Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Is God Speaking Through Your Spouse?

No one likes to be told that they are wrong or that their behavior is unacceptable.  Most of us tend to get defensive if someone is providing us with constructive criticism.  That almost sounds like an oxymoron, i.e. how is it building me up if it is tearing me down?  Over the years we learn defensive strategies to ward off those who would chose to “speak the truth in love” as we Christians have been directed.

One thing we tend to do is to deflect – “well I’m not as bad as…”  “You’re no saint either you know.”   Sometimes the best defense is a good offense “I remember a time when you….”  Now if this technique doesn’t work we can always attempt to minimize the behavior that is being confronted.  “Whaddya mean I drink too much – what’s an occasional beer?”  “I don’t have a short fuse, I only get angry and raise my voice when I’m tired.”

Nice try Buckwheat, but you aren’t fooling anyone, particularly the one who has been kind enough to point out your shortcomings.  What do you mean kind enough?  As a Christian you can safely assume that God can and will use anyone and anything to get your attention.  The mere fact that you have been given input should suggest that you consider it objectively.  Some of us find it difficult to offer feedback, for a variety of albeit unhealthy rationale, so we are really putting ourselves out there when we confront.

Ask yourself, “Self, could God be using this person or this situation to get my attention. IF this person / situation is accurate am I dealing with a heart issue?  Is what I am doing an offense to God?”

This is where you want to be real careful.  If you ponder the possibility that your behavior in any way would be offensive to God, you best pay attention and do what you need to do to overcome the habit, addiction, action, etc.  Because ignoring God is not one of the smarter things to do.  And if He really wants to get your attention the next time He may not be so gentle.

Your spouse is in the best position to know whether or not you need to make a change.  Ask him/her and thank them for being honest with you.

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