A couple of days ago, I was riding in the car with Kaleb. He’s just been doing some incredible things in his life lately but I could tell he was exhausted. While he was driving, I put my hand on his shoulder and just began praising him. “I’m so proud of you,” was the first thing out of my mouth. After I affirmed him, he looked over and genuinely appreciated the gesture and his whole demeanor changed.
The Lord then spoke to me and laid this topic on my heart. I would not consider myself a relationship expert, but I do keep certain things in mind and practice them daily to build up my marriage rather than tear it down. One of those things is giving constant affirmation and saying “I love you” or “I’m proud of you” out loud to my husband.
Now I am all for the 5 love languages but I feel like those are extra ways to tell your spouse that you love them. Because honestly, nothing says “I love you” like actually saying “I love you.”
Kaleb is my absolute best friend and even though we may have our disagreements, at the end of the day, he is the person I want to hang out with over anyone else. I intend to keep it this way and something I can guarantee to make this happen is to always speak highly of him. I do this to him personally, in conversations with family and friends, and in my own mind.
So here are 4 reasons why I always speak highly of my spouse:
1. What you say out loud, you are speaking into existence.
You are declaring the identity of your spouse with the words that you speak about them. I want Kaleb to be a man of God, a husband that supports me, a leader of my household, a good father to my children, and a person of integrity. If I am in a conversation where he becomes the topic, these are the things I convey. It’s not doing anyone any kind of good if I ramble about how he never does the laundry (Just an example…Kaleb actually did the laundry for 2 whole years while I was pregnant because he didn’t want me going up and down the stairs!) or the times that I am frustrated with him. In your marriage vows, you promised to lift them up but more importantly, promised to uphold them and keep them accountable with their relationship with God. How are you going to maintain that promise if you are speaking slander over their life?
2. Your thoughts towards your spouse become naturally negative.
Practice becomes habit. Habit becomes a way of life. When you speak negative things over your spouse, you start to believe them. It’s poisonous. Don’t do this to your marriage. Satan only has power when he comes into agreement with man. When you are not uplifting your spouse, you’re inviting satan in. And that is dangerous if, by this point, you have trained your mind to think a certain way about your spouse.
It all starts with coming home after a long, exhausting day of work and finding that the dishes are still sitting there from this morning. You think, ‘My husband could have taken care of those.’ But nothing is said to him and you do the dishes with an attitude, yet he has no idea that you are upset with him for this. Instead you go about your evening and send your friend a message about how you are unappreciated and your spouse never helps out. The next morning, he goes straight to the sink and puts his dirty dishes in, kisses you good-bye and leaves. You don’t even acknowledge his loving gesture. You think, ‘Are you kidding me?! Why didn’t he just wash those?’ All day long you are fuming. He still has no idea. After some time, it’s no longer even about the dishes. It becomes continuous negativity and criticism of their actions and character because you have trained yourself to have this way of thinking.
3. It’s gossip…and gossip travels.
Never, not once, in my marriage have I ever called my mom or dad to vent about a disagreement that Kaleb and I are having. Kaleb has never done this with his parents either. Why? Because eventually we talk through our feelings, work through, and get over that disagreement. But our moms are not a part of that conversation and resolution. They are left on the sidelines with harsh feelings towards our spouse. This is so dangerous and I see it so often. It’s a difficult cycle to break because now a third person is in your marriage that shouldn’t be there because you invited them.
You and your spouse are married to each other. Don’t let anyone else enter into your marriage! Your frustrations aren’t anyone else’s business. You don’t need people to take ‘your side’. Figure it out together. While you may justify your actions as “venting”, you could not be more wrong. You have just invited that person into your marriage. You are now allowing them to view your spouse in a way they should not. And if you think that this bit of information will stay between the two of you, it absolutely will not. Even if this friend does not say a word, the information will be on their face. You have placed them against your spouse and their face is going to say it all.
4. It hurts your relationship with the Father.
He answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” Matthew 19:4-6
Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands. Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. Ephesians 5:22-27
God created man and woman to be a team. He literally created the woman from man’s body. They are a part of each other. When you are not edifying your spouse, you are also speaking against the Father. How are you going to witness to a coworker when you are bashing your spouse during lunch break? How are you going to grow in any potential giftings of the Spirit when you are talking down to your spouse at home? That’s not the way that the Father loves. This love you try to portray to the community becomes invalid if the love of the Father is not evident in the home. After God, we are called to love our spouse next. Not our children, not our parents, not your Sunday School students, not your ministry, not your mission field. If any of these are before your spouse, your growth and revelation moments will be stunted. That is not something that I want to mess with.
This post is not meant to discourage or tear down anyone. I love my Father and the beautiful way that He has intended for marriage to be designed. This is a fight against the enemy for trying to infiltrate what God has created. Remember this – Satan does NOT have authority. That was taken care of on the cross. It’s what he desires more than anything and since he can’t have it, he tries to find his way into your life through darkness and sin.
I challenge you today to make it a point to only think positive thoughts about your spouse. Then tell them! Even if your first thought is, “Man, why on earth did he try to cram his garbage on top of the trashcan again!”, change it to, “Oh man, but when I ask him to take out the trash, I can’t wait to see him flex his muscles in the process.” 😉
Today, I do not leave you with a question, but a task! Affirm your spouse at least 3 times and tell me about it!