Just because you want to hear endless compliments doesn’t mean he’s willing to say them. It can’t just be me, me all the time.
When we were married newly, my husband had this annoying tendency of telling me the truth.
For example, I’d ask his opinion on my clothing, and he’d calmly tell me if it looked sloppy or unflattering. He’d praise me for dinner from my gleaming new Better Homes and Gardens cookbook, but upon further investigation, he’d advise me to cut back on the garlic.
Or I’d start a well-known wifely script. “I’m feeling so [insert Word here]. My husband was meant to respond, “I am married to the most beautiful lady in the world,” but he would know my times in the quicksand of uncertainty, my attempts to draw him in.
A truth-teller would not use exaggerated superlatives. Instead, he extended a branch: “I think you don’t truly believe that.”
Really? Could you give it a go?
“But you are lovely to me.”
It was a little underwhelming. Didn’t he understand how this script was intended to be read? Who is this individual? Tell me exactly what I want to hear!
The Truth Hurts
He believed I wanted to be reminded of Bible ideas at times. (I did as well.) But, for Pete’s sake, not when I was sinning.) Not in a complacent way. He was giving me what I needed to hear, calmly and honestly.
He’d also be candid about whatever vice he was battling with. I’d feel weird at first. Or he was dissatisfied. Or highly enraged.
But, as time is passing by, I started to share my difficulties, our connection got more intimate and refined. I felt more connected to him when we acknowledged our failings to one other, then begged forgiveness, and even gently held each other accountable to improve.
I recognized something valuable and rare in him as he became gentler, more careful with his timing and word choice.
Honesty is Best
My spouse wasn’t simply trying to make me feel good when he complimented me. His appreciation came from a guy who had been with me in the war, battling with me and assisting me in anticipating where my sin could hurt me—or injure others.
Today, I never question if my spouse is truthful.
White lies, which lubricate the wheels of so many relationships, are not tolerated in our household. We can tell the truth to our marriage counselor too.
I’m not concerned that he’ll continue to let me look tacky in an outfit or speak tacky to our children. Just as I now tenderly bathe our 6-month-old son in the sink, washing the peas out of his neck so they don’t stink, or the dried applesauce that sticks the strands of his hair together, my husband cleanses me with the water of the Word. My spouse nurtures and cares for me in the same way that he cares for himself.
In our ten years of marriage, my spouse has matured significantly.
But I’m happy to say that he has kept one surprise depth and value character trait: speaking the truth.