“Be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” Ephesians 4:32
Ever notice how negative comments can spread like wildfire? One minute a group of women are talking recipes and babies and the next turns into husband-bashing time. One lady casually comments on how her husband made her so mad last night–for the thousandth time in their five year marriage, he left his socks turned out and laying in the middle of the bedroom floor. This encourages wife two to tell how her husband forgot it was his turn to pick the kids up from school yesterday. Wife three jumps in with a complaint about how she works, cooks, cleans, and cares for the children while all he does is sit on the couch and watch football. As the old saying goes, “They’re off to the races.” I see several problems with this cycle.
1) When women or men bash their spouse publicly they dishonor them. I Peter 3:7 tells husbands:
Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honor unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.
For the ladies, we are told in Ephesians 5:24:
Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.
Just as we would not stand gossiping about Jesus, we shouldn’t be doing it about our husbands.
2) Husbands and wives were meant to help one another and not tear each other down. With the creation of the very first couple, we see “And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh” (Genesis 2:23-24). Our body parts don’t strive against each other but work in tandem, in perfect cohesive harmony together. Marriage was designed the same way.
3) When spouses bash one another publicly, it teaches children to devalue the parents. The message is sent that their parents are not worthy of honor. This leads to sin for the child as Ephesians 6:2 clearly states:
Honor thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise).
4) Negative comments will steal the joy from our marriages. When we grumble once, it causes us to grumble again. The cycle repeats until we are living in discontentment. Discontentment leads to self-pride and we start to see ourselves as superior to our spouse. Soon our pride will lead us to a sense of entitlement. My spouse should be doing what I want him/her to do because I deserve it. This sense of entitlement and pride will raise itself and cause fights. As said previously, the joy will be gone from the marriage.
When we are tempted to belittle our spouses, we must remember Proverbs 10:12:
Hatred stirreth up strifes: but love covereth all sins.
God intended us to love our spouses and overlook his/her faults. We were meant to have joy and fulfillment in marriage. We were meant to see the union of God and the church in our marriages. We were meant to thrive!
When was the last time you wanted to participate in some spousal bashing? How did you fight the urge? If you participated, how did you feel afterwards?