There are all sorts of big and small ways to show love to your spouse. One of the easiest, but powerful ways to demonstrate this is to talk about them positively in public. This one reason I am so grateful for Angela. She has to live with my sinful tendencies, my human weaknesses, and my annoying quirks. There is a lot of material from which she could easily draw when talking with her girlfriends or other friends. And yet Angela has always talked well about me in public. It’s a small thing, but it’s a big thing to me. If she has a problem with me, she tells me. But never does she send a message through passive-aggressive shots delivered while in public. I appreciate and love her for that and I try very hard to return the favor.
I’m amazed at how often I hear good, faithful Christian couples undermine each other in public. I hear wives degrade their husband’s character and worth, sometimes in the church parking lot. I cringe every time I hear this because in my mind I can see the strength and confidence of the husband shrink. I also hear husbands rail on their wives in a sort of “can you believe what my wife just did?” kind of manner that tells me how much they really value the wive God has given them.
Angela and I are far from perfect. We have many flaws. But I’m grateful we’ve made this small commitment to each other. It’s hard for two people to walk together in mutual love if one or the other feels degraded. It’s crippling to the kind of long-lasting marital love that reflects the love Christ has for His Church.
In fact, I would bet there is more value to not saying negative things about a spouse than the kind of over-the-top flattery we sometimes display in order to have others commend us. If my wife never said I was “the best husband alive” on Facebook, but committed to not criticizing me in public, I’d be a happy man. And I”m guessing she’d say the same about me. Not tearing her down in public is better than a thousand “smoking hot wife” references on Twitter.
The reason this matters, I think, is because we often reveal our true selves when we’re trying to posture ourselves in front of other people, in a crowd. We reveal our true motivations. And for the other person to observe us sort of using them as fodder for a well-timed quip or cutting remark–this hurts more than we might realize.
So maybe my advice today is pretty simple: speak well of the one you are committed to love. You’ll be surprised how well this cements your bond of love.
I know. I know. It is Monday so it is a little late for a “weekend roundup” but in my household the kids have a four day weekend from school so technically for me this still counts!
The False Teachers: This sounds like it will be good. Tim Challies is starting out a new series of articles that will scan the history of the church and pause to examine some of Christianity’s most notorious false teachers. The first one is Arius.
Missionary Biographies: Here is another church history link but of a different focus. This one is about the power and importance of reading missionary biographies and at the bottom actually provides a link to a great list of free ebooks of missionary biographies! Read up and may the Lord put a fire in your heart for the glory of his name and declaring it to all peoples!
Common Objections: The Old Testament is Full of Rape, Murder, Slavery, Homophobia: Over at monergism.com John Hendryx gives a very gracious and powerful response to some of these common objections. Read up so that you might be ready to give an answer for the hope that is in you!
Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God: Nice review of a good book that I highly recommend. I have a very old beaten up copy of it in my library.
Looking to Christ in the Loss of a Child: As the article says, “The loss of a child is painful, deeply painful” but “In Christ, grief will not the last word.”
7 Truths for a Christ-Centered Marriage: This is the first of a mini-series on marriage that was timed to coincide with the week of Valentine’s day. I encourage you to read them all.
Final Focus: OK preachers and teachers – what is the final focus of your sermons?
Just saw this over that Peacemaker Ministries and had to share it. It is applied to one’s marriage but in reality is fitting for many other situations.
My favorite ones are:
“Pride assumes I already understand everything I need to”
“Humility has never found someone it couldn’t learn something from.”