Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. – Ephesians 4:29
It doesn’t matter how fun and therapeutic Hollywood shows women who get together, over wine, and dish about their husbands is. It doesn’t matter how releasing it would feel to unload and vent to your friends about the problems in your marriage…or specifically with your husband. It does not matter how trusting the circle of friends you have is – speaking badly about your husband, dear sister in Christ, is never wise.
Let’s clarify some things before I go on:
- If a wife is being abused she needs to seek the proper channels of help, immediately.
- If a wife is being asked to sin by her husband, she does not submit to that sin, not ever.
- If a wife is in any danger, she needs to seek the proper channels of help, immediately.
Okay, so – back to gossiping about our husbands, which is exactly what it is when we VENT about him. There is a MASSIVE difference between seeking Godly counsel for yourself and how to deal with a marital situation AND sharing unkind, unflattering, unloving things about your husband to others.
Venting may make your flesh feel good and you may be grateful for any validation your friends (whatever audience is listening) gives you BUT you’re sinning to get those things. It is sin to talk badly about anyone. Gossip and improper speech are sins that too many churches don’t cover enough. They are serious. They have the ability to turn a spark into a full grown fire. Our words have the power to build or to destroy.
How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! 6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell. 7 For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, 8 but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. 9 With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. 10 From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so. 11 Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water? 12 Can a fig tree, my brothers, bear olives, or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a salt pond yield fresh water.
13 Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. 14 But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. 15 This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 16 For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. 17 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. 18 And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace. – James 3
Read that again. Do not skim it or skip it. It’s the Word of God.
How can we claim to love God and then use our words to betray Him in sin? How can we say we genuinely love our husbands if we then do not do what LOVE is.
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. – 1 Corinthians 13
A woman who is speaking badly about her husband isn’t showing patience, kindness, honor, selflessness, protection, or forgiveness. She is showing the opposite!
As Christian women, we need to be using our words to PROTECT, GUARD, and UPLIFT our husbands. Even when a woman is seeking counsel for a serious marital issue, she can share with a trusted individual(s) the circumstances without going into slanderous and venomous words.
WHO you speak to matters a great deal as well. I am thankful I have many dear friends but they aren’t ALL going to be told anything going on in my marriage. Remember, YOU are the one married to your husband. Chances are that you’ll forgive him. Your friends or family members aren’t committed the way you are and may have a harder time forgiving and forgetting (you don’t forget btw) your husband. This is another way you protect your spouse. DO NOT SHARE THINGS ABOUT HIM OR YOUR MARRIAGE with just anyone you feel close to. There needs to be GREAT wisdom and discernment carried out here.
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer. – Psalm 19:14
Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, – Colossians 3:12
There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. – Proverbs 12:18
Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits. – Proverbs 18:21
The Lord even commands us to love our enemies, how much more should you show love to your SPOUSE!
But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. – Luke 6:35
NEVER TALK BADLY ABOUT YOUR MARRIAGE OR YOUR HUSBAND TO ANOTHER MAN
I have to address this. Ladies, this is one of the most foolish things you could ever do. Talking badly about your marriage and your husband to another man (not your dad) is like putting bait on a fishing pole for satan and sitting pretty, just waiting for him to attack your line. YOU’RE ASKING FOR SATAN TO CATCH YOU.
This kind of foolishness opens doors to emotional/physical affairs. DO NOT DO IT.
If you need true Godly counsel/advice/encouragement/prayer – tell a trusted GODLY woman. If you need to go to your Pastor then be sure there is a 3rd party involved: an elder, his wife, one of your trusted Godly friends. SOMEONE ELSE. I wish I could say with complete certainty that no pastors are ever swept up in inappropriate relationships but that’s not the case. It is wise accountability for ALL involved.
