Our words matter.
Sometimes we can be nice to strangers but unkind to those closest to us. Why? I think it’s because we spend a lot of time together with our family and friends and we’re bound to rub each other the wrong way.
We need to have a positive perspective so we can turn bothers into blessings, moments of irritation into decisions defined by grace. So the next time you’re tempted to complain, tell yourself, “I’m going to turn this bother into a blessing!” You can change your internal script and…
Recognize you don’t speak perfectly all the time either. Whenever I’m irritated by something my husband James says, I try to remind myself of the many times I say things to him that feel disrespectful or burden him unnecessarily. It really helps to realize that just as I need grace for when I say the wrong thing at the wrong time, I can extend grace when someone says the wrong thing at the wrong time to me.
Confess complaining as a sin. I know that may sound harsh, but complaining is a serious problem in God’s book. Grumbling literally became a death sentence for the people of Israel. They grumbled about what they would drink (Exodus 15:24, 17:3), about what they would eat (Exodus 16:3), and about dying in the wilderness (Numbers 14:2).
The Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “How long will this wicked community grumble against me? I have heard the complaints of these grumbling Israelites. So tell them, ‘As surely as I live, declares the Lord, I will do to you the very thing I heard you say: In this wilderness your bodies will fall -- every one of you twenty years old or more who was counted in the census and who has grumbled against me'” (Numbers 14:26-29). When you catch yourself grumbling, ask God for forgiveness.
Talk your husband up. Instead of tearing your hubby (or child) down in public or in private, talk him up. Don’t rehearse his faults. Rehearse his strong suits. It’s toxic when women get together in a complain fest saying things like, “Oh, you think that’s bad. My husband forgot our anniversary…” “Oh, that’s nothing…wait until you hear THIS story…” Don’t contribute to these conversations and don’t be afraid to walk away from a conversation that is bitter and negative.
Rejoice because you have a loved one. I recently went to my 30th high school reunion and homecoming game. Two of my friends are widows. They don’t have the opportunity to talk with their spouses anymore. You can only imagine how these dear women miss their husbands. We must say thank you for every single day we have with our husband and children. When we have this perspective of gratitude, it changes everything. The little irritations don’t get blown up into mega-sized proportions. They get shrunk back to insignificant.
In a marriage, when you choose to thank God for your husband daily, there will be no room for grumbling. You will overlook those little things that used to bother you, choosing to hone in on the many things you are thankful for. A grateful heart, unlike the grumbling heart, welcomes God’s presence in your home, turning your wilderness into a spring of life. Zig Ziglar said it so well, “The more you are grateful for what you have the more you will have to be grateful for.”