These past few weeks have been slightly tumultuous in the lives of the Marshall family as we “figure out” what God has planned for our lives in the coming weeks/months/years. We have been seeking God for guidance, praying constantly, and discussing many many many different paths and options. Thankfully, in this time of stress and uncertainty, we have not turned mean… in fact, we have been following this next beatitude pretty well, without even realizing it!
Here is our 2nd Beatitude of a Christian Marriage:
Blessed are those mates who never criticize or speak loudly to one another and who instead quietly discuss their disagreements and work toward solutions.
Do you ever feel like certain times “justify” criticizing your husband? Financial stress or periods of unemployment can put a strain on relationships; colicky babies or rambunctious toddlers can make a wife resentful of a husband’s life outside the home; no matter what the situation, criticizing and speaking angrily may seem like the best solution, but it certainly is not!
Remember what the Bible says about harsh words:
“A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” Proverbs 15:1
The wisdom in this Beatitude is that by quietly discussing disagreements, you can avoid making things worse. Criticism, harsh or angry words… they just stir up more trouble!
Now, I come from an Italian family, and LOUD is sometimes all we know… then there are families who are very soft spoken and would probably get upset at one of my family gatherings. Some people are taught growing up never to raise their voice. Others are taught (usually by example) to say what they gotta say, as loud as they gotta say it. How do we decide what’s “right”?
Whether you’re talking to your husband, your kids, your sister, your best friend, or your mom, you’ve got to think twice about not just what you’re saying, but how you’re saying it.
Here are some guidelines to think about before speaking:
- Is what I’m about to say hurtful, rude, or unkind in any way?
- Will my tone of voice and volume convey my message properly?
- What is my purpose? Is it to uplift and encourage, or degrade and tear down?
- Is there benefit in what I’m about to say?
- Have I prayed first, and asked the Holy Spirit to guide my words and tone?
Once you’ve done your self-check, feel free to start your discussion! It’s very important to resolve differences and deal with problems up front, and not hide them or brush them off.
Confrontation is a great thing, IF it’s done correctly. There is a reason why this beatitude says to “quietly” discuss disagreements! Quiet discussion implies self-control, civility, and dialogue. Those are key elements in working toward a solution. Hold off on confrontation or problem solving when angry, resentful, or in a bad mood. Nothing good will come of it.
Any thoughts, stories, advice, or comments on this? I’d love to hear from you!
Keep on Striving,
PS - Don’t forget to stay tuned for Part 3, coming soon!