Why What You Think and Say Is Important
Sitting at the kitchen table with friends, my husband and I shared our tentative plans to visit Mount Rushmore. The other couple was “all in” and wanted to join us. Then, my husband suggested that instead of a trip to Mount Rushmore, we go on a four day float/camping trip down the Rogue River in Oregon. Before we knew it, we switched plans and booked the float trip.
Camping, Not Glamping
My girlfriend shared with our friends that we were going glamping. I liked the way that sounded, but in reality it was tent camping and sleeping on a mat on the ground. A portable toilet called a “groover” with a tent surrounding it was set up.
Day one of the float trip was fun and adventuresome. We paddled the rapids, saw beautiful scenery, and arrived at our campsite. The food was delicious and the groover convenient to use. But, after seventeen people used the groover the first two days, I found myself whispering to my husband, “It’s gross. I don’t want to use it.” Days three and four passed with us continuing to enjoy the glory of God’s outdoors, but with the groover becoming more disgusting.
Why Didn’t I Speak Up
In hindsight, it seems ridiculous that I didn’t say something to one of the guides about changing out the groover. Were they so accustomed to camp life that it didn’t bother them? Were they nonchalant and changed it only when requested by a guest? I don’t have the answer, but what I do know is that I should have spoken up and asked someone about it rather than remain silent.
When I shared my groover experience with a friend after returning home, she pointed out that when something bothers us, it can feel uncomfortable to verbally state our feelings. This may be because of our personality, past negative outcomes of speaking up, or even irrational fears. She helped me see that whether it is a temporary or long standing issue, it is important to recognize what might be contributing to our remaining silent, so it can be addressed through prayer. Or if it’s a serious, long standing issue, perhaps through Christian counseling.
Learn to Speak Up
The bottom line, our thoughts and feelings matter. When we don’t speak up about something that is bothering us, we feel uncomfortable. This might be a temporary experience like my glamping adventure, or it could be an ongoing issue within your marriage.
By respectfully expressing our thoughts and feelings, we eliminate internal tension and tension in our relationships with others. For instance, if sex is painful, share this with your husband. Call your doctor. Or, another example might be if your husband likes to watch movies that make you uncomfortable, it’s important to express your feelings. If you’re concerned about how money is spent, discuss it with your husband. If someone is flirting with you at the office, speak up.
The Bible addresses the importance of speaking up in our relationships. Why? Second Corinthians 5:20 says we are “ambassadors” for Christ. In other words, we represent Christ’s interests in our relationships with others. Colossians 4:6 tells us that our words should be seasoned with grace so we know how to respond to each person. Whether we have uncomfortable feelings about something temporary such as I did with the groover or there is a long standing issue in our marriage or with others, we can and should prayerfully speak up.
Is there anything you’re uncomfortable with that you need to pray about and discuss with your husband or someone else?
Wife Step: Pray this prayer: Heavenly Father, You give us Your Spirit to help us distinguish right from wrong. Help us not ignore our thoughts and feelings, but rather pray about them. Give us kind yet bold words to speak up and say what best represents Christ. Amen.
Debbie Taylor Williams, founder of Hill Country Ministries, a non-profit 501© 3 dedicated to spreading God’s Word and love, is a sought out national Christian speaker and author. Best known as a passionate Biblical expositor, Debbie uses humor and practical illustrations to communicate spiritual truths to women of all ages and walks of life. She has written 7 books and produced numerous video driven Bible studies, including The Plan A Mom In a Plan B World, The Plan A Woman In a Plan B World, Pray With Purpose, Live With Passion; Prayers of My Heart; If God Is In Control, Why Do I Have A Headache?; If God Is In Control, Why Am I A Basket Case, and Discovering His Passion.