It does take some time to see the changes taking place, but don’t give up! Your marriage is priceless and worth the work. And the most interesting things are affected by our change in words: our thoughts about our husband, our intimacy with him, the ease with which we can forgive him, and our increased satisfaction with the man to whom we pledged forever.
What are some other ways that we can begin healing our marriage? I’d love to hear your thoughts!
Abide in His Grace,