Spewing Evil – The treacherous game of criticism in marriage

There are numerous qualities that I think comprise a servant’s heart…

Trusts the good intentions of another…
Serves without seeking praise…
Doesn’t keep a list of whose done more…
Lets go of resentments…
Seeks other’s comfort first…
Does not criticize…

When you pledge your life to another, do you think it’s going to be a bed of roses?

Well, as Gran informed me on my wedding day…
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Wedding day bliss cannot be contained but as time rolls into years and years into decades, this person we’ve promised to serve and encourage begins to dim a bit in our eyes. Eventually, we find ourselves compiling lists of their flaws, of all the things we just KNOW they need to change.

At least that is what happened to me.

But what has taken me a decade long of learning to realize, is that no amount of criticism makes any situation better.

Criticism wears a person down.
Criticism weakens my marriage.
Criticism breaks the threads of friendship we share.

While we all have areas in our life we need to improve, is criticism the best way to go about it?

Is a loving, kind, constructive word not always more readily heard than a word meant to destroy and destruct?

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Perhaps I should be focused on improving myself rather than my husband.

Jesus knew what He was talking about when he spoke of how people judge the specks in other’s rather than focus on the log’s in their own lives.

It is infinitely easier to focus on a spouse’s ‘wrongs’ and ignore my own.
Because if I focus on my own shortcomings then I actually have to work on me, be disciplined, have self control.
{All areas I sorely lack in.}

I can criticize, rant, and harp all day long.

But hold my tongue in a bout of anger?
Stay silent when I’m bursting with evil words?
Put a smile on my face and instead give LOVE abundently?

Those actions take work and seem insurmountable.

Christ reminds me though that the work is not for me to accomplish alone.
God wants me to depend on Him for the changes I long for.
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As I lean on God to sculpt my heart with gratitude and grace, I strengthen my relationship with Him.
When I remember it is not my job as a spouse to change and fix my partner, then my marriage grows stronger.

Christ, would you show us today all the wonderful ways our spouse loves us.
Give us eyes that see all their fantastic attributes.
Help us appreciate all they do as a parent, friend, and spouse.

jessica

{Written as part of my 31 Days to a Servant’s Heart series. Click here to see all post within this series.}

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