One of the many things he's taught me is to be careful when we use the words never and always.
Those 2 little words slip in so easily to our conversations and disagreements. But, I'd say 99% of the time, they don't represent truth.
"He never helps me with the house!"
"She always nags me!"
"You always do this...."
"You never do that..."
"I always take care of the kids and you never help!"
Those words have turned regular disagreements to passionate ones very quickly in our home. Now, when either one of us tries to use them, we stop ourselves, slow down, and really think...
Does he really NEVER help with the vacuuming? No. That's not true. The truth is that he helps out a lot. It may not be when or exactly how I like it...but who made me queen of the vacuuming?
Does she ALWAYS try to tell me how to drive? No. That's not true. The truth is that she doesn't tell me how to drive when she's texting or singing along with the radio (ha!).
Do you see where I'm going with this? These little words can cause a lot of defensiveness. Instead of using them, gently express to your spouse how you're feeling, or in some cases, keep your mouth shut and leave them alone. Ha!
Philippians 2:3 tells us, "Do nothing from factional motives [through contentiousness, strife, selfishness, or for unworthy ends] or prompted by conceit and empty arrogance. Instead, in the true spirit of humility (lowliness of mind) let each regard the others as better than and superior to himself [thinking more highly of one another than you do of yourselves]."
It's amazing that Jesus regarded us as better than himself. He gives us His grace (ability) to do the same for others. Be gentle and merciful when things don't go the way you think they should. Let God's love flow through you to your spouse.
*Find a list with links to the other posts in this series here.*