I was always told growing up that if I had nothing nice to say than I should probably not say anything at all. I guess that way if I could not be encouraging in my speech, at least I would not be damaging in what I said. I still attempt to try and encourage with my words rather than produce derogatory or hurtful responses.
Have you ever noticed that sometimes we won’t hold to this niceness axiom when it comes to those who are closest to us? We shut the door and the ugly words pour from our mouths before we even realize what we are saying and often damage is accomplished with very little effort on our part. Yet at the same time we can be extremely nice to those we barely know. Why is that? In my humble opinion I think it is because we are the most vulnerable with the ones we care the most about. After all, our loved ones know all about us, warts and all and could easily “zing”, us at any time. We are also the most comfortable around those we love knowing we can be ourselves and they will accept us. What if we could change the habit of verbally assaulting those closest to us?
Marriage truly gives us an opportunity to practice our niceness. Why not? When we make the effort to simply be nice to our spouse we build long lasting strength into our relationship. By encouraging our spouse, we are investing in the betterment of one of our closest allies we have in life. The great thing is that being nice is not hard. Simple encouraging compliments, understanding gestures and even a simple smile can go a long way to establishing a habit of niceness in your marriage. So next time you are tempted to not say anything rather than something hurtful, say something nice and see what happens!
For other niceness suggestions see:
Ephesians 4:29 ESV
Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.
His Servant and Yours,