Tuesday, July 20, 2010

"Positive Press" - How do you speak about your spouse?

Last week I got the new issue of "Thriving Family" magazine in my mailbox. It's a small little publication put out by "Focus on the Family" and somehow I got it for free. {you know me and free are buddies!} I enjoy leafing through it because it has touch points on family, ministry, music and pretty much a little bit o' everything. I like that it has article addressed to parents of teens that I can share with families at church and I really like their articles for mommas. Always looking for that kinda stuff! Well, after I got all my pleasure reading out of the way I went back to an article titled, "Become your spouse's publicist", by Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott. I can't find the article online to share with you - but, trust me, it was AMAZING and a very timely reminder.

The article was about how, "speaking positively about your partner can enrich your marriage" and let me tell you... this is truth. Drs. Parrot did a great job pointing out the affect that words have on our marriage - both the good and the bad ones.
Les asked in one paragraph -

"Have you ever heard a secondhand compliment from your spouse? If so, you know how much it can do for your spirit - and for your marriage. Knowing that your spouse is saying good things about you when you're not around is almost as important as hearing these good things directly."


"...your attitudes shape the way you view your spouse. If you publicly praise your spouse, you will inevitably look more favorably upon him or her and discover a deeper appreciation for your partner then you had before. In other words, what you say about your spouse, for good or ill, shapes the way you think, feel and act."

Hmmm....Good stuff. What a great challenge! The article went on to give some ideas on how to be this "positive press" for your spouse. Ideas like:

--Give positive Press in the next 24 hours: Actively look for something to praise your partner for in public. Example: "My hubby stayed home with our daughter by himself all morning yesterday so I could take a leisurely break away at the spa"... or how about... "My husband has been such a help with the house work lately. He puts all of his clothes away before he heads to work in the morning - it really helps with the overall tidiness of our home". {Both of these have happend for me this week!!!} Look for GOOD things to Praise Him/Her for! They are there! Sometimes we just have to look beyond our bad attitudes and sinful selfishness.
-- Be sure your PR is genuine: Believe in what you are saying. Don't make stuff up... it's fake and people can tell!
-- Make known your partners accomplishments: This is the tricky one, because, if your spouse is like mine - they almost HATE having us "brag" about these kinds of things... but, it's important. Example: "My hubs closed a huge deal with his real estate business this week, he had been working so hard on it!" {obviously, this is not my real example} Or, like the magazines example said, "Rick may not mention this...but, he was given a huge promotion at work this week!". Make light of how hard your spouse works - Praise Him publicly - it's very likely that his co-workers won't give him that due praise @ work!

I have taken this article to heart. I really battle with my words and mouth on a moment-by-moment basis. The book of James is very clear on what a true power our tongues are...and, sadly, so often I don't use my words to build up my wonderful husband. Early in our marriage I had gotten myself in the habit of criticizing my husband in public - it started out small, we'd have friends over, or, I wouldn't agree with some trivial thing he'd say and I'd feel it necessary to make my point known right then and there... oh, I cringe just thinking about that ugly phase in my life. My husband was so gracious to me - still is - and Praise be to God that part of me is slowly dying away. It has taken work...and several hard, literal, bites to the tongue! :/

Jennie Chancey, Co-author of the book "Passionate Housewives Desperate for God" said this in her book and it has stuck with me all these months since reading it.

"One of the most foolish things a woman can do to her husband is to emasculate him by putting him down publicly. Complaining about his bad habits or revealing his weaknesses is not only foolhardy, it is a clear violation of Christ's command that we do to others as we would have them do to us (Matt. 7:12)."

Ladies, are we being a positive press to our husbands? Men, are you good PR for your wife? Are we gracious with our words? Are we honest? How do speak of your spouse? Do we need to seek forgiveness? I know I have a LOT of work to do - and I have a spouse that's very worth it! My husband is a godly, compassionate, hilarious leader in our home. He cares for me and our daughter with his every action. I am so grateful for a man who is actively seeking God for our good! And isn't the ultimate example how many "good" thoughts God has toward us? We see that very clearly in Psalm 40:5 -
"Many, O Lord my God, are your wonderful works which you have done; And your thoughts toward us cannot be recounted to You in order; If I would declare and speak of them, they are more then can be numbered."


Brad Pausley said...

Those are some old pics!

Tiffany said...

Great stuff! Thank you for sharing this.

The Sneaky Mommy said...

Love this, Mandi! I have that magazine sitting on a pile..I should read it!
*I think you're one sweet wife, a great encouragement and example!*

Moments in Our Story said...

Great thoughts.....and great pictures! You guys are ca-ute! :)