Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Taboo Topics – Part I

Many married couples have one or more topics that are taboo, i.e. subjects that we attempt to avoid like the plague.  The reason for staying clear of said topic is because one or both of the partners gets emotional when discussing it.  Sometimes tempers flare, sometimes voices get raised, often blood pressure goes up and sometimes something is said that you would love to take back.

The problem is too often these topics become the proverbial “elephant in the room”.  This is an English metaphorical idiom that applies to an obvious problem that no one wants to discuss.  One such topic might be parenting.  One of you is fairly strict with your children the other tends to be far more laissez faire, i.e. reserving discipline for times of chaos.  Often the way we are brought us significantly affects the way we approach child rearing.  We may either apply the same methodology that was applied to us or go in the extreme other direction.  Unfortunately if the styles of disciplining the children are too varied, the parents will be frustrated and the inconsistency will confuse the children.  Furthermore it is likely that the difference in style will frustrate both parents and will become a source of irritation between the husband and wife.  This is just one example.  Certainly finances, in-laws, sex, spirituality, etc. can all be “elephants”.

We can simply try to ignore the elephant and deal with it only when forced to.  This is not healthy for the couple’s relationship.  Our marriages are supposed to reflect the relationship between Christ and His bride the church. (Ephesians 5:25)  Is there any subject that we can’t talk to the Lord about?  Is there any subject of any substance that God hasn’t addressed with us through His Word?  Obviously God is not fearful of talking to us about anything nor do we need to fear His reaction to what we tell Him.  Therein lies a major difference between talking to our spouse about a delicate issue and talking to God.  There is another aspect that differentiates our willingness to talk to God but not our spouse and that is His grace and unconditional love.  The reason the elephant exists at all is because we are at odds with one another, we think we are right and they are wrong and we fear their response.

If our marriages truly reflected the relationship between Christ and His bride there would be no fear about broaching any subject, particularly if we had a common goal, that being to arrive at a decision that brought glory to God.

So how might you handle the parenting issue as an example?  See Part II.



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