Truth or Consequences

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What approach do you take when you need to tell your spouse something that may be difficult for him or her to hear?

For God did not call us to uncleanness, but in holiness. 1 Thessalonians 4:7

Jim dominated every conversation he was in, no matter who he was talk­ing to or what the discussion was about. It got to the point where people at church dreaded seeing him coming their way. Patty, his wife, could see it in their eyes. Once she even saw a couple turn right around in mid-step and walk the other way. It was heartbreaking to watch, but she just couldn't bring herself to tell him the truth.

One day, Patty read in the Bible that shar­ing the truth with others was a sign of true love. So she prayed that God would provide just the right opportunity to talk with Jim about her con­cerns. Out of the blue, her husband started telling her about his frustrations with beginning a men's Bible study because he couldn't get anyone interested.

Patty drew a deep breath, squared her shoulders, and said, "Jim, I want to tell you something that may be hard for you to hear. I think one of the reasons you're having trouble recruiting people may be that you tend to dominate conversations."

Jim looked at her in stunned silence, and then tears began to roll down his cheeks. In muffled tones, he replied, "I know I talk a lot. Patty, no one has ever had the courage to tell me to my face. It hurts, but I know you're right. In fact, the Lord has begun to show me that I've needed atten­tion from other people, but that I've been selfishly trying to meet that need. He wants my holiness instead of my selfishness."

It wasn't easy for Patty to talk to her husband about her concerns. But when she did, it was a catalyst for change in his life.

What approach do you take when you need to tell your spouse something that may be difficult for him or her to hear?

God, please help me to be able to be lovingly honest with my spouse.

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