We were at our friends’ house for dinner on a Monday night. Our friends are newlyweds, two weeks into marriage to be exact. We all gathered at the table and engulfed the aroma of the homemade tacos. We prayed over our dinner, fixed our plates, and started conversing about marriage and life. Laughter filled the room and the night was off to a great start. But then, my husband did something that triggered me. In response to being triggered, I said something in front of him and our friends that made the room stand still.
My exact words were: “I wish I would have called our bluff.”
Let me explain. I had been talking to our friends about a mutual couple we know and my uncertainty of whether the relationship would lead to marriage. My husband chimed in and expressed how he disagreed with what I was saying. He then proceeded to (what seemed like) talk over me to get his point across. This was the second time on this particular night that I felt like he was talking over me and neglecting to let me get my point across. It triggered me. And so I said, “I wish I would have called our bluff”- insinuating that our marriage is not as authentic or as easy-going as I thought it would be. Almost as if we were fooling ourselves to think that we would do well together in a long lasting marriage.
To be honest, that’s not what I meant. I love and adore my husband. Marriage is hard and it’s a lot different than the honeymoon phase of dating, but I don’t think our marriage is a bluff. Then why would I say such a thing? The only reason why I said that is because I was upset. We had just had an extremely challenging weekend together and now here I was at our friends’ house, feeling unheard, and the only way to get my point across or to be heard was to say something that would get everyone’s attention, including my husband’s.
That comment was mean and hurtful. To say something like that is mean, period, but to do it in front of friends was wrong and uncalled for. My husband’s demeanor changed instantly and I could see the hurt and anger all over his face.
One thing I know for sure is that once you speak, you can’t get your words back. People never forget hurtful words, especially not your spouse.
God sent me to my husband to build him up and to speak words of life over him, not to tear him down or humiliate him in front of others. To be honest, this is not the first time I’ve said something out of line about my husband, to or in front of others. I’ve repeated this behavior a few times throughout our three years of marriage.
But lately, I’ve been hearing the Holy Spirit whispering: “Do not bring shame to your husband’s name.”
This doesn’t mean that I can’t have honest conversations about my husband and I’s challenges and struggles. However, there’s a time and a place to have those conversations, as well as safe people to have them with. If there are concerns or unresolved issues, I am to address my husband in humility and love, not be like an emotional bulldozer towards him.
So, I completely messed up. I blew it. After I spoke those words, my heart was heavy because I knew I was wrong. I knew I was wrong for talking about our mutual friends and doubting the sustainability of their relationship. I knew I was wrong for also saying those mean and hurtful words to my husband. When we got to our car that night to head home, I apologized to my husband and told him the truth behind those hurtful words I had just spewed out in front of our friends. I told him that I didn’t think our relationship or marriage was a bluff. While our marriage can be a mess, it is a beautiful mess that God is stengthening, challenging, growing, purging, and redeeming for His glory.
Our marriage is far from perfect (but who has a perfect marriage, anyway?) and definitely a work in progress, but I am in it and I am committed. Wives, marriage is hard, right? And when it’s hard, it is easy to say hurtful things without thinking. Our husbands may do things that hurt, annoy, frustrate, and anger us. However, we need to be emotionally grounded to address concerns without intentionally bringing shame to our husbands by bad mouthing them to their face and others.
Shame is a painful feeling arising from the conciousness of something dishonorable, improper, or ridiculous done by oneself or another.
Four ways to be intentional about not bringing shame to our husband’s name is to:
- Speak words that heal: When I was a child, I heard grown ups say, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it all.” If our words are not for the purpose of healing and building up of our husbands and challenging them to grow, then let’s not say anything at all.
- Pick your battles: Honestly, we don’t have to fight every battle or point out everything that bothers us. We have to learn to let things go. In other words, we can’t let every little thing that our husbands do consume us. We would never have peace if we did. I’ve been in a place before where I let things consume me so badly that I couldn’t sleep at night. Let’s learn to take a deep breath and let go!
- Talk to your spouse in a safe space: If there is something bothering you, address it! Please try not to let anger fester in your heart and then explode like me in front of your friends at dinner. Talk about an issue in a place where you can be fully attuned and present- a place away from people, loud noises, and distractions.
- Seek reconciliation: If you find yourself in a position where you shame your husband, go back and apologize and make up for it. Do something to show your husband you truly care for him and love him. Hint: every man loves a good home cooked meal. I decided to cook my husband a large steak with potatoes and broccoli as a symbol of my love and sincere apology.
Proverbs 12:18 says, ” The words of the reckless pierce like swords but the words of the wise brings healing.”
Let’s honor our husbands with the words we speak over them, about them, and directly to them. Our husbands need to know (even in the midst of their imperfections) that they are loved, cherished, respected, and honored by their wives. A way we can make that known is by the way we speak to them and of them to others.
Provers 16:24 says, “Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and and healing to the bones.”
How beautiful it is to know that my words can be sweet to my husband’s soul and can heal his bones.
What are your thoughts? Have you ever humiliated your husband in front of family and friends? What did you do to reconcile the situation and to prevent it from happening again?
When you encourage your husband with gracious words, how does he respond? What do you do to hold your tongue when are frustrated with your husband?
I hope to hear from you soon! Have a great weekend.
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