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Say This, Not That in Your Marriage

sm-pointing-fingers-coupleHow can you turn bothers into blessings?

If you are married, you know your spouse’s comments can carry the power to provoke and irritate you.

(If you’re not married…you probably have someone in your life who can do this as well!)

Today, let’s consider how we can turn bothers into blessings.

When he says, “Isn’t dinner done yet?” how can we keep from losing it?

When he says, “Grunt” when you want a long conversation, how can we stop comparing him to our friend’s chatty hubby?

When he says, “You need to stop spending so much money,” how can we get on board the budget plan without a big fuss?

I’d like to offer two ideas:  PATIENCE and PERSPECTIVE.

Patience says “You’re not perfect and I don’t expect you to respond perfectly all the time.  I don’t expect you to have it all together.  After all, I’m not perfect either.”

Patience gives grace to the other person.  Patience suffers long and can wait without getting angry or upset.

Is it hard to be patient?  But of course!  That’s why we can ask God for patience because “love is patient” (1 Cor. 13:4) and to be more like Jesus is to be more patient.

Perspective reminds us to look at the big picture.  Does this little comment really need to ruin the rest of your time together?

Will this bother matter tomorrow?  Five years from now?

What if your loved one was taken away from you?  Believe me, you’d get him back in a heartbeat at the first chance, insensitive comments and all.

Make the commitment to turn your bothers into praise.

When you’re packing sandwiches and doing laundry and picking up around the house and you feel so put out, give thanks.  You have a home filled with voices and life.  Be grateful in the words you say out loud and the words that rattle around your brain.

If you’re sitting alone at home and you feel lonely, turn this bother into a blessing by turning to God to be your solace.  Reach out to someone else who is lonely and go to coffee together.  Let your bothers lead you to be a blessing to others.

Change your words and you’ll change your life.

When you start speaking blessing, instead of bothers and complaints, you will create a haven of peace.  Use your words to lift up others, not tear them down.

Treasure your spouse, don’t trash him with your harsh or disapproving words.

Treasure your children, your friends, your co-workers with your words…remember, you will reap what you sow.  That principle works with crops, and it also works with the words we plant in others.

So back to those first scenarios.

When he says, “Isn’t dinner done yet?” you can say calmly with a smile, “I need 20 minutes.  Can you come help me for a few minutes?”  

When he says, “Grunt” you can say, “That’s nice dear.”  Then later in the evening, you can ask, “I have something I want to tell you about.  Do you have a few minutes to listen?”

When he says, “You need to stop spending so much money,” you can say, “I will work on that.” Decide not to be defensive.  Sit down with the budget and make good decisions together.

With your words, you can engage in combat.  Or you can respond peacefully (even if you disagree) to whatever is shelled out.

If you want to create a happy home, I recommend the latter.  Use your words to build your home.

“The wise woman builds her house, but the foolish pulls it down with her hands.” – Proverbs 14:1 (or she pulls it down with her mouth!) 

 

 

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