The past two Mondays, we have examined the topics, “Am I Too Chatty with My Husband?” and “What Do I Do with My Desire for More Verbal/Emotional Connection?” For some of us, we struggle with talking too much. Others of us struggle with not wanting to talk to the point that our silence is deafening and not healthy for our marriages. Some of us try to correct one imbalance and overshoot and end up on the other side of the pendulum for awhile and just keep swinging back and forth between the two. I have done that.
Today, let’s tackle the issue of times when we may be too quiet and examine the heart issues that may be going on behind the scenes. It’s helpful to do a motive-check with the help of the Light of God’s Word and the Holy Spirit.
Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits. Prov. 8:21
WHY DO I WANT TO BE QUIET?
Some Not-So-Productive Reasons to Be Quiet
- Bitterness/resentment/contempt toward him. (Being quiet is better than speaking in sin – I need to deal with sin in my thoughts.)
- Fear (that I need to take to the Lord).
- Avoiding conflict.
- To punish my husband.
- Unrealistic expectations.
- Self-hatred, self-loathing, and not thinking rightly about myself.
- Hiding something from my husband:
- an addiction
- a relationship with another man
- an attraction to another man
- spending money behind my husband’s back
- I may wrongly think I have to give up my personality and God-given influence authority and that I can’t have needs, desires, feelings, or input.
- I may believe lies about God, myself, or my husband.
- I may not understand my identity in Christ and what God says about me in His Word if I am His.
- I may idolize my husband and his approval.
- I may be a people pleaser rather than a God-pleaser.
- I may feel insecure in my husband’s love.
- I may be trying to avoid being needy and clingy but maybe I swing too far the other way into total silence.
- I may believe that I am “not a real person,” that I don’t deserve love, or that I shouldn’t have a voice in the marriage.
- I may be extremely depressed, discouraged, hopeless, or full of despair – spiritually oppressed.
- My husband desires me to talk more with him, but I don’t enjoy talking so I just opt out completely, even if it upsets him.
If these issues are going on, I may want to spend some time with the Lord to deal with my spiritual issues so that I am not hiding from God or from my husband. If things are severe, I may need to reach out to a trusted godly counselor or female mentor.
Some Reasons That Require Godly Discernment – talking may be wise, or being silent may be wise
- I don’t feel loved by my husband.
- I may need to prayerfully evaluate – Is this really true, or are my hormones taking over or am I listening to the enemy? If the real issue is my perception and there isn’t hard evidence to support my accusing feelings toward my husband, I may need to deal with my own thoughts, motives, heart, and hormones with the Lord. It may be about me and not about my husband at all.
- If I really am thinking clearly and there is legitimate evidence my husband does not love me, it may be wise to give him some space, pray, and seek the Lord’s wisdom an discernment for how I should proceed.
- If things are serious enough, I may have to prayerfully consider separation until he repents and is willing to cooperate with me to rebuild trust.
- If he has threatened to leave or said he wants a divorce, I may need to give him space and not do a lot of extra talking.
- I feel wounded by my husband and don’t think I can trust him. I need to seek the Lord before deciding what to do.
- If I feel I may have to shut down in the marriage to protect myself.
- There may be a simple misunderstanding. I may just need to talk to him in a respectful way to seek to understand his perspective which may be 180 degrees different from mine. That may solve the whole problem.
Some Good Reasons to Be Quiet
- Talking a lot is exhausting for me – it is just my personality.
- I want to avoid talking too much out of humility and a desire to honor the Lord with using my words carefully to only speak Life.
- My husband is not a believer (or is far from the Lord) so I want to focus on 1 Peter 3:1-6 to “win him without a word” and not preach, lecture, nag, or explain too much about spiritual things but set a godly example by my attitude and actions.
- I am seeking to give him the gift of respectful space that I know he would appreciate.
- He doesn’t want me to talk too much or he is in a bad place spiritually and unreceptive right now.
- I am thinking carefully about what I want to say so that I say it wisely.
- I want to pray over what I want to say first so that I respond in the Spirit and I don’t just blurt something out in my flesh.
- I am focusing on thanksgiving and praise in my heart to the Lord.
- I want to just be available to listen to him for awhile if he wants to talk.
- I am silently praying in my heart.
- We enjoy being together without talking sometimes.
Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise; when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent. Prov. 17:28
For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him. Ps. 62:5
Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. Eph. 4:29
Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil. Matt. 5:37
There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. Prov. 12:18
I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned. Matt 12:36-37
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer. Ps. 19:14
Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving. Eph. 5:4
A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver. Prov. 25:11
What are some reasons you find yourself being really quiet? When is talking and speaking up a struggle for you? Is there any wisdom you would like to share on this topic?
If you have a very difficult marriage, please check out the healing you can find in Christ for yourself (and maybe your marriage) in Nina Roesner’s eCourse Becoming a Woman of Strength and Dignity.
Approaching My Husband’s Sin Issues – by LMSdaily
25 Ways to Respect Myself – (or to think rightly about myself)
Isn’t Loving or Respecting Myself Wrong or Selfish? – by Radiant
Cinderella and the Gospel – by Radiant (about how many of us reject the love of Christ instead of graciously receiving His amazing gift)