I have a quick challenge for you. Think about the last time you told someone about your spouse… maybe it was a story your were sharing with a coworker, or perhaps you were on the phone with your mom venting about a recent argument… whatever the circumstances, what were your words? If the person you were speaking to knew nothing else of your spouse, how would they describe him based on your words?
If you just cringed, you’re not alone. So often we are hardest on the person closest to us. But when we share those harsh judgements with others we cast our spouse in a negative light, sometimes forming opinions that are tough to change. But you can turn it around.
I’ve had the pleasure recently of having some enlightening conversations with the husbands of two different friends of mine. In both situations I was struck by the adoring and uplifting way these men spoke about their wives. They said things like, “I love her no matter what we are going through”, “she is so strong to have put up with me all these years”, “I can’t even imagine being unfaithful to her.” Good stuff!
These conversations really got me to thinking about what a difference it makes when you speak words of life and love about the person with whom you share your life and love. Words are so powerful, and I can’t help but think that each kind word spoken is actually strengthening your relationship. Your words let other people know how committed you are. And whether or not you realize it, you are hearing yourself. The more you hear good things about your own relationship, the more you have to build on.
This doesn’t mean you should sugar coat your relationship. Marriage is hard work. Remarriage is even harder. Be honest but be kind. Give grace and let others hear it. Some people are so bombarded by negativity that hearing you speak sweetly about your love may be the shining light they need to bring hope to their own situation.
Remember in Bambie when Thumper’s mother cautioned, “if you can’t say something nice don’t say anything at all.”? Let’s take that one step farther and say, “if you do say something nice, say it loud and clear for all to hear.”