Thursday, February 27, 2014

How To Destroy Your Husband - Step #1

WARNING: This blog post is written from a biblical perspective. If you do not agree with the biblical view of marriage, this post may be hard to handle. But read it anyway. You never know what you might learn. :)

Before I start this post, let me just say that I hope you understand that the title is sarcastic. - At least, its partly sarcastic. I don't want to teach anyone how to destroy their husband. I'd rather help you learn how to build them up! We're systematically destroying and defeating our husbands, and many of us don't even realize it. That's why I decided to write this series - in the hopes that it will help you with your marriage - and me with mine!

Let me also say that I am FAR from perfect in this area. Far. FAR. F.A.R. I mess up in this area ALL the time. In fact, I've fallen short several times while writing this series - and I'm only on Step One! I confess all of this so that you will hopefully realize that these posts come from the heart.  So let me give you some "Easy Ways To Destroy Your Husband" -
Step #1: Criticize him publicly -
There are plenty of ways to do this and ALL of them are wrong. Let's face it, no one likes to be criticized in public. Why oh why would we want to subject the person that we are "supposed" to love more than any other human to public criticism? Here are some all too familiar ways that public criticism rears its ugly head...

A.) On Social Media -
I'm a BIG fan of social media. I love Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc! They are great ways to keep up with family, catch up with old friends, and even make new ones! But one danger of social media is the disconnect. Because we can't "see" the people we're talking to - or about - we tend to feel less of a sense of responsibility for what we say. And that leads to mouths that open - and fingers that type - when they shouldn't. I've seen FAR too many wives criticize their husbands on Facebook or Twitter. Some criticisms seem small - like the wife that complains that her husband never does the dishes. Others seem HUGE - like the wife that complains about the financial trouble that her husband has "gotten them into" - going as far as to divulge specific amounts of money! How hurtful!

#Facebook --- Seriously people stop being serial posters...

Please, please, PLEASE think before you post something on Facebook! If the comment or status is in ANY WAY an insult to or a complaint about your husband DON'T POST IT. Its not kind. Its not loving. And its not helpful! I've seen women post complaints or "rants" about their husband on Facebook when he is one of their Facebook friends! Wow! What it must feel like to see your shortcomings in writing - for all of your friends and family to see! I've seen women "unfriend" someone on Facebook for criticizing their parenting or their personal choices, etc. If we can get that offended by what an acquaintance says, then WHY would we do the same thing to our husbands??? Dear wife, how would you feel if your husband posted every annoying thing you do or every shortcoming you have on Facebook? Would you feel cherished? I doubt it!

Dirty laundry goes in a basket, not on Facebook. #advice

And for those of you who have husbands who aren't on Facebook, you're not off the hook either! Even if none of your mutual friends tell him what you've said - which is HIGHLY unlikely - you have tainted your husbands reputation in front of everyone. You've dragged him down secretly, without giving him a chance to defend himself. And by the way, you've also tarnished your own reputation. TRUST ME. When you tear down your husband in public, you come out looking petty, contentious, and, well, like a lousy wife.

B.) In Public -
Facebook and Twitter aren't the only ways we can disrespect our husband's publicly. We can do it face-to-face! How do you speak to your husband at church? How do you speak to him when you are at a restaurant or a store? Do you let him lead? Do you question EVERY decision he makes? Do you raise your voice to him? Do you roll your eyes at him? Do you sigh loudly when he says or does something that annoys you? Every one of those things is like a dagger piercing his "prince charming armor." Every one of those things makes him feel just a little less important. Every one of those things makes him feel less like doing anything to earn respect. After all, what's the point?

Be careful how you treat your husband in public. Its extremely hurtful and disrespectful to criticize your husband where others can hear. If you have a genuine - GENUINE, not petty - criticism that you feel will help your husband, save that for the privacy of your own home. Not only will you be demonstrating respect by handling those things privately, but your husband will be much more likely to respond favorably to a private criticism than he would a public one.

C.) In front of his children -
Dear wife, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE never criticize your husband in front of your children. Remember, the Lord has placed your husband as the leader of your family. And YOU accepted his role as leader when you agreed to marry him. Don't criticize or question your husband in front of your kids. If you do, you will be doing ENORMOUS damage to your marriage relationship. Your husband will begin to think that its "you and the kids" against him. That's no way to live. Its not productive. It undermines his authority and causes chaos to reign in the home.

Criticizing your husband in front of the kids is not only harmful to your husband, but it does GREAT DAMAGE to your children as well. Firstly, it cause instability in the home, chaos - as I mentioned before. It causes confusion. Your children will begin to question God's word and the structure He has laid out for the family. It will also undermine your child's ability to build and maintain a stable family of their own when they are grown. Boys raised in homes where the father is always criticized will have difficulty leading their own families. And girls that grow up that way will have difficulty submitting to their own husband's authority. Let's demonstrate healthy family dynamics so that are kids will have less struggles when they begin their own families!

4.) In front of your family and friends. -
I can remember very clearly a conversation I had with my sister many years ago. At the time, I was dating the man who would later become my husband. We had had a HUGE fight. (I know it was huge because I cried all night. I can't for the life of me, however, remember what we were fighting about. LOL!) I called my sister to ask her advice about the argument - and to rant a little about how angry I was at him - and she gave me a piece of advice that our maternal grandmother had once given her. "Don't tell Mama about when you fight with your husband - because you will forgive him and move on, but your mama will NEVER forget." What great advice!

Now, I'm not telling you to keep everything from your parents. There are times when you should speak to them about issues. And, if you parents are believers, you may want to go to them for Godly council. But think VERY CAREFULLY before picking up that phone to call. Are you arguing over something silly? Did your husband say something he shouldn't have? Are you calling to genuinely ask for council, or are you calling to tell your parents "what a jerk" your husband has been? Think carefully before you "tattle" to your parents. After all, you may forgive him, but your parents will remember. It will color their opinion of him forever. Oh! And during that argument, did you say things to him that you shouldn't have said? Are you as quick to tell those things to your parents? We have a tendency to skew things when we re-tell the story of an argument. We often emphasize the other person's wrongdoing and leave out much of our own. How fair is that?

The point is, THINK before you run to your parents, your siblings, or your friends every time you and your husband disagree. THINK before you criticize your husband in front of your family and friends. Once you've said it, they won't forget it.

Lastly, I've often heard women say, "I'll show my husband respect when he earns it." It seems like a harmless statement - maybe even logical - but its not. Imagine if your husband only loved you when you "earned it?" Imagine if he was only kind and loving when the house was in perfect order, when you were dressed nicely and wearing makeup, and when a delicious meal was on the table? It would be devastating. We expect our husbands to love us when we are unlovable - when we're sick, when we're cranky, when we're lazy. In fact, the more they love us in those "unlovable times," the more we are spurred to act lovable. The same goes for men. The more we show them respect, the more they are spurred on to act in a respectable manner. And when we don't show them respect, they feel less motivation to earn it. Our husbands thrive on respect. It grows them. It moves them. It motivates them. When we criticize them in public, it stops them dead in their tracks. There's not much left for a man whose wife not only doesn't respect him, but she lets everyone know it.

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