Reproof Balances Truth with Love

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Your challenge is to speak the truth in love, as Ephesians tells you to do, and then trust God with the results.

[Speak] the truth in love. Ephesians 4:15

Teresa and I are different in so many ways, including how we handle our
inevitable marriage hurts. Teresa tends to speak the truth, but not always
in love. On the other hand, my tendency is not to communicate the truth about my hurt at all.

In order for us to have an intimate relation­ship, my wife and I have both needed to change in this area. Teresa has become more loving in how she expresses her hurts, and I've become more open about mine.

I've been challenged to vulnerably express my needs to Teresa rather than expecting her to read my mind and then getting angry when she can't. I've had to let go of my tendency to sulk or withdraw when my needs aren't met. I've needed to say words to Teresa like, "Sweetheart, it would really mean a lot to me if we could schedule some time for us to do some­thing fun together. I love having the kids and grandkids around, but I need some time just with you."

Teresa has been challenged to pray through her presentation of her needs. Instead of saying, "David, why can't you learn to pick up after yourself?" Teresa says, "David, it's important to me to have the living room picked up before our guests come over." I respond much better to that kind of reproof.

Can I openly and lovingly communicate my needs to my spouse as well as others? Can I discuss my hurts? These are crucial relationship issues.

God instituted marriage, the family, and the church. God often desires to involve the meaningful others in my life to meet my needs. My challenge is to speak the truth in love, as Ephesians tells me to do, and then trust God with the results.

In what areas do you and your spouse most need to "speak the truth in love"?

Thank You, Father, for the balance Your Spirit brings to relationships.

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