Criticism, not encouragement- comes forth so easily from our mouths. Negativism and discouragement flow freely from us- and is, more often than not, directed at ourselves.
Criticism tears down, the opposite of building up. Keeping up a constant flow of negative speak in our thoughts- is damaging to ourselves. Negative speak to others- is a blight.
I'm going to be blunt and say that the tearing down/ criticism/ negative thoughts and speech towards the person who is not only your "other half" but who really is the other you...is evil. The Bible says that "the two shall be made one"- he's not just your other half, or your spouse- he's part of you. He is the other you.
"Every wise woman builds her house, But the foolish pulls it down with her hands"
I think that the very common practice of treating husbands and fathers like grown up children and idiots is appalling. Dear reader, our thoughts and speech are father to our actions and beliefs- think of your husband as an idiot, make fun of and speak of him as an idiot to your friends- you will soon believe it and show it in your actions.
We all do dumb or careless things- you would like mercy shown to you in your mistakes- give it without measure to the other you.
I am not wise- but occasionally I've lucked into wisdom..or I've been showered with more mercy than I deserve. Here's a story of a newlywed's act of affirmation and the blessings she's reaped in response:
Years ago, in my newlywed- starving student years; my husband, who was more skilled at the time with a shovel and pick...became interested in woodworking. He decided to build us an entertainment center for our house. I cheered him on.
Friends, it was awful. I don't even have a photo to share with you, because I hated it so much that I never took a picture of it. He made it out of cheap plywood. It was huge, somehow his "vision" was really on a bigger scale than he realized. It was too big for our tiny house, it took up a whole wall. It was so rough that I could not really dust it, I had to pat it with a cloth- rubbing would get you splinters.
I stood in front of that finished monstrosity, dumb-struck. And then, God must have graced me with mercy I did not deserve- because the thought came to me: I used to paint before I was married- what if I had set out to paint something for our living room, finished it, proudly showed it to my husband...and then, what if he had told me it was awful and not good enough to go into the house? I would have been crushed and most likely never picked up a paint brush again.
I realized in that moment of God's grace (to me) that I could not wound my other self like that. So, instead I praised it- praised the clever magnetic glass doors he had put on it. I truthfully exclaimed that I could not imagine how to put doors on like that, and that I was so impressed that he was clever enough to do it. I praised the color of the wood stain. I told him how proud I was that he could make something like that, how he saved us money by not having to go buy one.
And then, I smothered my real thoughts- and for several years praised it in front of stunned friends.
I realized I was onto a truth-
"who can find a virtuous wife? For her worth is far above rubies. The heart of her husband safely trusts he; So he will have no lack of gain. She does him good and not evil All the days of her life." -Proverbs 31:10-12
"Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." -Matthew 7:12
Husbands are people, too - and they have feelings just like us. They are not idiots, or overgrown little boys. Making fun of them to your girlfriends is wrong. Imagine the hurt you would feel if more often than not, as you approached your husband and friends- dumb wife jokes flowed freely...
Do him good, not evil all the days of his life- and his heart will safely trust you.