Gossip comes in many different forms:
- Spreading rumors about someone
- Telling lies about someone
- Speculating about someone’s motives
- Over-sharing details
- Telling stories about someone that puts them in a bad light
Whether gossip comes from malicious intent or carelessness, the consequences are the same. Relationships are damaged. Feelings are hurt, and there’s no way to take back words. James compares the power of foolish words to that of a forest fire.
5 Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. 6 The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.
A single foolish sentence can create an insecurity in someone.
A prank gone wrong can ruin a reputation.
An over shared detail can permanently destroy trust in a relationship.
Your words can start fires which you can’t put out with more words!
Life has a way of getting incredibly busy. The busier we get, the more things seem urgent.
But as we’re all aware, just because something is urgent doesn’t mean something is important. Likewise, not everything that is important is urgent. The older we get, the greater the stakes when we prioritize the urgent over the important.
This becomes painfully obvious when it comes to marriage.
Your marriage is the single most important relationship in your life. Your spouse is the person that you committed yourself to before your friends, family, and God. Somehow the people closest to us are the ones we take for granted. We know they will always be there. Therefore, the urgency to pour into the relationship can fade…
- …as careers advance
- …as children enter the picture
- …as children start joining extracurricular activities.
With so many urgent things calling for your attention, you can find yourselves forgetting to invest in your most important relationship.
Here are three questions to make sure you’re marriage isn’t in trouble.
Sometimes the Basics are Best!
I’m a child of the 80’s.
I grew up watching The Karate Kid, and to this day, I still watch THE ENTIRE TRILOGY at least once per year. If you’ve been living under a rock for the last 31 years, The Karate Kid is the story of a boy, Daniel, who finds himself being bullied at school. Eventually the local fix man, Mr Miyagi, decides to train him in karate, and eventually becomes a father figure to the boy.
The film is famous (or infamous) for Mr. Miyagi’s unusual training methods. In a series of scenes Mr. Miyagi has Daniel paint his fence, sand his deck, and wax his cars. Eventually it is revealed that Mr. Miyagi had him perform these tasks to train him on specific hand motions which are the fundamentals of karate. The vast majority of their time was spent exclusively on these basic motions and skills.
In the climax of the film, Daniel faces his bullies in a karate tournament. There he takes on many multiple
opponents who are better athletes and more advanced martial artists than him. In the end Daniel is victorious by sticking to the basics he mastered instead of attempting a series of flashy moves.
When it comes to love and marriage, I think that too often we’re looking for flashy tricks or quick fixes instead of going back to the basics.
The fundamentals of love are spelled out pretty clearly in a passage which many of us had read at our weddings.
1 Corinthians 13
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
I’m going to say this very simply. TRUST IS EARNED!
People shouldn’t default to trusting you just because you say you’re trustworthy. Maybe it’s cynical to point all of this out, but we live in a world where trust is broken.
- We’re lied to repeatedly by the people around us.
- We’re lied to by the media.
- We’re lied to by salesmen who swindle us out of our money to sell us junk.
- We lie to ourselves.
It’s not cynical to suggest that we should be suspicious in this deceit filled world. As much as I believe you should be skeptical of the world around you, there’s one person you shouldn’t be skeptical of…your spouse!
You should be able to trust your spouse is faithful to you. If you can’t, you must put new guardrails and boundaries in place to resolve that tension. When I say you should be able to trust your spouse, that is a two way street.
They should be trustworthy, and you should be trusting. If either of you fail to fulfill your part in trust, then things will be very difficult.
Here are five things you must not do if you want to be TRUST WORTHY for your spouse.
To be clear, most of these by themselves aren’t that suspicious, but when combined, it paints a picture of infidelity.
I take you to be my wife, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish; from this day forward until death do us part!
Until death do us part is a really long time to love and cherish a person, no matter the circumstances. I’m sure there are a few exceptions, but everyone means their vows when they recite them at their wedding.
Still, as the years pass, and life happens, many marriages find themselves in trouble. Despite their intentions, many married couples find themselves drifting apart. The romance is still there, they still have fun together but, when it comes to living life, they’re headed in different directions.
Sometimes this happens because of circumstances, but other times the reason is far more simple. Two people headed in different directions, with different expectations got married without talking about the things that really matter. Despite their best intentions, they’re moving in different directions.
Your direction, not your intention, determines your destination | Andy Stanley
If you want to live with your spouse until death separates you, you need to be headed in the same direction when it comes to the most important aspects of life. Marriage is hard enough when you agree on things. Disagreeing on the essentials in life is like jamming a wedge between you and your spouse.
Below are 5 conversations you must have if you want to stay married!