“You never remember to pick up your towel!”
“You always say that!”
“You never want to do what I want to do.”
“You always nag me.”
Do you sense the theme? Have you ever said something similar to any of these statements? (Come on, be honest with yourself. Own it.)
These two words need to be removed from your marriage.
Very rarely (actually never) does someone ALWAYS do something or NEVER do something.
When we say they do or don’t, we are placing quite a heavy weight on them. Essentially, we are saying “you always fail” or “you never get it right.” And that just isn’t true. They might fail sometimes and they might not get it right all the time. (don’t we all??)
But, if you take a moment to think about it…yes, just take a moment…breathe in, breathe out….they haven’t done it always or never do it. That’s just not true.
When we are communicating with our spouse- or anyone, for that matter- we want to be communicating TRUTH. Even a little white lie or an exaggeration of the truth will taint the conversation.
In my humble opinion, there is only one subject where “always” and “never” can be used safely and with certainty….our God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Shortly before Jesus ascended into heaven, he said “….I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20)
In Deuteronomy 31:6, Moses told God’s people, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified…, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you or forsake you.”
The God of the universe, Creator of all, can use “always” and “never” and stand by it. We cannot. He is constant. We are not.
And that’s ok. No need to beat ourselves up about it. Let’s just do our best to remove these heavy words from our vocabulary. Unless we are speaking about our great God.
Words can be weapons, my friends. And these two words –always and never– are like the huge, fat hammer used to slam down on that Strongman Game at a carnival. We are pounding someone we love into the ground in order to get the bell to go off. (you know what I mean, we are trying to “help” them see the severity of the situation…or get a rise out them enough to get them to “change”)
At the carnival, you might win a silly stuffed animal. At home, you just lost, big time.
Each time you hit your spouse with those words, their spirit deflates.
Use your words to build each other up. Sure, share what is bothering you. And offer solutions. But please don’t place the weight of “always” and “never” onto someone you love.
What words can you use? Good question! Stay tuned….next week’s blog post will share words that are helpful in conflict. Subscribe so you don’t miss it!
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