Thursday, April 10, 2008

Being Gentle ... with your SPOUSE!

I'm not even going to pretend that I'm an expert. In fact, I have so much room to grow in this area, it isn't even funny. I am, however, going to encourage you to finish off the week by speaking gently to your spouse.

I honestly feel that one of the most common problems in marriages (please note I said "one of"), mine included, is communication. We're often frantically rushing around, shuttling kids around, working full time, gliding in and out of the house at all hours of the day, multi-tasking chores, homework, dinner, dishes ... that we rarely find time to sit down with each other and fully and lovingly communicate what is on our hearts and minds. Because of this craziness, I believe that we tend to speak to our spouses more gruffly, hurriedly, and lacking in gentleness than what we may have intended to. In my own home, I've noticed that many conflicts within our relationship tend to be "further intensified" by our lack of gentleness in innocent responses.

It doesn't matter how deteriorated your marriage may be at this point ... if you are Christian, there is NO PLACE in your relationship for being mean, bad-tempered, angry, quarrelsome, or harsh. Especially if you feel your spouse is being that way ... two wrongs do NOT make a right! I have a friend who is very gruff with her husband and often calls him "butt head" or "stupid." I cringe every time I hear that. It is cruel, and it is demeaning. But after 20-some years of marriage, it has become accetable. WHAT? Never. Ever. should that be acceptable. It is not encouraging, uplifting, or gentle!

Instead, try to be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving, kind, calm, gracious and gentle. Not only will it keep the lines of communication open, but it will encourage your spouse, leave them feeling valued, and over time, encourage change and growth in both of you. My mom and dad always said... soft, kind and gentle words will always pour cold water on the burning coals of a stirred-up discussion or heart, but harsh words only add fuel to the fire. In fact ... it's Biblical!

So if you have a great relationship with your spouse... Praise God! Continue being gentle to each other. If you are at a point in your relationship where you are struggling with each other, try changing tactics a bit and throw in some kindness. I'm not guaranteeing that your relationship will magically become perfect, but it will go a long way to break down walls that have been built.

"A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger." Proverbs 15:1


Jen said...

Good topic. Scott and I have a great communication/relationship...although while he was off earlier in the week we both had different expectations for Spring Break but forgot to tell each other which meant a barrier in walls. We had some fights and yelling...sometimes this is good for a relationship to kick in you in the butt and remind you of what special person God has for you...speaking gently is so important now a days....good job gal.

Susanne~Living To Tell said...

"calm, gracious, gentle" It seems I'm forever working on those character traits.

Becoming Me said...

Great post. I found it very encouraging and I needed that reminder. I often speak in an irritated tone when I am overwhelmed which seems more and more often lately and I know that is not edifying to my sweet hubby.

nfmn said...

Great post...adjusting to life with a new baby makes communication particularly challenging. I definitely needed the reminder. Thanks! If you have time, visit me at fresh resource for busy moms (and some great shopping too!)

Barb said...

First of all, I absolutely love your new look, GiBee. So, so pretty.

And second of all, I couldn't agree with you more about everything you've said here.

We get so caught up in our lives, raising kids and paying mortgages, we forget why we fell in love in the first place.

Communication -- it's so hard to remember to talk to each other like we did when we first met, but it really is the key to everything.

Beautiful post, my friend.

Mrs. Brownstone @ XBOX Wife said...

And I really, really like this one, too!