Talk Positively about Your Spouse

Have you noticed that, for the most part, people don’t speak well of their spouses? In entertainment, husbands and wives regularly make sport of each other. Marketing has fully embraced the doofy husband (the man too stupid to understand how an air freshener works but still manages to get the attractive wife).

You know what’s a great way to talk to people about Jesus? Talk positively about your spouse.

Matt Chandler made this point in his sermon, The Path 11: The Reign and Rule of God, when talking about styles of evangelism:

Now, you can live your life in such a way that people will ask questions about your faith. You absolutely can. A way to do that in the real world:

Talk positive your wife.

Talk positive about your spouse. Talk about how awesome she is.

And watch how you’ll draw a crowd. I mean, men will just flock to you. “Hey man, help me, because my girl is driving me crazy…”

And you can to talk about the grace show to you by God Almighty, and then by being a recipent of that grace enables you to give grace and then you’re off and running. So you can live your life in such a way, but you’re eventually going to have to open your mouth. You’re eventually going to have to talk about sin and the cross and our hope in Jesus Christ.

But you have to open your mouth.

So my problem with the relational evangelism method, in my experience, is that you never get around to saying anything about Jesus.

Looking at this, I can’t help but be reminded of 1 Peter 3:1-7,

Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, when they see your respectful and pure conduct. Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear—but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious. For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their own husbands, as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. And you are her children, if you do good and do not fear anything that is frightening.

Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered.

Husbands, do you make a point of speaking well of your wife? Do you treat her with delicacy both when she’s in the room and when she’s not?

Wives, do you speak well of your husband? Do you treat him with respect even when he’s a bit of a doofus?

  • Keystone

    This post is a plethora of irony to me.
    As you know, I have been back-reading, delving into older posts put out by you before I knew you existed. Among my favorites was “Everyday Theology” series.

    In one post, you wrote this:
    “For goodness’ sake, even theme song from the kid’s cartoon Arthur boldly proclaims, “You’ve got to listen to your heart [and] believe in yourself.” (My daughter loves that show, in case you were wondering.)”

    This post was on a critique of “Just Listen to Your Heart”; not a Valentine, just a glimpse into truth. Full post and all comments here:
    http://hardwords.wordpress.com/2009/08/26/everyday-theology-just-listen-to-your-heart/

    The first comment was from your wife. Her commentary surprised me about as much as a box of baking soda would be surprised at meeting a bottle of vinegar. You got blasted.

    I was unoffended by anything written above in the post, and remained in a quandry as to why your wife was upset.
    Indeed, your reference to parenting specifically referred to “My Daughter….”
    and made no reference to your wife whatsoever.

    I read the explosive volley you received publicly, and like all men, scratched my head in disbelief that what was written created such an earthquake of reply.

    But YOUR reply to your wife was nothing short of spectacular.
    You went above and beyond the call of duty in adding a disclaimer to the post to mollify any appearance of parental slacking by your wife…..a thought in her own mind alone, for it is nowhere in the post.
    “My daughter loves that show (Arthur)” was specifically related to the father, not the mother, but offense was taken nonetheless.

    Indeed, it ended the entire series Everyday Theology, to the detriment of the global readers of this site. But I seriously doubt that Jesus Christ Himself could have crafted a more appropriate response to your wife than what you wrote in reply, and what you did in the post to clarify/mollify…..what never existed anyway.
    I have no clue how I would have responded to an unfair accusation like that, but I was impressed with yours!

    The entire episode made me recall the words from the musical “Hair” and the Age of Aquarius:

    “When the moon is in the seventh house
    And jupiter aligns with mars
    The peace will guide the planets and love will steer the stars

    This is the dawning of the age of aquarius
    The age of aquarius

    Aquarius
    Aquarius

    Harmony and understanding
    Sympathy and trust abounding
    No more falsehoods or derisions
    Golden living dreams of visions
    Mystic crystals revelations
    And the minds true liberation

    Aquarius
    Aquarius

    When the moon is in the seventh house
    And jupiter aligns with mars
    Then peace will guide the planets
    And love will steer the stars”

    Your response to your wife brought peace to the planets and allowed love to steer the stars once again.

    I hope you had a decent dinner at home that night! :)

    Ps. Arthur is cool. We Christians quibble about too much nonsense…like the Barney and “gay” fiasco.

    Very cool response by you to your wife; hope you’re still married to the same gal.

    • http://hardwords.wordpress.com Aaron Armstrong

      Hey Keystone, yep, we’re still happily married (and I think dinner that night was pretty decent too!) :)

      The series is coming back! I’ve just been thinking of the appropriate topic to revisit it with. If you’ve got a suggestion, send it my way.

  • http://cleverphrasehere.blogspot.com Amber

    You know, we had a young man from Kenya stay with us for several weeks, and, completely unwittingly, we challenged him to rethink life because of the way my husband treats me–which is with open love, admiration, and respect.

    In Kenya, the man was unused to the idea that it was respectable for a man to openly show love, or even interest, and especially deference to his wife. (Not deference in bowing to me, but deference in caring for my needs.) But through it, the man says he learned more about what it meant to be a strong man, a Christian man, and like Jesus. It was quite a surprise to my husband and I that by just living our lives we had such a strong impact on someone else!

    • http://hardwords.wordpress.com Aaron Armstrong

      That is really encouraging! I’m really glad you and Mike were able to have such a profound impact on that young man. Tell him to keep up the good work :)

  • http://www.joyinthejourneyhh.blogspot.com Heather

    Great post again, Aaron.

    Back when I was a working mom, I was challenged by some wiser, more mature Christian sisters to always speak in a way that brought honor to my spouse. Best advice I ever got, which I then extrapolated to my children as well.

    On another note, how about something like this for your Everyday Theology series: “But MY God wouldn’t send anyone to hell,” or “I serve a God of love, not hate”.

    • http://hardwords.wordpress.com Aaron Armstrong

      Those are some great ideas. Very similar to something I was thinking about this morning, “God’s not angry.”

      If you have other ideas keep sending them over. :)

  • http://carrytheword.com Carry The Word

    Great post! I think in speaking positively about our spouse, it also tends to make our attitude towards them change as well. It makes us appreciate their good qualities, in the same way that focusing on our blessings makes us more grateful.

  • Keystone

    I went to 18 funerals now in 18 months…..youngest was only 22.
    Invariably, someone says “They are in a BETTER place now” as a way of grief counsel, I suppose.
    And it made me think “Does anyone go to Hell?”.
    Everyone is sure at every funeral that all are going to heaven.
    I am sure this is a surprise to the Father, who has stated different plans for many. Everyday Theology THAT!

    Also, Bruce Wilkinson’s “Prayer of Jabez” book has made many people selfish.
    “Bless me O Lord and enlarge my territory and keep me from harm”.
    ME ME ME.
    The 1 Chronicle story begins with Jabez being an honorable man and getting his request answered. Wilkinson says everyone can have that prayer answered for them too. Everyday Theology THAT!

    I am glad to see the series reapproached.
    You may want to discourse a bit on the Church. Is it people or buildings?
    “We need to plant churches” or “We need to plant campuses” is a far cry from “We need to make fishers of men and followers of Christ”.

    Glad you have the same spouse and things worked out.
    It sounds fair to me that she made a great dinner, and you offer some Bread of Life to eat. “Til death do us part” is the way to go.
    Happy Marriage!
    You may now kiss the bride, again and again!
    Everyday Theology is heard everyday, so expect more entries to ponder.