Death and life are in the power of the tongue
You may remember; my husband and I sometimes do marital counseling together.
It’s heartbreaking to hear from a husband at his wits end. He comes downcast. Disheartened. He wants to be faithful to her; he wants to please her. He’s not perfect, of course, but he longs for kindhearted affection. Instead, he lives life unbolstered by encouragement, and in fact, often, outright criticized, torn down, and discouraged by his wife’s words.
And we see it; it is not a misperception on his part.
- Her words seethe bitterness.
- Her body language exudes disgust.
- Comments about him, or to him, drip with contempt.
Nothing he does can please her. Though surely she didn’t start out this way, now, 8, 15, 26, 43 years down the road, she is now wholeheartedly committed to tearing down her husband.
It’s the complete opposite of how the husband/wife relationship ought to look:
The heart of her husband trusts in her
~Proverbs 31: 11
let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.
She opens her mouth with wisdom,
and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
Today I want to ask you to consider how you treat strangers.
- Do you smile at them?
- When you see them struggling, are you willing to go out of your way and lend a hand?
- When they annoy you, do you exercise self-control and withhold your rudest thoughts?
- Are you sometimes willing to cheer for them (i.e., as we do for athletic teams that consist of strangers)?
- Do you speak pleasantly?
- Are you willing to extend grace and listen even when they talk about subjects you’re not wholly interested in?
Perhaps some of you reading are saying, “sure I do those things for strangers, and I do them for my husband too.” All right. Great. This article may not be for you.
Some of you are saying, “nope, I’m rude to strangers.” All right. Well, that’s not great, but at least you’re honest. This article may not speak to you.
But some of you are saying, “yep, that’s me. I can be sweet-as-honey to strangers but offer little to no kindness to my husband. I treat him in ways I wouldn’t dare treat a stranger.” To you: Thank you for being honest.
I think we can all do this sometimes, when we slip into the mode where we’re comfortable and getting lazy in our relationship. Let’s work today, you and I, at offering more grace to our husbands. Let’s treat them as needy souls… because they really are.
They can seem so strong. Sometimes they seem opinionated or over-confident. Sometimes we can feel like they need us to “take em down a peg.” But the truth is often the opposite.
GIVE HIM GRACE
Looks can be deceiving. Our husbands appear strong, but often feel weak and weary on the inside. This world beats up on them, and they are more fragile and needy than we realize. They may seem confident, but often, a husband’s internal message is one of defeat and fear and wondering when someone is going to find out what a loser they really are. They don’t need our corrections and contempt.
No… our husbands need our:
- listening ear
- receptive eyes
- interested questions
- bolstering words of confidence
- pleasant tone
- excitement for the good things
- empathy for the hard things
He needs you! It may not feel that way, but it is true.
He longs to be able to trust you, and to consistently receive kindness and respect from you.
This is your mission as a wife today. Will you accept it?