During October we’ve talked about getting Up From the Dumps when we’re in them. Last week we thought about the dangers of getting “down” about our spouse, seeing him with heavenly perspective of grace, instead of an earthly attitude of grumbling.
So how are you doing as a couple? How are you spending your talk time? Are you a “dump talking duo”? Consider what you’re talking about together and the content of your conversation.Getting time to talk can be a challenge sometimes. You too? We usually get some time in the morning, in the evening, and a little bit at bedtime (before one of us drifts off mid-sentence), and occasional time out together.
Since quality conversation can be such a hard gem to mine out of our schedules, there can be so much to cover when we get the chance! I try to resist the urge to pull out my "laundry list" when Jeff and I go out to eat or sit down for coffee. If we aren’t careful, precious talk time can be filled with “dump talk” like this … “The car isn’t running right; I wish we would’ve gotten that other one. Your parents called; they want us to come there now … why do they always change plans? We could’ve made this at home for half the price. Speaking of money, we have got to turn the thermostat down; the utility bills are way too high. It’s those kids; they’re so expensive. And now the church wants us to pay to send them to camp; why does that have to cost so much? Do you like our church? Our neighbors just switched churches; they’re so strange ... " Use your imagination. Can you relate?
In Philippians 2:14-15 Paul warns believers that to be lights in a dark world, we have to live without being characterized by a spirit of complaining. Couples can be sources of accountability and encouragement to each other, helping to lift the quality level of our conversation to one that is seasoned with grace.
Today on Scripture Dig, you can read what I wrote about a trap of church life and a couple NOT known for lifting each other up. Instead, they are known for going down together. They'll sound familiar, I'm sure. Their last conversation must've been full of dump talk!
Now I’m not saying we shouldn’t address problems. Seriously, we got home from camping this weekend to find a HUGE branch had fallen on our roof and porch = I'm tempted to fill this evening talking about the clean up, the insurance, the other branch that didn't fall ... ;) That's just real life, but it can become the dump talk of life if we aren't careful. There are right times and ways to talk about life's trouble, but problems and negativity shouldn't be the regular focus of our talk together. We can even talk about the issues of life without a complaining spirit. When we just stuff the trouble, I have 3 words for you: Mt. St. Helens. (Does that qualify as 3 words?) :)
Being a complaining couple keeps us from shining. To keep conversation lifted above dump talk, try these reminders:
Phil. 2:14-15Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe
- · Instead of annoyances, talk about what you appreciate
- · Instead of problems, talk about potential
- · Instead of discouragement, talk about your dreams
- · Instead of irritations, talk about ideas
- · Instead of quarreling, talk about your quiet time
- · Instead of bashing, talk about your blessings
I hope your talk time together will be sweet. Listen to what you’re saying together, and then love your spouse by lifting the content of your conversation. And praise the Lord that huge branch didn't come all the way through our house and injure anyone, that the whole tree didn't fall, and that it's not raining! When we ask God to help us see our problems HIS way, it often ends up in praise, doesn't it?
Growing as a wife each week along with you,