Many arguments in marriage begin with “You always…” and “You never…”. Once the words are pronounced, they are met with a sharp rebuttal and so begins another round of arguments.
While these words are innocent on their own, when used to point to our husbands’ weaknesses, they are often deceptive and untrue. In this context, the words lose all innocence and point to the deceitful nature of generalizations.
The truth is that our husbands do not always do the thing they had done in that moment to upset us, as we do not always fail at our own tasks ourselves. In the heat of an argument however, the truth is often obscured and smaller disagreements and disappointments are elevated.
These terms of generalizations denote finality and when we are upset we resort to the worse emotions and sentiments.
The second problem with the terms “always” and “never” is that they show a lack of forgiveness toward our husbands’ past actions. The use of that term in relation to an offense for which they have apologized and been forgiven for causes them to question the genuineness of the forgiveness. Our words in that moment convey that we continue to hold their wrong against them and the slate is never wiped clean. Instead, with each new offense, the tab grows and at one point, it is bound to feel as though the weight cannot be lifted and they can “never” atone for the debt.
This form of communication, in addition to causing a wedge in marriages, also fails to honor God in two ways:
It embraces that which is untrue. We established earlier that in all likelihood, these statements are inflated. Therefore they are not true. Zechariah 8:16 states,
These are the thing that you should do: Speak the truth to one another; render in your gates judgments that are true and make for peace;
How swiftly would our marital conflicts be resolved if we practiced this counsel in our marriages? Would we use the terms “always” and “never” if we focused on speaking the truth and rendering judgments in our homes based on the truth, with peace as the desired outcome?
Secondly, generalizations that emphasize our husbands’ flaws do not help to uplift them. 1 Thessalonians 5:11 exhorts us to
Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.
And remember that there is hope in truth spoken in love but a begrudged message only incites fury. Choose the path of peace in your communication with your husband and avoid discord.
More Encouragement from Scripture 1 Peter 3:10-11
For “Whoever desires to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit; let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it.