Few view themselves as an unloving spouse. This is usually because we tend to have what I call comparative holiness. That is, we tend to believe that we are good because we are better than our parents, siblings, neighbors, or how we acted at another time in our lives. However, when one compares his or her life to the highest standard, the scriptures, they will often find themselves falling short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23)
The I Corinthians 13 Test
I Corinthians 13:7 tells us that true love “beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.”
Though there are numerous ways to properly apply I Corinthians 13:7, I believe it is safe to say that this verse is teaching us that true love assumes the best when it says that charity or love “hopeth all things”.
Where the Rubber Meets the Road
Though many would say that they look on the bright side or try to see the best in a situation, I would like to apply this verse in a different way.
In chapter 11 of our marriage book, I talk about the importance of a spouse watching their tone of voice. This is because when spouses are discussing a matter, they tend to focus on their logic or their reasons for being right. However, the logic of someones argument is not as important as the spirit in which that logic is delivered.
In other words, many start a conversation on the emotional premise that the other person is wrong. Though their words are not necessarily portraying this, their spirit is one of condescension or condemnation. When this occurs, no matter what is said thereafter really does not matter as the other person will often feel inferior or defensive.
A Prime Example
If spouses are supposed to meet at 5 pm and one is late, the other will often say with a frustrated tone or frown, “Why were you late?”
In cases as such, the problem is not in their words as much as with their spirit. With their words they are asking an honest question, however, with their tone of voice they have already tried, convicted, and sentenced the other to a prison of stupidity or inferiority. Simply put, they have not loved the other, at least, not from a Biblical sense because they have not hoped all things by emotionally assuming the best.
In your conversations with your spouse, it is more than vital to emotionally assume the best until you have all the facts. If not, no matter how bright the argument, an emotional shadow will be cast over your conversation, and little good will follow.
This is one major reason why I do not communicate major information via text and email. This is because when I speak to people about important matters, I am sure to smile in my spirit even though my words are serious. In fact, I believe I convey more through my spirit than I do my words. Though my words may be serious, my spirit is saying, “It’s okay. God is good. He will give us a solution.”
What is Your Spirit Saying
What message does your spirit convey when you are in a conversation with your spouse? Is it conveying that the other person is innocent before proven guilty, God is good, He will give us an answer, or even if you are wrong forgiveness will prevail. Or, does it make the other person feel inferior, stupid, or less than adequate. Honestly, until our spirit portrays faith in God and assumes the best, I do not believe we are truly loving the other.
Food for thought – Dr. Force