If you were to ask your friends/family/coworkers to make a “TOP TEN” list for you, what type of list would they make? Would it be, “Ten Things I Hate About My Spouse”? Or would it be “Ten Things I Love About My Spouse”?
I almost borrowed the title of the 1999 teen romance film, “Then Things I Hate About You.” But I didn’t want to make you think we were just turning this blog into a movie review for lame movies from our past.
Between recent blog-posts and a pre-marital counseling appointment, one theme has been constantly staring at me in the face: Marriage Edification. Of my marriage blogger friends, this week must have highlighted a theme that either they organized (without telling me) OR the Holy Spirit was trying to speak something specific into marriages.
Even this morning, I went through my early morning routine of waking up and immediately checking my twitter feed. There were more edification blogs. I did a quick count of 3 edification blogs in 12 hours that, specifically, was wives edifying their husbands. With titles like: “Why I love my husband”, “Reasons I love my husband”, and “11 Reasons I love my sexy husband”, it seems everyone is on a similar page.
These wives were sharing things like:
– He laughs with me.
– He flirts with me in front of the kids
– He lets me wear his sweatshirts
– I trust him with my heart
– (my personal favorite) When I asked him to get rid of the “whitey-tighties,” he did.
Do you have a “Top Ten”? Can you come up with 10?
The question came: Have we stopped edifying our spouse? How do I speak about my spouse?
A simple definition of edify is to build up. One dictionary says to verbalize especially so as to encourage intellectual, moral, or spiritual improvement.
Maybe we can make it simpler: To uplift.
When we were courting our spouse, we were filled with words that caught the ear of the one we were in love with. There were phrases spoken that unashamedly expressed feelings and sensations. Even to friend and family around you, there was no mistake how you felt. Some of those words came out in a written letter. Other times it was over the phone. No matter the method, those days were times where your words could not be contained by silence. Your date/fiancé knew exactly what you felt and why you felt that way.
Does he/she still feel edified?
Now a days, we don’t verbalize anything but criticism to our spouse. They hear nothing but shortcomings and put downs. Even worse, maybe all he/she gets from you is silence.
What about the people you talk/facebook/email to? What do they hear you say about your spouse? Is it words like, “can you believe HE did this?” and “you’ll never guess what SHE expected me to do.”
I’ll ask you the initial question we asked earlier in the blog: If you were to ask your friends/family/coworkers to make a “TOP TEN” list for you, what type of list would they make? Would it be, “Ten Things I Hate About My Spouse”? Or would it be “Ten Things I Love About My Spouse”?
Where would their information come from?
– Your conversations with them
– They way you talk to your spouse in public
– Your body language when your spouse walks into the room
– They way you talk to your spouse in front of the kids
By our words and actions, would they have a stronger case for the “hate” list over the “love” list?
Hebrews 3:13 is what jumps out to me. “But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.”
Do you hear the warning? Encourage DAILY. If you don’t, the results are painful. Your marriage will be hardened. Unfeeling. Deceived. I understand the context of the passage was speaking, generally, to all of God’s people. I think it would be VERY appropriate to carry that principle into our marriage. TRUTH: Choosing to not edify your spouse is asking for a hardened and callused marriage.
TRUTH: You cannot assume your spouse knows how you feel! They need to hear it. They need to see it. Then take it a step further: edify your spouse to the people around you. It will accomplish four things:
- Pleases the heart of God.
- Rekindles your passion by uplifting the one you have become one with.
- It will get back to your spouse and, thus, rekindle their passion.
- Leaves no room for the enemy to fill the need for edification by anyone else.
Take some time to make a “top ten” list. Share it over dinner. Share it on a date (unless you’re in a theater then wait till after). Even better, share it in bed. It’s great pillow talk.
Thanks for letting me ramble…