When Mary and I were in the “young love” stage of our marriage we spent a good deal of time with friends who had been married for a few more years than us. While they were a nice couple and we got along well, they tended to put down each other in casual conversation. Sometimes the comments were told in a “teasing” manner, but other times it was quite clear that they weren’t kidding around. At one point I worked up the nerve to mention my concern to my friend. His response was that there was nothing to worry about and that was “just how our relationship is,” which indicated to me that he wanted the conversation to end.
For many couples, speaking back and forth to each other in snide remarks and biting jokes is a regular part of their marriage. They don’t enjoy it necessarily, but it is “just how their relationship is.”
But it’s not how God wants our relationship with our spouse to be.
I have a sarcastic sense of humor, and Mary and I can have fun teasing one another about our respective quirks. One thing that I have worked hard at doing, however, is avoiding teasing her or negatively comparing her to others in public. Speaking positively about our spouse in public is a big part of being on the same side, one of the love languages that we need to speak to partner. Most married couples would say that they see their marriage as a partnership or a team, but sometimes they act as if they are anything but that.
Being on the same side involves expressing loyalty and faithfulness to your spouse. While it doesn’t mean we have to agree with them on every detail large and small, it does mean that we are constantly offering our support and affirmation to them. This support also means that there will be times that we need to “protect” them. Not because they are helpless, but because others are asking too much of them. We need to protect them from over committing themselves, for example. We need to help them guard their schedule. Sometimes we need to protect them from those they cannot say “no” to, such as our kids or our parents.
There are many examples in the Bible of one spouse demonstrating their loyalty to the other. The story of Noah and his wife is one example (has any spouse ever demonstrated a “we are in this together” attitude more than Noah’s wife?), and Moses and Zipporah are another.
It seems like it is human nature to compare our situations in life with those of others. If you find yourself in a conversation where a group of people are comparing spouses (you know the ones, they usually contain phrases like “you think that’s bad, well my wife...” or “I just wish my husband could be more like…”) refrain from joining in and gently steer the discussion to another subject. It’s one of the most visible demonstrations of love for your spouse that you can make!
Here’s what’s happening:
1. Choir Rehearsals start on Monday, February 18 at 7pm.
2. I am still looking for a few folks to be a part of a new prayer team that I would like to start. Commitment would involve being willing to occasionally pray with someone after a Sunday morning worship service. If you might be interested in learning more about it see me on Sunday.
3. Bob Rollman is celebrating his 90th birthday on 2/13. The family is hoping to bless him with a birthday card shower. Cards can be sent to Robert Rollman c/o Diane Brubaker 336 Lincoln Ave Ephrata Pa 17522.
As I mentioned this past Sunday, this week we are taking our second “detour” from our sermon series on the 12 disciples. Don’t worry, after this Sunday we’ll be with The Twelve though Easter! We will be focusing on marriage this week, specifically communication within marriages. It should be a fun morning! I would encourage you to invite folks to join us for some practical teaching from the Scriptures on how God wants us to communicate with our spouse. And if you are single, this Sunday is still for you…these principles apply to all of our relationships!