Virtuous Conversation

“The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil.”
Proverbs 31:11

What does it mean to have the heart of your husband safely trusting in you?  There are several ways we can spoil his trust and confidence in us by our…

  • Conduct
  • Conversation
  • Commitment

This week I will share about…
Virtuous Conversation
Can our husband safely trust in our conversation?  When he is gone will he wonder what you are saying about your private life or about him?

Back Biting
Talking bad about our husband to others can spoil his reputation among the brethren.  When a wife does not get her way, telling other sisters about how unreasonable or controlling her husband is can make her feel better for a moment but it will spoil his good name.

I have had a couple sisters in Christ that have continually cried to me about how horrible their husbands were to them.  One wife would call me in desperation telling me that she could not take his controlling nature any longer.  She felt she was not allowed to go anywhere or do anything but serve him.  It did not matter that she had talents and dreams, she was forced to set her life aside to be at his beck and call.  I listened, I cried with her, and I began to despise her husband.  There were times I would get so angry for how poorly she was being treated that I would tell her to leave him.  Wow.  I know now that I was wrong to feed into her back biting as I did.  The right thing would have been to have a meeting with her and her husband along with my husband and I.  Her husband deserved his day in court.  He had no voice and I did not get to hear his heart as I judged him and condemned him.

The poor conversation pulled me into relating situations in my own marriage that I was not happy with so we began to co-miserate.  Our husbands brought before the slaughter of our words.  Every time I would be around her husband I would think he was such a jerk even though he would be so kind to our family.

Years later, I saw myself as a wretched wife.  I would see how trust worthy my husband was, how he would never go around telling people about how nasty I was to him.  He did not tell people when I would slam a door in his face or tell him that I was leaving him when I did not get my way.  I could act like a total unreasonable jerk to him and trust that my good name would not be smeared.  No one wants other people to know what happens behind closed doors.  Even the people who have a great measure of self-control, can act nasty in their own seething, quiet way and would not want others to find out about it.  From then on, I knew it would spoil the trust we had in each other.   I stopped my slanderous tongue against my dear husband.

When another wife came to me about her troubles with her unreasonable husband, I did not cater.  I did not feel sorry for her.  I saw my own past ugliness in her every word.  When you know there are husbands out there that beat their wives, molest their children, commit adultery, watch porn, or are addicted to alcohol/drugs.  What a blessing it is to be married to an honorable man who may be stern and controlling but only wants to protect his family.  He is generally like that because he feels a grave responsibility to the Lord for his children.  This husband carries a heavy weight in his heart, making sure he provides the resources and protection that his family needs.

And then his wife goes around telling people all that he says behind closed doors in order to vent, instead of trusting the Lord to give her the grace to endure.  When you put it into perspective, the beaten wife of a perverted husband would simply give anything to have such a protective man who she can trust.  It is all in your perspective.  I have learned not to tolerate this behavior.  It is hard for me to not comfort and allow her that venting, but I know it is one sided and it spoils the trust that he may have in her.  If she were actually in a dangerous or abusive situation, I would have called the police and had him arrested.  I do not mess around with things like that since I was abused myself.  If you are in an abusive situation, I would suggest the same.  It is a sin to enable such abuse to continue.  In this woman’s situation, she was simply not happy because her husband was being harsh and unkind towards her.  She feels unappreciated and overlooked.  A typical “Me Monster” situation.

What can an unhappy wife do to keep her conversation pure?

  • She can pray. 
  • Try to treat her husband the way she would wish to be treated in all areas of life.  
  • Make a practice of writing down all the wonderful things about her husband.  
  • If she is faced with an opportunity to talk bad about her husband: stop talking, pray, and change the subject.  
  • Say something kind about her husband every opportunity she gets in public.  It is better they think he is her hero for his protective ways than for him to be known as a tyrant.

