The Sacred Us
By Amy Carroll
Titus 2: 3-5, “…teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live… (and) to teach what is good. Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.” (NIV)
She didn’t even know that I was watching her. Friends of mine had told me that a woman at our church named Deborah had decided to never speak negatively about her husband. Although I truly loved my husband and thought he was wonderful, he wasn’t perfect. I wondered what’s the real harm in complaining about him some to friends and coworkers who have plenty to say about their husbands?
Just hearing about Deborah’s commitment challenged my heart. I began to watch her and her husband for signs of a difference. I also listened to her carefully to see if she really stuck to it. She did, and the fruits of her faithfulness were obvious. Deborah and John had been married far longer than I had, and also had three beautiful children, but they acted like they were still on their honeymoon. Their devotion was untarnished by the mistrust and bitterness caused by a critical heart and complaining lips.
I haven’t done it perfectly, but I now catch myself when I start to “vent” or complain about my husband. I think about how terrible I would feel if I walked into a room and heard him speaking negatively about me. Women seem to struggle much more in this area, but I think it’s a place where God is calling us to greater self-control.
I’ve seen lots of fruit in my marriage, too. When I speak well of my husband, I tend to think well of him too. He has so many virtues—why should I focus on his few little imperfections? Praising my husband to my friends actually grows my love for him, and that’s always a good thing. I also don’t ever have to worry about what I’ve said that might be repeated to him.
I have come to believe strongly in something I call “The Sacred Us.” We have a bond that is stronger than any bond I have with another person. There are things that only the two of us share. Although I LOVE to talk, I don’t need to tell everybody everything.
If there are problems between the two of us, I can always pour out my heart to God, and scripture encourages us to do just that. I also have cultivated relationships with several godly, truth-telling women who love my husband as much as they love me. They will listen, offer godly counsel and tell me in a skinny minute if I’m the one who’s wrong. This type of women are the only ones to share problems with when we need someone with whom we can pray and problem-solve.
Let’s you and I resolve to be the “Deborah” amongst our friends. Without even knowing it, she changed many of the marriages in our church for the better. I desire to be that godly example so that the bond between my husband and I is strengthened day by day but also so that the world would see a difference and that God would be glorified.
Dear Lord, please help me to control my tongue. I need your help to praise my husband instead of criticizing or complaining. In times of crises or conflict, remind me to turn to you first. Bring godly women into my life that will join with me in this endeavor so that we can encourage each other. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
What a Husband Needs from His Wife by Melanie Chitwood
30 Days to Taming Your Tongue by Deborah Smith Pegues
Pay attention to the topics in talks with your friends. How often does the conversation turn to criticism of husbands? Stop yourself when you begin to join in!
Cultivate friendships with other women who are committed to positively speaking of their husbands and hold each other gently and lovingly accountable.
How do I want my husband to speak of me?
Do I hold myself to that same standard?
Philippians 2:14, “Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe…” (NIV)
Psalm 141:3, “Set a guard over my mouth, O Lord; keep watch over the door of my lips.” (NIV)
James 1: 26, “If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless.” (NIV)
Proverbs 31 Ministries
Matthews, NC 28105
Originally published Thursday, 22 February 2007.