Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Surviving Marital Storms Made Simpler

I will be the first to admit that it isn't always easy being a wife.  Especially when life throws unexpected challenges your way.  Sometimes it seems as if our husbands are the cause of these challenges.  In my (almost) 4 years of marriage, I have both loved and hated my husband.  Ran to him and ran from him.  Told him I'd love him forever, and told him I wanted a divorce!  Oh how easily my "sweet" disposition can become tainted when bad weather hits.  Sometimes bad weather seems to strike even when the sun is shining outside.  Can anyone relate??

I could go on about all the ways I've felt my husband has wronged me in the past, is wronging me now, etc.  I've done it before.  I could could call up a girlfriend and talk about how terrible things are when the storms hit. Go into all the nitty-gritty details of our relationship.  They could console me and sympathize with me, and take my side when I feel like no one else understands.  Maybe they would even try to offer me some godly counsel.  This surely couldn't hurt, now could it?

This is what I have done, and what I could do, but now I've learned that this is not the answer.  This is called gossip, and the bible teaches that gossip is NOT a good thing.  At all.  Not convinced?  First check out the definition of gossip from

gos·sip  (gsp)


1. Rumor or talk of a personal, sensational, or intimate nature.
2. A person who habitually spreads intimate or private rumors or facts. 

Now just for a second, think about how your husband would feel if he knew what you were saying about your relationship when talking with others.  Would you be comfortable continuing your conversation if he walked into the room, or picked up the phone while you were in mid-sentence?  Or maybe you are just on the receiving end, listening intently as someone you care for pours out their deepest marital woes and troubles to you, desperate for comfort and solace from your kind words.  What if their husband was listening on the phone, or standing in the room beside you.  Would the conversation still be happening?  I bet in almost every case, the honest answer to these questions would be "No."  Now before I go any further, let's look at what God has to say about it:

A perverse man stirs up dissension, and a gossip separates close friends. 
Proverbs 16:28

The words of a gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to a man's inmost parts.  Proverbs 18:8

A gossip betrays a confidence; so avoid a man who talks too much. 
Proverbs 20:19

Without wood a fire goes out; without gossip a quarrel dies down. 
Proverbs 26:20

If you give these verses just a bit of thought, the truth they contain can transform your thinking.  I will share with you the things that God has shown me upon accepting them:

1.  Sharing the intimate details of my marital relationship with anyone other than my husband is betraying his confidence.

2.  Going into detail about "my" marital problems with a friend is not going to solve anything.   Even a close, well-meaning friend will eventually begin to develop an unhealthy bias, which will create a rift in the friendship.  This rift will continue to spread into the marital relationship as well, for all parties involved.  

3.  If I choose to take my marital issues to the Lord rather than man, and seek solace in Him alone, any problems I may be having will be handed over to their rightful contender, Jesus.  Only he has the power to "lead me beside the still waters, and restore my soul".  

4.  Anyone who wants to talk to me about their marital struggles needs to understand that they are actually doing their husband and their relationship a disservice, and I would be wise to prayerfully turn them over to the Lord and let him do the guidance from there on out. 

This is not something that comes naturally to carry out.  It is a prayerful and purposeful decision we must make daily in order to preserve the confidence in our marital relationships.    Even if it is difficult or impossible to talk to your husband directly right now, there is comfort in knowing that God will bring you through.  One day at a time.  

Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.  And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.  
Hebrew 10: 23-24