This morning I shared a thought of Thanksgiving, it being the month of November and American Thanksgiving, of course.
My daughter had peed on the floor. It meant the floor needed to be cleaned. A friend commented that they still held that it was Frank. I, in the past, would have laughed and said, “Yeah, he needs to shoot better” or something along those lines, joining in the jest. This past weekend’s retreat reminded me that sarcasm is scarcasm. Culture operates differently than Christian worldview.
“Let no evil talk come out of your mouths, but only what is useful for building up, as there is need, so that your words may give grace to those who hear.”-Eph. 4:29
From this verse, we see that we aren’t supposed to joke at a person’s expense. It isn’t humorous to make fun of someone. Generalities and poking fun at stereotypes is different than humor directed towards a particular individual.
I had taught my eldest to say “bleh, Army”. I found this amusing. My husband, however, found this hurtful. It is something he is passionate about. While I might not be fond of the military and how it often separates family (contrary to it touting that it tries to bond family), it is an organization that my husband is a part of. Even if I don’t agree with the organization, I need to offer respect because I value and treasure my husband. I don’t offer encouragement to the institution, I do it for my husband, my best friend, my treasure from God. My words need to reflect this.
In the manner that I need to start being his cheerleader with the military, I need to do this in other areas too. While friends might say I am being too serious and need to lighten up, I will not, under any circumstances, make jokes or join in jest about my husband. When I laugh because a friend was trying to be amusing about my husband’s bathroom abilities, what I imply is that my husband is inadequate, unable to perform the basic functions of human decorum. I never want to imply that!
Perhaps if we stopped poking fun at our spouses we might witness radical change in our marriage. If we cheered on our partner and encouraged them, we might start to have the attitude of thanksgiving and gratitude we are commanded to have as Christians.
“Everything you do or say should be done to obey [or as a representative of; in the name of] the Lord Jesus. And in all you do, give thanks to God the Father through Jesus.”- Col. 3:17
I want to stop demeaning my husband. He is a gift from God. It is time I start treating him this way. If I start speaking encouragement to him, perhaps this will become my normal operative. I’ll speak blessing even to those who berate me, who antagonize, and perhaps those who persecute me. This practice has to start somewhere, may it be with the man to whom I covenanted (is that a word, gee I hope so) my heart.
I love and respect you Frank. My words and actions always need to reflect that. Though I’ll be called stiff, lacking humor, and perhaps even prude, I will not sacrifice your integrity for a laugh. You are too valuable for me to do this anymore.
“ Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly; do not claim to be wiser than you are. Do not repay anyone evil for evil, but take thought for what is noble in the sight of all. If it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave room for the wrath of God; for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” No, “if your enemies are hungry, feed them; if they are thirsty, give them something to drink; for by doing this you will heap burning coals on their heads.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” Rom. 12:14-21
Living at peace starts at home, with family. How I operate in the privacy of closed doors will translate to my actions in the public sphere. If I desire to see transformation in how I behave in public, I need to start at home. Sometimes when we get too comfortable, which happens frequently with those we love the most, we take out our depraved emotions and hurt those whom are dearest to us. Let’s be intentional in how we act, starting with the blessings and gifts God has given to us to show where our real treasure lies (in materialism or investing in authentic relationships). Hubby, please keep me accountable. How I act with you and our children will overflow into societal performance. May I be transformed for God’s glory and be the vessel he has called me to be.
I love you now and always. I want to do better at expressing it. I need to do better. It has to start today!