Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Speaking the Truth

Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. Eph. 4:15
We all stumble in many ways. James 3:2
These two verses reflect two sides of the same coin.

The verse in James points to the inherent difficulty that couples will have in marriage. But God can shape us into the people he wants us to be using the flaws of our partner. When we find that we are irritated or frustrated by our spouse’s behavior we would do well to ask ourselves, “what is it that the Lord might be trying to teach me?” We might get frustrated over a spouse’s propensity to be tardy. Perhaps God is trying to teach us patience. We might be upset about how our spouse handles money. God may be trying to teach us that we have made money an idol, particularly if our obsession with our finances and/or possessions negatively impacts our relationship with those we claim to love.

The point is that God will and can use our spouse to smooth off some of our rough edges, to make us more like His Son.

The other side of this coin reflects a flaw in our spouse that may in some way be affecting their spiritual growth. Perhaps your spouse is a gossip. Romans 1:29 says, “They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers…”

Throwing a Bible dart is rarely effective, i.e. quoting a Scripture verse at someone expecting that it will change their behavior. Ideally you have established a relationship with your spouse built on trust, honesty and love. They know that you only want what is best for them. If that is the case you are able to speak the truth in such a loving way that your spouse will hear what you are saying and realize that a change in behavior will glorify God.

Ephesians 5:25-28 tells the husband that he is to cleanse his wife by washing her through the Word.

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