Proverbs 16 is full of more wisdom than I can share in one post so I hope you'll take a few minutes to prayerfully read through that chapter on your own to see what God wants to show you from His Word. Today, however, I'll be focusing on two verses that stood out above the rest when it comes to my role as a wife.
"Unfailing love and faithfulness cover sin" and "Gossip separates the best of friends"
Proverbs 16:6a, 28b
It's inevitable that we will have to deal with our spouses sinning against us. And us against them. It's what makes marriage so difficult at times, but it also provides an opportunity for us to love our spouse the way Christ loves us.
A passage of Scripture that should guide our principles of love is Matthew 5:44-47.
Jesus says, "Love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. ...If you love only those who love you, what good is that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that."
While there are bumps in the road, I would imagine that many of us are in a loving relationship with our husband.
That doesn't mean that our spouse always makes the most loving choice towards us.
It is in those difficult times that we are tempted to lash out in anger or give the silent treatment depending on which type of personality we have. And yet, Proverbs says, "unfailing love and faithfulness cover sin." This goes hand in hand with the passage in Matthew that in essence says, big deal if you show love to those who love you back. The real test of Christ-like love is when you love those who don't love you back.
The guiding principle for our marriages should be choosing love and faithfulness even when sinned against, rather than an, "I'm only going to show love to you if you show love to me" type attitude.
The second proverb that spoke to my heart follows on the tails of those times when we are sinned against. "Gossip separates the best of friends."
When marital troubles come, (because they will) do we go to our best friend, sister or mom to immediately start sharing all the ways our husband has sinned against us?
I am not referring to abusive relationships and there are definitely times when we need counsel. I'm talking specifically about gossiping about our husband's sin just because we feel justified in complaining about him.
If you're not sure the difference between seeking godly counsel and gossip, you can ask yourself a few questions.
1. Am I talking to this person because I am angry with my husband and want to justify myself?
2. Am I talking to a godly person about this situation who can give me godly counsel?
3. Is it something I need to address with my husband first before I go to others? Scripture clearly states that when we have been offended, we need to go to the one that has offended us to clear up the issue. If that doesn't work, we're free to have someone else help us biblically deal with the situation.
As wives, we need to protect the reputation of our husband.
He should be our dearest and closest friend and it's not loving or godly to air his faults to our friends or family.
Take a moment to ask yourself if you need to change in this area. Evaluate your conversations with others about your husband. If there are changes that need to be made, ask God for help to do so, and be sure to ask those friends to forgive you for speaking unkindly about your husband. Doing this extra step will hopefully help stop us from talking unnecessarily the next time the temptation arises.
Today's Challenge Is This: Let Love and Faithfulness Guide My Speech and My Actions
Join me tomorrow as we study Proverbs chapter 17. Just getting started on the series? Catch up with all the posts on my landing page between now and October 31.
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