Note: Today’s post on how to love and edify your spouse was originally a part of my Watch Your Mouth Family Challenge.
If I am following someone on social media who starts to tear their spouse down, says they are angry, talks about when their spouse does something dumb or that they don’t like, I will unfollow them immediately. This happens way more often than it should!! I don’t have time for that negativity…and you shouldn’t either.
If you feed your spouse negativity and venom and you call them out in public…they are not going to respond with kindness and love.
Let me also clarify that I’m not saying this like Barry (my husband) is my child. I would never mean to imply that you treat your spouse like a child. It’s not a quid pro quo – if I’m nice to him, he’ll do something nice to me. I am saying that if (and when!) Barry does something that ticks me off, I will NEVER get on social media and talk about it OR talk about it to friends. We’re married and live in the same house – conflict is going to happen. But if I get on social media and talk about him, is he going to be the best husband the next day? Or if I chew him out in front of friends, family, etc., is he going to want to be all, “I’m so thankful for Stacy and how she chews me out.” NO!
You need to work out your differences in private and edify your spouse when people are watching.
What does it even mean to edify them? You have to treat them with respect, honor them, and lift them up. You choose to share their strengths, their skills, and the things they do well or help with. Intentionally BUILD them up in front of your family and friends. Let’s say your husband doesn’t always remember to replace the empty toilet paper roll. You could get on social media and bash him for not remembering to do it. Or you could get on social media and say, I love how my husband does the dirty job of taking out the trash! Build them up – edify your spouse, instead of tearing them down! I promise, it not only makes them feel good – it makes YOU feel good.
Edifying our spouse makes them feel more loved.
This doesn’t mean you should be fake or say things that aren’t true. You don’t want to make your social media seem like your life is perfect and everything goes without a hitch. My marriage with Barry is not perfect. I think I had a tiff with Barry already this morning. But I choose to focus on the positive things. You don’t have to have a perfect relationship or a perfect life to edify and encourage your spouse. It makes me feel so special when Barry brags on me in front of others. I want my husband to feel that good about himself too – because I think he’s pretty awesome.
You should also always edify your spouse in front of your children.
I never say don’t fight in front of your children. If you have a huge disagreement you should definitely take it somewhere else! But a lot of times, we get in a small tiff in front of the kids and we work through it while they are present. If it’s an issue that is more adult in nature, we definitely will leave the room and work it out. Your kids are watching! And they WILL base their life behaviors on what they see at home. If they see you belittling each other – that will make a lasting impression in their minds. But if they see you and your spouse work together in love, enjoying family devotions together, showing affection and tenderness for each other, they will learn from that too!
Change your attitude!
Start focusing on your spouse’s positive traits, like the ways they love you and treat you with kindness, the ways they provide for your family, etc. I promise this will make those negatives and pet peeves slowly start to bother you less and less. Build them up in public – over and over again. When you get agitated – which is going to happen! – try to edify your spouse and see if it changes your perspective. I bet you’ll be surprised.