“You wouldn’t believe the dumb thing he did last weekend!” she exclaimed. Her coffee shop friends leaned in, eager for the juicy tidbit about to be served. “He actually let our two-year-old have a donut at 4:00pm! Of course she didn’t eat much dinner…” The ladies laughed on cue, shaking their heads knowingly. The man a few tables over, across the aisle scowled slightly. I imagined his thoughts sympathetically went to the woman’s husband. At least her man wasn’t present for the gossip.
Proverbs 17:9 tells us, “He who covers over an offense promotes love, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends.”
I remember being at a dinner party over 20 years ago. The women huddled in the kitchen, talking about this or that, and then the subject of our husbands came up. Several of the ladies complained about how many hours their husband worked, and then one of them actually looked directly at me and said, “YOU are part of MY problem – my husband works with yours and you BABY your husband!” I won’t tell you the details, but her words stung. “You’re always checking with him before you do something – so annoying! My husband complains that I don’t do that enough and it’s your fault!” I think what really bothered her was she’d seen me ask his opinion several times. I think she thought I did it out of some insecurity, or something weak within me that she found disdainful. Honestly, I just really cared about what my husband thought. This was the first awakening I had to the attitude of, “as a woman, somehow I am less-than others if I have to ask a man’s opinion.”
It made me a little sad for them as a couple that she didn’t see her husband as her best friend. While there is a difference between “BFF” between women, and the friendship we have with our husband, I remember replying, “Jim and I have been friends for many years before we even talked about marriage. I care what he thinks about things. And we’re somewhat traditional. It has nothing to do with you.”
Proverbs 14:1 says, “The wise woman builds her own house, but with her own hands, the foolish one tears hers down.” Our culture teaches us to criticize and make fun of men. God says this will end in ruin.
Dare you to ask yourself, whether male or female, if your words are “building others up,” or if you are a demolition crew with a wrecking ball because of them.
Consider, 1 Thessalonians 5:11a: “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up,” And, Ephesians 4:29: “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”
Often, men get frustrated with us when we start verbally swinging the wrecking ball. At their core, they are wired to be creatures of honor and respect, and they are taught to control their frustrations.
These frustrations often emerge as anger and then they shut down and emotionally pull away from us. Not that I’m excusing men for their behavior here, but we can help them by eliminating some of the behaviors God wants us to get rid of anyway!
Dare you to think about “helper” (one of our Biblical roles, as designed by God) in this way… J
So here’s my “Top 5 Ways to Tear Down Your Husband in Front of Others” – and trust me, I’ve probably done all of them, and more…and learned from the Spirit about changing my ways. I can tell you there is a better way! It’s God’s way – it may not make much sense, but it’s what He wants from us, and it works…but more on that another day…
- Purse the lips and roll the eyes whenever your husband says something…that way everyone will know your disdain and low opinion of him.
- Interrupt him when speaking so you can do a better job telling the story, filling in the details, or getting the facts right…that way everyone will know you think you’re smarter than he is.
- Make comments about how he “never does anything around the house,” or talk about how you “have to do it all,” …clearly demonstrating the very high opinion you have of your own efforts in contrast to his (forgetting all those verses about judgment).
- When he makes a mistake, be sure to share it with others, with him present, if possible…this will let everyone know how much better than him you think you are.
- Be sure to argue with him in front of other people, using words that make him feel defensive, like, “Why on earth would you think that? That’s ridiculous!” letting others know just how little you think of him and his thoughts. Double your points if you argue about minutia – triple if your kids are present.
The list might sound ludicrous, but what I didn’t realize at the time I committed these myself was that I communicated very clearly to my husband and the other men around me how little I respected my husband. I’m really sorry for my argumentative attitude and contentious demeanor decades ago, and thankful to be learning what God wants instead.
Dare you to do the same. J
Hebrews 10:36 says, “You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.” Do the right thing because God says it’s the right thing. It takes a while to start figuring these things out – but totally worth doing.
Do what is right today, don’t give way to fear.
Thankful to be on the journey with you! Pray for us – we’re in the process of getting our Daughters of Sarah course ready for DVD. It’s a lot of work and expense to do. J
Info on Daughters of Sarah® class here. (Note – it’s not available yet) Hopefully fall 2013.