It is not easy to receive criticism even when it is constructive, especially when it comes from your spouse, the one you want nothing less than absolute acceptance and approval from. And it is not easy to give constructive criticism to your spouse without hurting your spouse’s feelings and coming across as disapproving and rejecting. But knowing how to give and receive constructive criticism is desperately needed for a marriage to grow in oneness as God has intended.
The struggle with feeling critical toward one another is very real in marriage, I don’t think anyone is immune from it. So the challenge we all face is knowing how to guard against allowing criticism to be used in a negative way that is hurtful and harmful to our marriage. While at the same time allowing constructive criticism to be used in a way that promotes growth and encouragement.
“The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences.” Prov.18:21(NLT)
When I wrote the post “Held Together With Words,” I stressed the point of how valuable and powerful our words are and that it is with the words we speak that we create or tear down our own lives. I also talked about how important it is to maintain the integrity of our words by not contradicting ourselves with what we say.
So now I would like to go into a little more detail about our words. There are some words we should never use with our spouse, our children, or anyone else for that matter. It may sound funny for us as adults, but there are some Bad Words that we should not be using.
I remember the day we married like it was yesterday. We said our vows and the next thing you know the man pronounced us husband and wife. We knew the pronouncement made our marriage official. But we had no idea how much we needed prophetic eyes to understand what had just happened.
I was a wide-eyed Nineteen year old who thought he knew everything there was to know about being a husband. After all, my only dream in life for the previous six years was to be a husband.
Now looking back on that day thirty years later, I see a clueless young man and woman that knew very little about being husband and wife. We had the titles; by name, we did become husband and wife with those few spoken words. But we had no idea how much we would have to grow into the shoes we just put on. Read more