Am I guilty of indecently exposing my spouse?

I love people watching.  The mall is a great place to do it.  Because I don’t enjoy shopping at the mall, I find myself finding a chair and getting caught up on twitter and blogs. While at another shopping adventure, I began to watch couples. I watched how they acted.  I watched their responses to each other.  Some held hands.  Other held decided the mall was the best place to have an argument.  A group of ladies were standing near me talking about their husbands/boyfriends…and I can’t say they had the best things to say about them.  Right now I sound really nosey.  But with their volume, I don’t think they cared who heard them.

I had an epiphany. Lightning struck my brain (reference to the movie “Hook”).

The way we represent our spouses to others.  The way we represent them to our friends.  They way our children her us talk about them when they’re not around…

If we do not defend them… If we do not support them… If we don’t present them in the proper light…

We are in danger of dishonoring them. We are opening them up to attack. We are abandoning them.

In essence, we are indecency exposing them.

1 Corinthians 13:7 “Love bears all things…”

Bears/Greek: Stego/to protect or keep by covering, to preserve by covering to keep off something which threatens

I am Anne’s covering.  I am her protection.

Anne is my covering. She is my protection.

What I experienced in that mall…from that conversation…was men “exposed” to slander and malicious talk.  I had a rush of emotions.  I felt shame for even hearing it. I felt privileged for having a wife who wouldn’t do that to me.  Most notably, I felt conviction.  The conviction came, not from any one incident of not supporting my  wife. It came from the knowledge of knowing that the same nature in those mall people is in me. How can I stand in judgement when every one of us has that capability?

This may be my most humbling mall experience of all time.

What drives us to tear down our spouses? Is it for a moment of feeding a superiority complex? Is it to catch a cheap laugh at our spouses expense? Is it to impress people into thinking we’re something we’re not? Is it our revenge at our spouse for something they did?

No matter how you try to cover up your act of allowing the “indecent exposure” of your spouse, you are still engaging in two very big problems. One, you are acting selfish.  You’re feeding your pride. And two, you are “exposing” your spouse up to attack.  It’s as if you are pinning a target onto him/her and encouraging someone to shoot.

This weeks marriage encouragement is to protect your spouse to…

  1. Friends/Neighbors – Let people hear you speak words of life about your spouse. Don’t speak words that kill their reputation…thus exposing them. Build them up to the people in your sphere of influence. Pray over them. Don’t groan to your coworkers when they call ya.  Don’t whine to your best friend when they text you. If you’re mad at them. Deal with it face to face with them.  Just make sure that when you speak of them around your friends, keep your spouse covered.
  2. Family – It’s time to leave mommy and daddy and their opinions about your spouse.  You are married.  Cut the cord and bring your devotion to your spouse.  I’ve heard it over and over, “but Dave, my mom/dad is my best friend…I tell them everything.” That may be your problem right there. Your spouse needs to know that your devotion is to the marriage before it’s to the parents.  They need to know that when they show up to family gatherings, a cloud isn’t hanging over the gathering and a target is upon them because you chose to “expose” your spouse to nosey parents. I know it’s tough to hear.  But your marriage is more important than mom and dad’s curiosity over what’s going on in your marriage.
  3. Children – Don’t put your kids in an awkward situation by “exposing” your spouse, their other parent, to them. Remember, harsh, demeaning words about your spouse might feel good for you. But it’s tearing down their parent. I’ve dealt with too many children who have grown to resent moms and dads who talk poorly about their spouses.  You’re not making yourself look good.  You’re destroying trust with your children AND you’re exposing your spouse to attack.

I charge you to “decently expose” your spouse. I charge you, in the presence of coworkers, parents, children, etc. to expose your protection over your spouse by speaking amazing things about them. Edify them, their role, and your devotion to them. Love them the way Christ loves you…even though you’re not perfect. Stand up for them, and don’t allow the enemy to use your words to put a target upon their back.

Thanks for letting me ramble…

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