Promoting Peace While Speaking Truth
[Speak] the truth in love. Ephesians 4:15
"Honey, I'm sure you didn't mean it to, but it hurt when you seemed to side with the kids over me when I asked them to get in bed."
Doesn't this seem to be a better way to handle this conflict than saying, "I'm sick of you always siding with the kids"?
Speaking the truth without love causes strife within a marriage. But couples can learn to "speak the truth in love," as today's Scripture verse instructs us, thus promoting peace in the home.
Hurts, irritations, and unmet needs are inevitable in close relationships. In fact, closeness actually magnifies daily irritations. In the family, admittedly imperfect people are thrust together into close proximity day after day, and that causes stress, which is further intensified at home by the tendency to drop the public "mask" of being nice.
We often encourage couples to make a list of common complaints: too little time together, disagreements over child raising, lack of support in housekeeping, and so forth. Then we ask them to write down what speaking the truth without love might sound like. This part of the exercise tends to be easy since most couples have previously heard truth spoken without love. Now comes the hard part—rewriting the statements of truth adding love. Couples often need help getting started, so we provide a little help, such as:
"I would enjoy it if we might___________________________
"It would mean a lot to me if___________________________
An expectation of marital intimacy without conflict is unrealistic. But learning to resolve conflict by speaking the truth in love actually deepens intimacy and encourages peace.
How might you change the way you speak to your spouse so that you speak truth with love?
Lord, remind me to always speak the truth in love, thus promoting peace in my home.