The tongue has the power of life and death
WE NEED GODLY GIRLFRIENDS
We girls love to talk with each other. We all enjoy talking about our relationships with our guys. We can derive so much strength from having the empathy of our girlfriends and from knowing that we aren’t alone in our struggles. We can find grace, forgiveness and mercy with our friends. We can be ourselves, cry, hug, laugh and feel so connected when we have our girl time. We can forge strong friendships that nurture us and empower us on life’s journey. We can find prayer partners who will support us even when times are extremely difficult and remind us to keep our eyes on Christ. But we have to choose our girlfriends SO carefully! And we have to watch our own topics of conversation… lest we fall into (cue the sinister music)… man bashing.
TALKING DISRESPECTFULLY ABOUT OUR MEN IS TOXIC FOR US AND OUR ROMANTIC RELATIONSHIPS!
Sadly, man-bashing seems to be a national pastime for many women. Whether it is an ex-husband, a soon-to-be-ex-husband, a husband, fiancé or boyfriend – we are doing A LOT of seriously disrespectful talking about our men behind their backs. This is dangerous territory!
God commands us to think on things that are positive, uplifting, holy, pure, true, noble, praiseworthy, beautiful, lovely, etc. (Philippians 4:6-8). The more we look at the good in our relationships – the more good we see. The more thankful and grateful we are, the more we see to be thankful and grateful for. Gratitude and optimism snowball and give our perspective the color of hope and faith. This changes the course of our lives!
When we dwell on things that we hate, things that are horrible, things that are annoying, aggravating, painful, hurtful, bitter, resentful we build up a huge snowballing effect of criticism, resentment, un-forgiveness, anger and we distort our perspective towards worry, fear, anger and sin! The very chemistry of our brains and bodies is affected by our outlook of faith, gratitude, love and hope or our outlook of resentment, fear and worry. Our looking at the negative in our romantic relationships dramatically affects the direction, course and destination of our souls, our lives, and our future marriages.
When I hear other women bad-mouth their husbands or men, I am encouraged to have a spirit of discontent myself. I am tempted to begin to think with a critical spirit myself. I can begin to tear down my man in my heart and build myself up with pride.
NEGATIVITY FUELS SIN
Being around other women who are bad-mouthing their men can feel therapeutic at first. It seems pretty standard these days, and normal to complain about our men. It’s actually kind of difficult to find women that praise, respect, admire and allow their guy to lead in the relationship. In fact – it’s WEIRD in our culture!
But we are contaminating our minds and our relationships when we indulge in this selfish, sinful, disrespectful (to God and to our men), resentful, bitter behavior. We are poisoning our hearts against our guys when we criticize and ridicule them to others. If things are truly that awful with him – please do some serious praying about whether this is a man to consider for marriage. If you can’t respect him now – you are going to have a MUCH harder time after you get married! YOU MUST BE ABLE TO RESPECT YOUR GUY AS IS RIGHT NOW! You can’t change him! You’ve got to appreciate the masterpiece that he is, change your attitude or move on to someone else who is more in tune with Christ.
Focusing on the negative also turns me into a bitter, angry, hateful woman who does NOT reflect Christ to the world! And a critical, negative, resentful spirit REPELS MEN!
WHAT IF HE KNEW HOW YOU REALLY FELT ABOUT HIM?
What if he heard your words? What if someone told him what you said? What then? We would destroy trust, build resentment, destroy any existing feeling in him of being respected and make him feel like a loser, a failure and like he is worthless – he may even give up trying to please us because it seems so impossible.
But even if he never hears the toxic words about himself, our attitudes will be distorted. Our unity will begin to be severed. Satan will gain a huge foothold into our souls when we entertain disrespectful, controlling, rude, ugly, hateful, disdainful words and attitudes towards our men. God will be dishonored.
I am assuming that you are with this man to prepare for marriage. In marriage, when a wife disrespects her husband, and goes around his authority over her, the “gospel of Christ is maligned” Titus 2:5. Marriage is to be a beautiful human illustration of the relationship between Christ and His church! Should the church of Jesus slander His holy Name? NEVER! Please treat your man with respect in front of other people even before you get married. If you can’t, you either need to get out of this relationship or there is a LOT of work to be done on YOUR character with the help of God’s Spirit.
WHAT IF HE REALLY IS BAD NEWS?
Check out my articles
“Choosing a Guy” http://wp.me/p2is8W-4
“Choosing a Guy Who is a Godly Leader” http://wp.me/p2is8W-d
If your man has SERIOUS unrepentant sin issues like below, these are HUGE RED FLAGS that this guy is NOT CURRENTLY DATING/COURTING/MARRIAGE MATERIAL:
- any kind of active addictions (pornography, drugs, alcohol, greed – all of these things are idolatry)
- criminal activity in the last few years (you’ll need a great deal of godly counsel about this man and you’ll need to see a long new history of good behavior (maybe 1-2+ years?).
- cruelty to people or animals
- uncontrollable temper, rage
- physical abuse
- infidelity issues
- refusal to respect your purity and sexuality and tries to get you to do things you don’t want to do, doesn’t want to wait till his wedding night to have sex of any description
- mind control/mind games – isolating you from your family and friends and slowly taking over how you dress, act, spend money and live (find godly help and get out!)
- married already (RUN AWAY NOW!)
- doesn’t take care of children he had from a previous marriage/relationship
- is not completely committed to Christ above EVERYTHING else in his life! – including YOU!
HOW TO LEARN TO RESPECT AND BUILD UP OUR MEN
I encourage you to surround yourself with women and older wives who hold themselves to a standard of high respect for their husbands. Let’s have friends we know will help us remember the positive attributes and strengths of our men when we are being tempted to feel sorry for ourselves.
I pray we will each find friends who point us to Christ and to prayer to stay the course and be faithful to God’s call for us as wives in the future. I pray that we might learn to look at our own hearts and deal with our own sin instead of pointing fingers at our men. I pray God will help us learn to directly, respectfully, humbly, gently confront sin in our men to them (Matthew 18) not to tell everyone else about it as gossip. Then, if they don’t repent, we may need to seek a godly mentor to talk and pray with. I pray that we might keep short accounts with God and others so that we can have the full power of the Holy Spirit involved in our lives and that we might not grieve God’s Spirit with an attitude of un-forgiveness and pride. I pray we might have friends who will remind us to take care of ourselves and get the rest, nutrition and fun we need to maintain proper perspective. I pray that we might be a godly example to other women in the way we speak about our guys and the way we model respect and submission (as we prepare for marriage and after marriage) – that we might honor Christ and our future husbands greatly and that we might draw people to the glorious gospel of Christ by our obedience to God’s Word as wives!
When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise. Proverbs 10:19
Like a gold ring in a pig’s snout is a beautiful woman who shows no discretion. Proverbs 11:22
The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down. Proverbs 14:1
The heart of the righteous weighs its answers, but the mouth of the wicked gushes evil. Proverbs 15:28
Pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall. Proverbs 16:18
Better a dry crust with peace and quiet than a house full of feasting with strife. Proverbs 17:1