"Spouse for sale"

Recently, I read an article about a 38-year-old guy who offered his wife for sale. I wondered, what would drive a man to sell his spouse to the highest bidder? Then, I read his advertisement: "Nagging wife. No tax, very high maintenance, some rust."

That's when it clicked; it must have been the nagging. No marriage is perfect, but our communication patterns have a lot to do with the level of harmony in our homes. While some of us nag, other sinful speech habits include lying, harshness, or even sarcasm.

David's wife, Michal, had a thing for sarcasm. When Michal saw David dancing before the Lord as the Ark was being brought back to Jersualem, "she was filled with contempt for him" (2 Samuel 16:16). She sneered, "How distinguished the king of Israel looked today" (v.20), when she really meant, You looked like a total goofball! Sarcasm hurts the ones we love twice, once with the original insult, and again with the sting of our delivery.

If Michal's cutting communication wasn't enough, this drama queen accused David of dancing to impress the servant girls. Her venomous lie proved that "harsh words make tempers flare" (Proverbs 15:1), and it caused David to retort, "I was dancing before the Lord. . . . Those servant girls you mentioned will indeed think I am distinguished!" (2 Samuel 6:21-22). Like David, our spouses will move into defense mode and possibly even seek affirmation elsewhere if we continually fling false accusations their way.

Our words have the power to hearten our partners or discourage them. May everything we say "be good and helpful, so that [our] words will be an encouragement to those who hear them" (Ephesians 4:29). , Jennifer Benson Schuldt, Our Daily Journey

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