"The old ball and chain."
Have you been around a group of guys and listened to how men speak about their wives?
Often men speak about their wives in a dishonoring way. We speak of our wives as if they were holding back from something... like a ball and chain. We speak of our wives like they were a task master. We speak of our wives and all the reasons they may be difficult to love.
Now, I'm sure women talk negatively about their husbands, too, but that's not the point.
Why do we feel the need to speak of marriage in public as if it's a huge burden?
Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying marriage is an easy thing because it's not. I'm not saying living with another human being is a piece of cake at all times. I'm not saying that we shouldn't bear one another's burdens and listen to someone's needs. I'm not saying that at all. What I'm wondering is why the default public tone of discussion when talking about marriage is a negative one.
And I'm talking about in Christian circles.
I've been in rooms with people I strongly admire and I hear this tone. Why is this? Why does it feel awkward for people to praise their spouse in public?
"Marriage should be honored by all..." Hebrews 13:4a
Marriage is a mysterious and intricate picture of Christ and the Church that married Christians are commanded to put on display.
Does the way you speak about your wife honor the institution of marriage? Does the way you tell stories about your wife help those around you honor her and therefore honor marriage? Do you say things that make single men want to pursue marriage?
Men, and I'll speak to men but ladies you can listen, too, do you honor your wife with your lips in groups of men? When other men start talking about the "old ball and chain" do you join in? When other men share stories about their wives' poor moments do you add a tale? Or do you talk about your wife in a way that is noticeably different? Do you speak about your wife in a way that makes others think highly of her? Do you speak in a way that demonstrates that you love your wife as Christ loved the Church and gave Himself up for her?
Don't kiss your wife with the lips you use to dishonor her in public. Guard her image and promote her loveliness. Honor your marriage with your words today.