Breaking Silence in Marriage
By Lynette Kittle
“Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the words, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives” - 1 Peter 3:1
Giving our spouse the silent treatment when they make us upset seems to be universal, a common response and defense. It’s a natural worldly response rather than a godly one. A reaction used to express disapproval toward our spouse.
It’s also a play to get attention, to help them understand our displeasure, and to communicate to them by not communicating with them, just how unhappy they have made us.
However, it’s not very effective and usually does the opposite of what we want it to do. Rather than softening our husband of wives heart toward us, it hardens it. Withholding our attention, our voice, our affection and more doesn’t draw them closer to us but rather pushes them further away.
So, although it’s a common response passed down through the ages, it’s important for a us to revaluate and look at the overall effect it will have on our marriage in the long run. Do we really want to cause our spouse’s heart to slowly drift away by cultivating hardness?
Recently, in slicing open a lemon from our tree to make fresh lemonade, there was a seed that had sprouted, a beautiful little green sprout hidden inside, growing deep within the fruit. Although there was no evidence of it sprouting from the outside, yet there it was, growing quietly in secret.
It turned my thoughts to how the Bible encourages me to plant seeds in others, including my husband. How as a wife, I can plant a seed in him, and I can trust God to water it through others, and trust Him to cause it to grow (1 Corinthians 3:7).
So, how might it affect my husband, if as his wife, instead of following my emotions to give him the silent treatment, I override my feelings by listening to the Holy Spirit? If rather than becoming tight lipped, I choose to submit to God’s Word? What might happen if I believe God to speak through my quiet, respectful behavior to my husband’s heart?
Instead of turning away from my husband by withholding words and affection, what if I turn toward him with loving responses and open arms?
What if rather than underestimating the remarkable influence God has given me in my husband’s life, I embrace it? 1 Peter 3:2, explains how God is able to minister to a man through his wife’s purity and reverence.
Of course, it does require me as a wife to trust God and be patient in waiting to see results. To believe, like the lemon seed, He can sprout growth in secret and hidden places of my husband’s heart. It takes having faith God is at work in my husband long before I may see any evidence of it on the outside.
It’s about trusting God to work in deep and hidden places in our spouse’s heart through our behavior. Our actions and attitudes not only help soften and turn my spouse’s heart toward God, but also toward us.
Lynette Kittle is married with four daughters. She enjoys writing about faith, marriage, parenting, relationships, and life. Her writing has been published by Focus on the Family, Decision, Today’s Christian Woman, iBelieve.com, kirkcameron.com, Ungrind.org, Startmarriageright.com, growthtrac.com, and more. She has a M.A. in Communication from Regent University and serves as associate producer for Soul Check TV.
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