Don’t you love to crunch on a delicious piece of good gossip? Especially if it’s about that person you secretly despise or envy? How many times have you sat sipping a cup of coffee at your kitchen table or local cafe and a friend is about to tell you the tidbit. You lean in…
“You’re never going to guess what happened to ____.”
The conversation continues, and you both sit and talk about _____ for ten or fifteen minutes.
We ladies are especially guilty of this, toss me in the busy-body category too, I’ve been there too many times to keep track.
Years ago, I was invited to a ladies group, which I thought was going to encourage us in our marriages. But after two group meeting, it had quickly turned into, gossip about the husbands. There were about fifteen women who decided to join the weekly meetings.
Before you go thinking I’m going to give you a self-righteous talk on how I don’t gossip about my husband and you shouldn’t either, I will make a confession.
I use to continually steamroller my husband verbally to my friends and his family. I had a long list of complaints and things I didn’t mind letting everyone know about Vance, and I dishonored him at every turn.
I remember being put in stocks as mock punishment at Bible camp (this was all in good fun) and people throwing marshmallows at me. When I would gossip about Vance, I should have just put him in the stocks and threw rocks at him, since it did nothing but cause him embarrassment and shame.
When I was attending the ladies group, I had just come through ten years of disrespectfully talking about my man, when God had gently convicted me. He had shown me through a couple of marriage books how hurtful my words were to Vance and to my relationship. On the third ladies meeting, I expressed my concern and asked the women if their husband was secretly standing outside the room listening to them talk about him, how would they feel? Would he trust his wife even more, or be mortified that his actions were tossed into the middle to dissect and make fun of? Some disagreed and felt the group was to blow off steam, others were quiet and didn’t say anything. I wondered if I should have just kept quiet myself.
The ladies group dissolved within two weeks. But years later one of them came to me and said, ” At the time I thought you were wrong, I felt we needed support, but now I see I just didn’t have the wisdom back then to know publicly talking about my husband to other women was unwise.”
Imagine if fifteen men got together and my husband, Vance, sat and told them all my faults. I’d be devastated and no longer trust Vance, and it would cause our marriage to crumble.
I have noticed for the most part that women tend to speak poorly about their spouse more than men do. Especially in the workplace. I happen to be sitting in a work environment for four hours one day when I could overhear three ladies knocking off their complaints one by one.
He never helps with the kids.
All he does is watch TV.
He leaves his stuff everywhere.
He has this annoying habit of____.
I do everything.
All these complaints were probably valid. I don’t doubt they had good reason to complain. Our husbands can drive us nuts sometimes. But what if we could imagine our men sitting down and complaining about us to their friends. What would they say about us? I can just picture Vance now:
She burns the bacon every second day.
She leaves gum in her pockets, and it ruins my laundry.
Her makeup and face creams are all over our bathroom counter.
She wears my sweatshirts and gets coffee on them.
She lets the gas go right to empty then I have to fill up the car.
She forgot to run that errand I asked her to do but remembers her lunch date with her girlfriend.
I think you’re getting my drift. There is a long list of annoying habits that I have, but Vance doesn’t complain about me, and he doesn’t like gossiping to his friends about his wife. I have way more irritating habits than he does and that’s the truth, no lies here.
As women, we are competitive even with our husbands. When Vance and I would go to the gym together, we would go head to head on every workout and believe me it would bother him if I beat him, but I wouldn’t rub it in. He on the other hand, when he won…
Well, let’s just say Rocky Balboa came on the scene and did the victory run up the imaginary stairs with the music blaring loudly EVERY TIME. It was super annoying!!! I almost wanted to let him win each time, so I didn’t have to knock out Rocky with a sucker punch between the eyes. He claims he only does this to get my goat- ya alright.
Okay, so that was my tidbit about Vance no more gossip about him in this story. By the way, he reads almost every post before I hit publish. So if your reading anything about him in the future, he has approved it.
On our recent vacation, we learned of Uber. If you’ve never used Uber, I will fill you in. It’s a taxi service, and if you download the app to your phone and sign up you can be an Uber driver, and taxi people around in your car. Uber drivers tend to be more friendly than regular taxi drivers because they are running their own business and we rate them on the app after they drop us off at our destination. They want a five-star rating. They show up quicker than a taxi, their driving is safer, and their cars are snazzier. We have almost died a few times in taxi cabs when drivers are racing all over Miami trying to drop us off so they can quickly pick someone else.
On one of our Uber drives, Vance was chatting with the driver when he said to Vance,
“I try to learn something unique about each passenger. What’s something unique about you?”
As Vance was thinking I pipped up.
“He’s an awesome husband!!!”
The driver smiled, and we had a cute conversation about marriage. You see, what I used to do was give Vance a one-star rating or thumbs down, you know-never good enough. Now I give him a five-star score as often as I can. When I pump Vance up in other peoples eyes, they respect him more, and in turn, Vance appreciates what I have done for him.
If you put your husband down at his workplace’s Christmas party, guess what his chances are of getting a promotion…probably zero. You know what that means, your whole family suffers for the next year without the extra income you had hoped for to pay the bills. How you talk about your man affects other peoples opinion of him.
When we speak highly of our husbands’ people not only respect him, but they appreciate us too. We both get a five-star rating. Plus, the more you compliment your husband, the more he usually wants to do for you, he begins to enjoy his wife, the one who makes his chest expand and causes him to feel like Rocky running up the stairs to victory!!!
When I started complimenting Vance about ten years ago, we happened to be camping one weekend, and he opened the trailer door and stepped in, and I said to him,
He looked at me with a big grin and said,
“You make me feel like such a man!“
It wasn’t easy for me to switch from a critical wife to an adoring wife, it has slowly developed over many years, and I am still working on it.
You may have a husband or wife right now who isn’t lovely, who is rude and condescending at every turn and you are in a difficult situation and need someone to talk to. I would encourage you to seek out a mentor, counselor, pastor, clergyman or someone you trust with your problems and you know will help you instead of gossip with you.
But if you’re just with the same, ordinary, annoying spouse you married, try something new. Start giving them five-star compliments and expanding his chest or causing her to bat her eyelashes at you. You never know you may get treated like the Uber driver’s wife: he was on his way to buy her roses and a little teddy bear, and it wasn’t even their anniversary. We could tell they adored each other by the sweet way he talked about her.
She was a five-star wife in his eyes.
I am an Uber wife, and if I had to rate myself I would say I’ve jumped from one star to three, but Vance treats me like a five-star, “your my beautiful, wonderful wife” and because of that, one day I sincerely hope to live up to it.
God’s still working on me.
For now, I’ll just try not to burn the bacon💗
*The star rating was just to make a point, don’t to be too hard on yourself or your spouse.
Don’t repay evil for evil. Don’t retaliate with insults when people insult you. Instead, pay them back with a blessing. That is what God has called you to do, and he will grant you his blessing. For the Scriptures say,
“If you want to enjoy life
and see many happy days,
keep your tongue from speaking evil
and your lips from telling lies.
Turn away from evil and do good.
Search for peace, and work to maintain it.
I Peter 3:9-11 NLT