So we are not really talking about the shy kind of "bash"ful. What we are talking about here is the spouse bashing that seems to happen when one is with their friends. Okay. So we know that doesn't pertain to all of you, but this has just been on our hearts and we wanted to share it. Marriage is a no-bashing zone! This has to be true for many reasons, but here are a few of those reasons. If you are tempted, we hope this is helpful to you!
THE FALLOUT OF BASHING:
- It breaks trust
- It breaks unity (connection )
- It totally kills self esteem in your spouse (definitely not what we're going for, right? ;-)
- It Totally makes you lose that "lovin feelin"
- Sadly, it ruins your spouses reputation (Blah! Nobody wants that.)
- Last but not least, it could eventually drive your spouse to look for affirmation elsewhere (This is obviously what we want to avoid at all costs!
So, now that you know the fallout of bashing, we want to help you out with it. We know it's not always easy to just change a habit. It has to be replaced with something else. We know that sometimes when you're hanging out with your girlfriends or buds, it sometimes seems just natural to smack talk about your spouse...but there's a better way. We promise you, there is! And we want to help you! So here are just a few...
WAYS TO BREAK THE BASHING HABIT:
- Practice speaking kind things to & about your spouse. This will help you believe it then speaking it will come more naturally. Yay! Now that's what we want, right?
- If caught in a bashing session, feel free to either excuse yourself or better yet, start sharing something GREAT about your spouse (you know, like how awesome he hung the Christmas lights, or how wonderful she smells - hee hee. We know you can think of a lot of great things!)
- Make a list of 10 things you love about your spouse. Focus on those daily so that next time you're tempted, you can have these things in mind ready to share instead of the negative.
- Remember that neither of you are perfect & never will be. We all have room to grow but we also all have wonderful traits as well.
- Ask yourself how you'd feel if your spouse bashed you.
- Pray - ask God to help you focus on the positive character traits about the one you fell in love with.
- Lastly, Take a good look at yourself. What's going on inside of you that's making you want to hurt your spouse by bashing? Maybe you've just had a tough day. Maybe it makes for a good laugh. Maybe you don't even realize you're doing it. We just want to encourage you to lift each other up instead. And don't forget that you're on the same team! For more on that see our post about how Teamwork Makes the Dream Work
Now for the good stuff! We want to share with you the...
BENEFITS OF "BUILDING EACH OTHER UP":
- Speaking well of your spouse will make them want to be a better person. Win-win for all!
- You get to have a deeper connection
- It Builds trust in your relationship
- It Builds confidence in your spouse
- It Gives your spouse a good reputation
- You're able to help other marriages thrive in this area as well (building up your spouse is contagious, just as bashing him/her is contagious).
- Being loyal to each other makes for a dynamite marriage!
We're sure you can probably think of many more benefits of speaking well of your spouse. These are just to get you started. As we mentioned before, we know not all struggle with this, but we've seen this tear marriages apart and we just want your marriage to be as beautiful as it can be. In order for that to happen, the spouse-bashing has to go (but only if you want a great marriage - and we know you do!) Thanks for letting us speak into your marriage. Keep us the great work!
"Let everything you say be good and helpful so that your words will be an encouragement to those hear them". Ephesians 4:29 NIV
Cheering you on,
ALLEN & CAROL