If you and your spouse hit a bump in the road, it can be easy to confide in those closest to you. Unfortunately, if you are in a more weakened, vulnerable state, it can also be easy to fall prey to unhelpful advice and negativity.
Negativity is contagious. I’m sure you’ve noticed this to be true! The question today is this: do you confide in someone who is going to encourage God’s loving attitude toward your spouse or do you confide in someone who is going to help you justify you selfish, sinful nature?
What are the warning signs of a confidant who may be unsupportive of a godly marriage?
1. They always take your side.
2. They are quick to criticize your spouse.
3. They don’t offer biblical advice or feedback.
4. They frequently tell you, “what you should really do is…” But the words that follow are not respectful to your spouse.
5. They do not demonstrate a godly love in their own relationships.
On the flip side, what traits would be wise to consider as you decide who may be a confidant who may help you keep focused on God’s example of how to treat your spouse?
1. They will hear you out before jumping to conclusions and may ask you questions about how the situation may look from the “other” point of view.
2. They will not encourage or expand on harsdh criticism of your spouse.
3. They will be quick to apply a scriptural basis for any advice or feedback they give.
4. They will offer to pray for God’s wisdom and guidance for you or ask what specific prayer request you may have regarding the situation at hand (i.e. more compassion for your spouse, peace, strength, better understanding, etc.).
5. They demonstrate God’s love in their own relationships.
Be cautious about where you turn when you are frustrated by the bumps in the road. Seek out wise counsel who will help you focus on God’s example of love rather than stroking your ego by telling you how right you are and how wrong your spouse is.
Remember this: it’s not about which one of you is “right.” It’s about how you demonstrate God’s love through your marriage. Remember that a Christian marriage is a big responsibility. A God-ordained union of marriage is intended to represent the relationship between Christ and the church. If you allow sinful, selfish nature to stand in the way, you are not fulfilling your calling.
Now may be a good time to consider your plan. Look around you. Ideally, find another couple who exemplifies what God has modeled. Spend time with them. Find a mentor with a godly reputation. Find a prayer warrior. Just make an effort to avoid confiding in those who are not known to support a godly marriage. Protect your marriage by making a plan to keep yourself focused.
What’s your marriage protection plan?
Keri Kitchen is a devoted wife and mother, blogger, author of Love Isn’t Selfish, licensed mental health counselor, and founder of The Carys Rainn Foundation. To read more about what God is doing in her life, visit her blog at www.aftertherainn.com