 

TMI (Too Much Information)
Are you telling intimate details of your married life?  Can your husband trust in what you are telling others about his private life?  His finances?  This has caused my husband more frustration than almost anything else I have ever done.  I tell people too much information.  Recently, when my husband was having an ailment, I asked him why he did not tell me he was suffering for so long.  He said that he was afraid to tell me because he thought I might broadcast such a thing.  I had a terrible habit of just saying whatever came to my little mind.  Sometimes he would just shake his head in disbelief that I actually said a certain thing.  He did not trust my mouth at all.  He knew it was an untamed thing and could burst forth with just about anything at anytime.  It takes years to regain the confidence and trust in a person once it has been lost.  I told him that I would never tell people about his personal issues and that it has literally been years since I have done such a thing.  He looked back and me and said that I had been doing much better in recent years. My training sessions…

When I used to get around other people, I would become nervous if there was a space of time that no one was talking.  I felt it was my God given responsibility to fill that void.  Then the floodgates would open and I would tell all.

To train me, he would have a slip of paper in his pocket that he wrote TMI on.  When we would be in a situation where I was talking and I started to give out too much information about private things such as our finances or other personal issues, he would flash that piece of paper in my direction.  Even when I was on the phone he would pass by with that paper as a gentle reminder.  That really worked for me.  I wanted my husband to trust me again, so I really appreciated how he helped me overcome.

My husband showed me these bible verses,

Proverbs 21:23-Whoso keepeth his mouth and his tongue keepeth his soul from troubles.

Matthew 12:36 – But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.

Psalms 19:14 – Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.

Ephesians 4:29 – Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.

James 1:19 -Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:

He did not show me these verses because he felt he was better than me, he showed me these verses based on his deep love for me and concern for my witness to others.

I can see so much wisdom in his lack of words.  My many words have gotten me into worlds of troubles throughout my life.  I see this now, but there was a time that I was not so appreciative.  The one thing that has driven me the most mad in our marriage in the past is how little he talks has become the best thing for me.  I simply could not understand why he had almost nothing to say.  What was he thinking?  Was he thinking at all?  On the flip side he once told me how much he loves to hear me talk to him.  On long rides listening to all my stories, he actually enjoys my many words and feels empty if I stop talking to him.  One day he said to me after I wondered why he did not talk very much,

“You are like a babbling brook.  Your voice is a comfort rolling over me.  I am a deep well.  It takes a lot of effort to draw the water up.  It only gets drawn up when there is a need.” 


Amazing.  I love how his few words carry the meaning of my thousands. 

I have learned that the freshest water comes from the deepest wells within the Earth.  Everyone knows it is unsafe to drink out of a stream unless it is flowing from a fresh spring.  You can see how clean it is by the clarity of the water.  If it is clear and cool, you know it is spring fed and you can trust in it.  The spring of life is Christ.  If you are tapped into Him, pure words flow from your heart.  Lord, please let our conversation be pure and undefiled.  Let our words be healing and edifying to our husbands so that his heart can safely trust in us.

33 thoughts on “Virtuous Conversation

  1. T-riffic post!!!! And FULL of truth. I learned my lesson the hard way and it actually caused a riff in my family where my husband wouldn’t have ANYTHING to do with my parents for 2 years. We need to teach our young girls this before they get married! But most of all, they need to see their Mom’s model this behavior.

  2. Thanks for teaching other women this issue!!! Its sad to see husbands tore down, However , Its also sad that todays husbands are not always there for their wife and they feel the need to rant . Its a complex situation to be in.

    • “today’s husbands”? Husbands have never been perfect, and every marriage is a “complex situation”. We as wives need to learn to submit, not to suffer; to honour him, not to hate him. We can walk on the water when we fix our eyes on Jesus! We can overcome our feelings and thoughts in His Name. Thank you, Erin for this reminder, I need it.

