Family Gossip, How it Can Affect Your Marriage
Family gossip may be normal, but so are tornadoes, thunderstorms, and hurricanes. Here are a few points to consider as to why husbands and wives should learn to refrain from airing their dirty laundry before others.
The Reputation Factor
It is one thing to have to recover your reputation with your spouse. However, recovering your reputation with a multitude of family members and friends can be a long grueling process, and, in a number of cases, it is quite unnecessary.
If a person makes an about face and has to rebuild their reputation with their spouse’s parents, family members, and friends as well as their spouse they will often feel it a difficult task. Some will even cave at the mere thought of it.
My wife and I made a rule for our little family years ago: no airing dirty laundry to others unless we are seeking for bonafide biblical advice.
In Matthew 7:6, Jesus said, “Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.” I believe that we can apply this in part to marriage and family issues in that most people cannot handle your private and most personal information as they will take it and find a way of using it against you.
The Impression Factor
One of the major issues with gossiping about your spouse is that, on a bad day, you may feel the need to vent to others about your marriage issues. The problem is that five days later when you and your spouse are on good terms, those that heard your complaints will often still have that negative impression branded upon their hearts. Consequently, their view of your spouse is often not parallel with reality, and, to be frank, it is just not a kind way to portray your lifelong companion and friend.
The Convoluted Factor
Involving outside influences into your problems is often a sure way to make seemingly complex issues even more complex. In fact, when I am personally coaching an individual in the midst of intense marriage issues, I often encourage them to limit the number of people to which they vent. This is because too many cooks will often prove to confuse a matter.
Of course, I certainly understand the value of building what I call a fortress of support when dealing with intense marital issues. This fortress can include counselors, coaches, pastors, a faithful and godly friend, or a wise family member. But, I should point out that there is a difference between seeking out biblical counsel and dumping your issues on others for the purpose of beating a dead horse.
Raise the Bar
Many couples feel that the way they handle their issues is totally normal. However, their standard is often what they saw growing up or what they see in their circle of friends. To be honest, this is often a very low standard. Let your standard be the scriptures and couples that enjoy a great relationship with God and one another.
If you profess to be a Christian, you are better than gossip, and the Christ in you deplores such behavior. Raise the bar. Set your affections on things above. Act like the conqueror Romans 8 tells us you are.
In our marriage book, we teach couples how to properly deal with their issues in a way that formulates a win-win for God’s glory, both spouses, and the children. Our 2-step process gives couples a Biblical, yet positive way to raise the bar in their marriage so as to free themselves and their family of a low way of dealing with marital strife. Check out our marriage book.