By Dan & Beth Curley
Are you sometimes embarrassed or regret the things that come out of your mouth when talking to your spouse? We (Dan and Beth) both acknowledge that some of the things that we have said to each other over the years have not been said in love.
A child psychologist once said a well-adjusted child is one who behaves at school and in public but misbehaves at home. This child feels safe in their home and believes that their parents will always love them no matter what they say or do. We are no different because in the safety of our marriages, we often say what we would never say in public. It is a known fact that when we date we are on our best behavior, and as the years go by we begin to take each other for granted.
How are we called to do this differently as Christian husbands and wives? We can begin by being intentional about loving our spouses as Christ loves us.
We both can think of days when we each spent hours at work being polite to people. But at home, behind closed doors, if Beth realized that Dan forgot to get something at the grocery store or Dan wished things were picked up around the house, we are ashamed to admit what unkind words came out of our lips. Some spouses hide behind phrases like “I was just being honest” or “I was just kidding.” But our words are hurtful and not funny. In scripture we are reminded, “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear” (Ephesians 4:29). Every day, we seek to look for opportunities to encourage each other and to thank each other for even the smallest gesture.
We should not only be mindful of what we say to our spouse but also make an effort to listen. Dan has often come home after a difficult day at work, wanting nothing more than to have some peace and quiet, while Beth on the other hand is excited to talk about the day’s events. This has caused a number of heated moments between the two of us. James 1:19: “Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger.” So we encourage you to take the time to listen to your spouse, and not to respond with a frustrated look or angry words. Our Father always listens and we want to reflect Him.