Just as a general principle – DO NOT bash your husband to other people. EVER. Honor him with every word!
- He who covers over an offense promotes love, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends. Proverbs 17:9
- A fool finds no pleasure in understanding, but delights in sharing his own opinions. Proverbs 17:27
- A fool shows his annoyance at once, but a prudent man overlooks an insult. Proverbs 12:16
- The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down. Proverbs 14:1
Running him down with your words is VERY disrespectful – it would be disrespectful to do this to anyone. Even if your husband doesn’t ever find out about it – talking about him in a negative light sets off a series of disrespectful thoughts in your mind that will erode your respect for him over time. And the people you talk to may hold a grudge against your man or think ill of him for the rest of their lives. You can’t take those words back.
If he DOES find out what you said – he will be extremely hurt and his trust in you could be shattered. Your hateful words about him to someone else may well destroy your relationship with the man you love.
When I was learning about respect – I backed away from some other relationships for a time because I was afraid I was going to slip back into my old patterns of saying disrespectful things about my husband. I knew I couldn’t control my tongue at first. It is something only God’s Spirit can help me to control.
DISRESPECT IS CONTAGIOUS!
If your friends badmouth their boyfriends/husbands and badmouth other people in their life, YOU WILL BE TEMPTED to do the same! It is so easy to turn a wonderful time with our girl friends into a gossip-fest and man-bashing session that is extremely dishonoring to God, to ourselves and to our men. That is sin. It is ugly. It is destructive. It contributes to the breakdown of MANY relationships. NOT WORTH IT!
Gossip is where we tell other people’s business (that may or may not even be true) to people who have no need to know about it and who can’t do anything constructive with the information. Gossip is meant to hurt the reputation of the victim. It is mean-spirited and cruel. And it causes irreversible damage to millions of relationships. Gossip does NOT honor God. I know it is tempting. And sometimes it is really hard to see the line between a harmless conversation and gossip. That is why we need God’s Spirit to control our tongues – and our fingers!
TALKING TO FAMILY/FRIENDS /COWORKERS ABOUT YOUR GUY DURING A FIGHT
I know that if you are having a fight with your man, it is really, really tempting to run to everyone in your life (other than him) and vent, running him down, telling them all about the awful way he treated you and how horrible he is. Then they will pat you on the back and sympathize with you and agree with you that he is evil and you are a total victim. As soon as you see yourself as a victim – you are powerless to do anything constructive. But you know what? An argument or misunderstanding usually has guilt on BOTH sides of the relationship. There is almost never one party who is 100% innocent. How much more constructive to focus on what YOU did to contribute to the problem and to try to work through it with God and your guy.
Telling everyone about how terrible your guy is – is a recipe for disaster! When you make up with your man – your friends/coworkers/family won’t be there to see that. All they know is the awful stuff you have told them. They are not going to have the grace for your husband that you do. They don’t see the making up part. And, for some reason, we women tend to go into explicit detail about fights and drama and hardly any detail about the making up.
I would recommend having a godly, older wife (preferably with at least 10-15 years of experience who has a SOLID, biblical marriage) as a mentor and talk to HER about problems – someone who can help you see a more balanced view and help you understand his point of view, too -and who can identify YOUR sin, controlling tendencies and/or disrespect that may be contributing to the problem. Try to keep the details of drama and disagreements to yourself around other people.
If you are being abused or sinned against in a major way, please seek godly, experienced help ASAP!
I believe it is necessary to discuss the topic of how to respect your husband and/or EX-husband on FB.
There are SO MANY opportunities to disrespect your man on this medium. It is quite terrifying. And many women do a really horrible job of showing proper respect here.
- DO NOT talk about the details of your relationship on FB!!!! PLEASE!!!!! I am begging y’all!
- Complaining about your man’s habits, his diet, how he looks, how he dresses, who he is talking to, his job, his parenting skills, his romantic abilities, his faults, his bad habits, his hygiene, his snoring, his unthoughtful behavior is extremely disrespectful! And it makes you look awful. This reveals much more about YOUR character than it does about his.
- Do not go into detail about your sexual relationship or post pictures of you in bed. NOT APPROPRIATE!
- I have seen countless women rage against their ex-boyfriends and ex-husbands – many others actually pity the men in those situations for having to deal with a woman who is that hateful, contentious, prideful, disrespectful and ungodly. It makes the WOMAN look like she is out-of-control crazy. No one wants to see that!
- Part of showing proper respect for your husband is to avoid private messaging guys on Facebook or emailing/texting men privately when at all possible. I would also say to avoid flirting with other men in any way. That is disrespectful to your husband! Show him that you are trustworthy by being completely transparent and not hiding your FB, email or phone history from him. Be an open book so that he knows you have nothing to hide. It is SO easy to confide in another man when you are upset with your husband and to start tying your allegiance to the other man instead of maintaining unity in your marriage – cleaving to each other and leaving all others. And if your husband asks you not to be on Facebook - please honor his request.
THE BIBLICAL MODEL FOR HANDLING SOMEONE’S SIN AGAINST YOU
If you are being wronged by your husband (or ex-husband, or anyone else) – confront him respectfully. If he won’t listen to you – the Bible says for you to take 2-3 witnesses with you to confront him about his sin. If he still won’t listen, you are supposed to take him to the church and everyone is to avoid him until he repents. I haven’t seen many churches practicing this. But you may be able to do the other parts if you are in a situation like this.
Smearing him in public proves how far from God you are, how much hatred and sin is in your heart and how seriously spiritually immature you are. You would treat ANY man who loved you this same way. This is an issue with your heart and soul. Your guy can’t MAKE you be disrespectful. He can sin against you and hurt you. And he will! He is a sinner after all – just like we are. But his sin against you just puts pressure on you and whatever comes out of your soul during that pressure was already in there before. His sin against you just reveals your true character. He isn’t making you sin.
So many women say, “I would be respectful if I had a good man.” That is not true! If we are disrespectful or respectful has NOTHING to do with what our men do to us – it has everything to do with our spiritual condition and whether we are Spirit-filled or controlled by the sin nature.
BREAK UP WARNING
If you have a big fight and break up THE ABSOLUTE WORST THING you could EVER do is to trash him all over FB. Ladies, if you remember nothing else, PLEASE remember this point! If you write him a 1000-3000 word post on your wall and you verbally assault him and drag up every sin and flaw and everything he has done wrong for the past 10-20 years – you cannot fix the extreme carnage you have caused. You drug his reputation through the mud. You have made yourself look like pure evil incarnate. You proved to him that you are possibly the most disrespectful woman on the planet. And if you EVER hope to get back together with this man – please understand, he may not be able to forgive you for the irreversible damage you have done to his reputation. He may not be able to trust you again. He let you have power to hurt him and you used your power to try to destroy him in public. How can he trust someone who may be a ticking time bomb?
DISCRETION AND WISDOM
It is time for us to learn to have discretion – not sharing intimate details of our relationships with other people. And it is time for us to learn wisdom – keeping a hedge of protection around our relationships and valuing our men MORE than our desire to entertain our girlfriends with funny, sarcastic, biting criticisms of him.
God instructs us that he who holds his tongue is wise – and where words are many, sin is not absent (Proverbs). He also instructs us:
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Ephesians 4:29-32