“Speak the Truth with Your Spouse”Categories: Christian life, family, husband, love, marriage, truth, wife
Picture this: your spouse is not in the room. You're chatting with some friends, and suddenly the conversation turns to spouses. One lady says her husband never considers her feelings anymore—he just does whatever he wants. You commiserate because your husband has lately been getting on your nerves, and several recent episodes tumble from your mouth as you vent your frustration. There! It's been said. You feel better. You can go on with life.
You have just engaged in a bit of character assassination, and it was against the one person who should be closest and dearest to you!
God said in the Ten Commandments: you shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
"But what I said wasn't false!" you protest.
Wasn't it, though? Think back on the words used. Did you huff resignedly, "That's just how he is!" Did you insist, "he never..." or "he always..."? Did you allow your frustration to color your language with hyperbole? Did you keep in mind the good he has done for you, or were you only thinking of the recent trouble?
When we use words like never and always, we lie, because it's almost never true! Test it out...
"He never considers my feelings first." That's an animal and not a man you've just described.
"He always throws his dirty socks on the floor." Has he never once hit the laundry basket even by mistake?
"She never wants to do what I want to do." Was that what attracted you to her in the first place?
"She always says just the thing to get on my nerves." And I'm sure you always respond with a gentle answer to turn away her wrath.
Husbands and wives, can we agree that we sometimes do bear false witness against our spouses? We need to quit. It's not healthy, it's lying, and it's sinful.
We ought to remember that our moods change. Murder is committed when people act in the throes of anger. Paul commanded,
"Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members of one another. Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil" (Ephesians 4.25-27)
All these commandments work together. Anger often prompts us to falsehood as we modify and reshape the truth to serve our own purposes. The best thing to do in our anger is usually BE STILL! Don't act! Wait. Take a breath and count to 10… or 100... or 1,000… whatever it takes to cool off. If we speak in anger and frustration, we are apt to sin.
Next time you feel frustrated with your spouse, try some of these options:
- Pray about it. Laying the problem out to God often exposes our own faults in the matter. It helps to lay our problem at the feet of the one who loves us most.
- Don't talk to your spouse immediately. Take some time before you address the problem.
- Don't complain about your spouse to others.
- Even while you are upset, do something nice for your spouse—just because.
- Ask yourself why you feel so strongly about it. Was she intentionally trying to hurt you? Does he even know how what he did or said affects you? Be honest.
- Pray about it again. Has God revealed anything to you?
I have found most issues tend to vanish given time and breathing room. I'd love to know how this technique works in your relationship.
Anger and lies give the devil a foothold in your life, so always speak the truth with your spouse!