Actions speak louder than words.
I wouldn’t believe you if you said you had never heard this phrase. I would be skeptical if you said you had never told it to someone else. It is a very common phrase, especially in Christianity. We all know and value the importance of showing God’s love to others through our actions, even when our words cannot reach them. Loving them into the Kingdom of God is a very common concept, that is very effective.
Most of us value someone who does what they say you should do. We strive to set the example for our children, rather than expecting them to do as we say and not as we do. Countless studies have shown that our children will grow up to say and do things the way we have shown them regardless of what we tried to teach them.
My query for you today however, is what happens when your words align with your actions. I don’t mean the good things. We already know how that turns out. When we act like we appreciate someone in addition to saying it, we know that they are more likely to feel appreciated. When we show love and affection to someone in addition to telling them we love them, we know they are more likely to feel loved. We know when we sacrifice for others it is going to have a greater impact than we simply state that we should, or should have.
But what happens when your words and your actions are not so positive? Do you in seemingly good nature make fun of your husbands weight, his job, his hobbies and his friends? Do you tease him about the areas he is lacking in? What about your experiences in the bedroom? Do you make fun of his performance in an attempt to lighten the mood when it didn’t go as you both wanted?
Are you brushing your husbands touches away? Do you act like he has cooties whenever he reaches for you? Pretend your grossed out by their looks, clothing, or weight? Do you encourage your children to tease your spouse about their faults? Do you talk negatively about your spouse to your friends and family?
How about when you notice someone good looking on the television, internet or even in person? Do your eyes lustfully tell your spouse that you wish they were as nice to look at as your view? Do you make a point of switching the channel, rewinding a movie, or pointing out how attractive someone else is?
Let me tell you how this pans out from personal experience. When your words are negative, even if they are meant in good hearted fun, to lighten the mood, or just because your a tease by nature, if your actions also align with what you have said, you are setting yourself up for heartache.
There isn’t a person on this earth who doesn’t benefit from an occasional compliment now and again. Most of the time the majority of us can handle being teased or made fun of. The problem arises when your actions also match those words. When your children disrespect your husband because you tease him so much they do not know any better. When they believe they do not have to follow your spouses rules because you have over ruled them so many times they know what the other parent says doesn’t matter as long as you are home.
I read a blog post recently that really resonated with me. It was written by a husband, who felt that he had failed his wife, and did not realize it until after she left. It talked about safety and trust in relationships, and the meaning of those words differing from what we commonly think of. I recommend this post highly, and will post the link following my own message.
The basics, however this post talked about were how over time, hurt builds up. The little things we can normally over look become big things as they become compacted in our hearts. Eventually they become so big that we no longer trust that our spouse will not hurt us with their words and actions. This is particularly true if the hurt spouse has revealed that they are indeed hurt by the other spouses words or actions, or lack of words or actions. This often leads to divorce or in the least separation, as well as cheating and adulterous habits spawned by the devil.
Furthermore your setting your children up for failure. In their childhood relationships, family relationships and even for their future in marriage. Your children may have trouble distinguishing between when it is ok to joke with someone and when it is not.
Our son recently got in trouble at school for saying that two “bigger” children would not be well suited for a particular activity. He said it in a way that was meant to be funny, but in reality he hurt those children’s feelings more than a little. How can I expect, even with a brilliantly intelligent child for him to be able to distinguish when it might hurt someones feelings to make fun of their weight, when he witnesses it continually be an accepted behavior at home? How is he to know the proper way to show love and affection to his someday wife, when I fail to show that same love and affection to my husband?
Your teaching your sons and daughters to accept a spouse that not only belittles them but also neglects their basic needs. One of the most important lessons I feel we can teach our children is how to love our spouse unconditionally. To love and respect their spouse. To show them how to appreciate the little things when times are tough, and to praise God when they aren’t nearly so tough.
I’m not telling you that you cannot joke with, poke fun at or enjoy your spouses company by any means. My hope is that you will be undoubtedly be sure that your spouse is also enjoying the “fun”. If your spouse lets you know that a particular type of joking is not okay, or is hurtful then I hope you will respect that, or at least be sure to show them that you don’t mean it. I hope that while you may tease your husband about his weight, you are making sure he knows that your eyes are on him and him alone. That you are truly happy with him as he is, as he was and as he will be. Let your actions speak louder than your fun.
“Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.” 1 John 3:18
Be sure to check out the above mentioned blog post at: https://mustbethistalltoride.com/2017/04/11/safety-and-trust-in-relationships-those-words-dont-mean-what-you-think-they-mean/