The not-so-pretty side
Marriage gives you a front row seat to the not-so-pretty sides of your spouse. My husband realized this on our honeymoon. At that point, it was too late to get a refund on his ticket. (Oops.)
I grew up in a home where yelling was commonplace. It was the go-to in my conflict-resolution arsenal. So when my husband and I would argue, I would almost always raise my voice.I wanted to beheard!But on the flip side, I’d shut down if he did the same.
I doubt this was what my husband thought he was getting into when he married me. But there on the floor was all of my baggage: unpacked and now half belonging to him.
Yes, he could have packed it right back up and shipped it (and me) out the door. But he didn’t. He just unpacked his own baggage as well.
Being married doesn’t mean you just accept all of your spouse’s flaws and learn to live with them. Sure, some you probably will (like that weird sound he makes in his sleep).
But the biblical view of love is one that also compassionately tells the truth. Sometimes, you’ll need to call out your spouse’s actions in a loving manner. Paul writes in Galatians 6:1 “Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness.”
So I’m taking notes there: Gently. As in, not with bitterness, anger, a holier-than-thou attitude, or screaming like a banshee.
My husband had to gently remind me that we weren’t at war when we argued. He kindly told me how my yelling made him feel. It made all the difference.
And what I didn’t see at the time? My husband was demonstrating the gospel to me. It’s God’s kindness that beckons us to repentance (Romans 2:4). Like God, my husband set aside his anger toward me.
How could your gentleness toward your spouse illuminate the character of God—even on the less-than-pretty sides?
Click here to learn more about communicating in gentleness.
Action points: How can you be more gentle with your spouse? Make a pact with each other that any behavior that needs to be addressed will be discussed after emotions have calmed down.
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