THE PURPOSE IN ANY SHARING SHOULD BE TO HELP INCREASE RIGHTEOUSNESS IN YOUR OWN BEHAVIOR
Outside of seeking counsel for an abusive type situation, where the authorities need to be involved – for the safety and protection of all those involved…
The purpose of sharing hard things about your marriage/husband should be to ultimately get encouragement and counsel for YOURSELF.
When I have had an issue with Jacob, I am so grateful for a specific sister in Christ who reminds me to stop focusing on my own feelings and start loving Jacob Biblically. Does my flesh like hearing that? NO! I want to hear that I am right and Jacob is wrong! But a Godly woman, a friend, will point you to the WORD – to see your own reflection first!
How can YOU handle the situation in true Biblical love? Is there anything sinful YOU need to repent of? How can YOU show grace and patience in the situation? What is God maturing in YOU by going through this situation? Are YOU praying for your spouse? Can your prayer and encouragement for him increase?
You’re not responsible for your husband’s sins, though I will say a wicked woman plays her part. God will deal with your husband’s heart. We need to be sure we’re dealing with our own hearts, with the help of the Spirit, to reveal to us any sin or shortcomings in ourselves.
TWO SINS DON’T MAKE A RIGHTEOUS MARRIAGE
If your husband is sinning and then you go sin by talking badly about him, what good is that doing? It’s ADDING to the problem. WE must obey the Lord and trust Him in our marriages – in all areas of our lives. HE IS SOVEREIGN. WE ARE NOT.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. – Proverbs 3:5-6
IN ALL YOUR WAYS ACKNOWLEDGE CHRIST.
Hear me, Lord, my plea is just;
listen to my cry.
Hear my prayer—
it does not rise from deceitful lips.
2 Let my vindication come from you;
may your eyes see what is right.
3 Though you probe my heart,
though you examine me at night and test me,
you will find that I have planned no evil;
my mouth has not transgressed.
4 Though people tried to bribe me,
I have kept myself from the ways of the violent
through what your lips have commanded.
5 My steps have held to your paths;
my feet have not stumbled.
6 I call on you, my God, for you will answer me;
turn your ear to me and hear my prayer.
7 Show me the wonders of your great love,
you who save by your right hand
those who take refuge in you from their foes.
8 Keep me as the apple of your eye;
hide me in the shadow of your wings
9 from the wicked who are out to destroy me,
from my mortal enemies who surround me.
10 They close up their callous hearts,
and their mouths speak with arrogance.
11 They have tracked me down, they now surround me,
with eyes alert, to throw me to the ground.
12 They are like a lion hungry for prey,
like a fierce lion crouching in cover.
13 Rise up, Lord, confront them, bring them down;
with your sword rescue me from the wicked.
14 By your hand save me from such people, Lord,
from those of this world whose reward is in this life.
May what you have stored up for the wicked fill their bellies;
may their children gorge themselves on it,
and may there be leftovers for their little ones.
15 As for me, I will be vindicated and will see your face;
when I awake, I will be satisfied with seeing your likeness. – PSALM 17
HAVE YOU GONE TO GOD FIRST?
It’s easy to just run to a friend or family member before EVER going to prayer and the Word. I know that if we went to God first, we may not have anything to go share with others because God will use His Word to correct any wrong behavior/intentions in us.
GO TO CHRIST. SEEK HIM FIRST. Pray about talking to someone else before you ever do.
HAVE YOU SPOKEN TO YOUR HUSBAND?
Have you given your husband an opportunity to repent or explain his behavior? Are you going over his headship to seek help from someone else, when you should be going to him?
See Matthew 18.
Again, PRAY about this. Seek Christ.
IN CONCLUSION, WE SHOULD USE OUR WORDS FOR SANCTIFICATION PURPOSES
We should be more willing and eager to get with our lady friends and speak KINDLY about our husbands, not to brag or boast but to show them HONOR. We should have their best interest at heart. We should use our words to PROTECT them.
8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. – Philippians 4:8
A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. – Proverbs 15:1
Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body. – Proverbs 16:24