I hear a lot of remarks that people make towards their family members that are tearing them down instead of lifting them up. Remarks such as, "Oh, yippee, the kids go to school today!" or "I am babysitting my four kids." The person only has three- they are referring to their husband.
If there is anything that I have really tried to do 100% it is to speak well of my family to others. Early in my marriage we got together weekly with two other couples to eat and play games and cards. The other couples loved to pick on one another and a lot of the jokes were little jabs at their mate. I joined right in. When we got in the car my husband told me that he thought it was wrong and that he wasn't going to sit there anymore if I continued to do it. Apparently I had gone too far and embarrassed him or made him feel unimportant. I learned a lesson that night and have since given 100% to the effort of not ever speaking of my husband or children in a way that would embarrass him or tear him down. They are a blessing that I cherish. I fail in my reactions to them and need to work on that much more, but in the way I speak to others about them I have tried my best. I hope they know that I am not going to share their secrets or speak ill of them behind their back.
I hold it so important that when my husband and I went through a time where our marriage was just in an awful place and we couldn't stand to be in a room together without arguing I still didn't tell anyone. ANYONE. I had a prayer partner and I didn't tell. Why? I didn't know how to do it without making him seem awful, without myself seeming awful. I finally told him that I couldn't carry it anymore and needed someone to come alongside me and asked his permission to share that we were struggling. He said it was okay, so she began to pray with me over it. I still did not hash out fights with her or try to make him seem in the wrong, I told her we weren't getting along and needed prayer. I made it very clear that although we were in a bad place that I didn't want to discredit him.
If you treat your husband as a child, even in a joking manner, you are tearing him down. He has an important roll to fill as leader of your house. How will your kids respect him if he is seen as a kid and you his mother. He may act like a big kid but the best way to get him to grow into that leader roll is to honor and respect him and make it comfortable to him. So many men today have not had a leader as a father. They are not comfortable taking that position. If others see him a a big joke because of your words and "jokes" made about him it will not help him to be respected by his peers. Also, if you air your fights to your friends so that you look right it will lessen him as a man in their eyes. What you say affects who he is.
It is the same with the kids. You can tear them down with your words to others. What does it say to a child when you are publicly saying you are glad they are gone to school for the day, you are finally free. That is so sad that you can't wait to get rid of them so you can do your thing. To tell everyone about their failures or portray their negative personality traits is so damaging to them.
I fail in the way I speak "to" my family much more than I speak "about " them to others. I am going to make a conscious effort to speak to them in a way that edifies them. I want them to know how special each of them are. I want them to feel loved and accepted for who they are.
For more Making my Home Sing posts visit Nan at Moms the Word.