  3. I recently talked to a woman who,quite frankly would make a pest of herself by banging on my door and forcing her way into my house and demanding sympathy because of her ‘controlling’ husband. She was a train wreck. I would send my children outside to play, (i had 7 at the time and heavily pregnant with my 8th) she smeared her husbands name like crazy. I sent up many a flare prayer. I would talk the matter over with my husband and asked for advice. We concluded she was known for depression and excuse making. And for her me monster attitude. I encouraged her to stay with her husband, pray for him, lift him up in her conversation, and read Gods word and know what her biblical role is in marriage and as a woman. And pray for herself as well.
    We also let her husband know we supported him. (Only if we checked out the validity of the wifes claims) but nonetheless we could see the devestating affect words can have. Her husband apparently encouraged her to seek my advice because he said he knew i wouldnt tell her to leave him,and would offer Godly advice. Wow! I am flattered but i wouldnt of necessarily said that of myself! Thankyou for another wonderful wise post!

  4. After 53 years of marriage I have never found it necessary to go to someone to vent any feelings about my husband or any faults he may have, my recipe is pray for help, quite yourself down and think about what ever it is bothering you and then pretend you are someone else and try to look at the situation from another direction most of the time there is a clue in your thoughts that will give you a direction.
    As a young bride my husband and I had a secret not a big deal to me but to my Mother when she found out several years later it broke my heart that she could come down on my husband with, not the words of praise, she had used in the past for him but with negative ones because he was Native American. What a strange thing for her to feel, before she knew he was a great husband afterwards he was a piece of trash. How and why are people like that, years later one of my sisters told my husband that I was the lucky one of the family; go figure.

  5. Erin, I don’t know how old you are, but I have a feeling I’m quite a bit older than you. I am JUST in the last few years starting to realize all that you said. I think I was your clone when I was younger. You are so very blessed with Wisdom. Thank you for your honesty.

  6. While I think the overall message of this post is accurate and necessary, I do not agree with many things you mentioned in this article.
    I make it a habit not to talk ill of my husband, because I would not want him to talk ill of me. This is definitely something that we should each practice. In general, disagreements in a marriage can rarely be blamed on one person alone, and hearing only one side of the story is often not fair.
    However, I’m pretty sure that a husband is not to be “harsh and unkind” – and that we as wives are not meant to “endure”.
    Of course marriage is not perfect and certainly is not always easy, and there are definitely difficult times through which you must push through. These difficult seasons occur for us in many aspects of life, including our relationships with our spouses. That being said, if my husband was repeatedly treating me poorly to the point where I felt that I was always “enduring”, I would absolutely turn to someone for assistance and would hope that they would be willing to provide that help. This may mean turning to a friend, counsellor, another couple. Now should they spur me on in talking badly about my husband? Probably not. But should they listen, provide advice, and encourage? Yes. Should they empathize? Certainly.
    Just because we are women does not mean that we need to accept whatever our husband serves. It also does not mean that your husband is always right. As someone who has also been abused, I assure you that this is how abuse goes unnoticed and unreported.
    Don’t be afraid to speak up.

    • I see where you are coming from Evelyn, but in my seven years of being a Pastor’s wife, let me tell you one thing, if I may. There are so many women who want to rant and rave about their husbands but don’t really want true help from the Lord. I see a big difference here. The author here isn’t accepting of abuse of any kind, she is simply stating an opinion about gossipers, whiners, complainers etc. You get the picture. If the husband is verbally, physically or emotionally abusive to the point that it is causing mental breakdowns and physical pain, the abused shouldn’t be “complaining” to another house wife. Get REAL help. Call the right people who can actually help the situation. Too many times as she has mentioned, they only want to rant and vent because they’re not getting THEIR way and are behaving as spoiled children. This is completely different than being truly abused. I know. I’ve been with people who have been truly abused. And I’ve also listened to whiners. Who didn’t want help.

      • Thank you so much for sharing your experience and also for clarifying my intentions. I truly appreciate that you understood what I meant. Thanks for sharing.

    • Thanks Evelyn for your great perspective. I agree that if a woman is being verbally abused, truly abused and cast aside in an emotionally destructive manner, she should seek professional help-that is true. I Should have clarified a bit more. The point I was trying to convey is the complaining and whining and back biting that women get involved with which is not productive for their relationship nor for his reputation. Thanks for taking the time to share your heart. I truly appreciate your thoughts. It helps me make my future posts a little more comprehensive:)

      • Hi Erin! Our 5 kids love your videos, and we’re hoping to buy 25 acres soon, so they’re really inspiring us. :o) That being said, I just want to thank you for your honesty. You seem so perfect on the movies, that reality is very refreshing. :o) I tend to be silent when I’m angry, so my husband doesn’t notice I’m seething, but that’s not a blessing to our relationship, either. Evelyn, I agree with you, that a woman ought to bless her husband by being upfront and frank about his behavior (in a gentle, kind way so that he isn’t offended if it can be helped) if he’s upsettng her. Usually, they don’t see themselves, and they don’t realize how they come across. I don’t think enduring is healthy for anyone, if it means never responding to the problem, but enduring IS healthy, if it means waiting for the Lord’s direction to show you how to love your husband into goodness (and sometimes loving someone means being brutally honest in a loving way, such as, “When you talk to me like that, I feel like dirt.”) I only say this, because I think the path we all need to tread is not over- or under-reacting, but addressing our husbands faults in the way we would like our faults addressed. And Erin, I agree, it’s a wonderful thing to have a patient, trustworthy husband. :o)

      • Thanks Michelle. That is a great point. I totally agree. The way I deal with situations that come up within my relationship is head on. I tell my dear husband what I am thinking or feeling, we have a really open, honest, REAL type of relationship. If I ever feel like he is being short, I simply say “You sound a bit frustrated with me, can you please tell me what is going on.” He will then tell me what he is thinking and we work things out. If he is downright rude in some way, which is hardly ever, I tell him he is being rude and I do not appreciate his tone. He always says, “Oh, I am sorry, I should have been a bit more gentle.” We have an amazing way of communicating. To women that have a grumpy husband who is not responsive, I would be more of the type to keep insisting upon working it out. I would not go and talk to others, I would keep on pressing until we talked things out.

  7. Thank you for this article. I was in the same kind of relationship where my husband was the one telling what went on behind closed doors in his version. He was a very abusive man, controlling and hated women. I spent years in this marriage and decided to end it. I left we divorced and later all the people he went to for the past 10yrs came to me and let me know what had be said. These folks were from our church, the same one I worked so diligently for the Lord. I was devastated. You are so right in it ruins relationships and marriages. Women need to have their eyes opened. 10yrs later i have remarried to a very faithful man of God! I am so truly blessed.

  8. Hi, i was just wondering if something that a husband is doing is bothering a woman and she knows that her husband will probably be offended if she tells him no matter how gentle she tries to tell him, should she remain quiet in order to keep the peace.

    • If it is something sinful, no. That is actually, ultimately hurtful to everyone because you will become embittered against him and God. We must speak the truth in love. This often means that the other person will respond badly anyway. But you must speak the truth, then let the Lord do the rest, in his timing.
      If he is doing something that is merely annoying, pray about it and let it go. If you are trying to control him, he will not do what you want, just because you want him to do it.

      • I should have been more specific. He talks about private things that i have done or said, to his brothers because he thinks thats normal and his brothers do that too. He doesnt understand how i feel about such things. Would you r advice still be to pray about it and let it go? I have a hard time being myself around him because of this.

    • Kate,
      Highlight portions of this article and read it with him. Find ways to prays him for the things that he does keep between you and him and express how much keeping your private lives private lifts you up and makes you happy. Help him to understand your need for him to now tell his brothers what happens in your home.
      Hope that helps.

  9. I, too, wish I had learned this lesson far sooner than I have. To this day I still have to watch my tongue. I no longer have the habit of speaking ill of my husband but I do have the habit sometimes of telling TMI. 🙂 Thank you for sharing this.

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