“Father, make of me a crisis man. Bring those I contact to decision. Let me not be a milepost on a single road;
make me a fork
, that men must turn one way or another on facing Christ in me.” - Jim Elliot

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Fruit of the Spirit: Love Always Protects

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 NIV
Love is patient, love is kind.
It does not envy, it does not boast,

it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking,
it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.

It always protects,

always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

I want to talk about gossip. Sometimes we call it "sharing our burdens"... and sometimes we really need to do that... We need someone to come alongside with experience and help us to get through a situation with integrity.

But I'm not talking about gossiping about a co-worker, or another mom, or the pastor's wife... I'm talking about when we gossip about our husbands.

In the Bible Study, Living Beyond Yourself: Exploring the Fruit of the Spirit, Beth Moore discusses that one of the characteristics of love (agape) is that it always protects... "to cover in silence"... does not expose the faults of others... covering with such a cloak of love that the fault cannot be seen...

I am of the mindset that it is important to have a confidant who you trust that will help you through a difficult situation. A woman who knows how much you truly love your husband and will help you work through a situation without condemnation. Will pray with you and for you. Will hold you accountable to the words you speak and thoughts you think.

But I think I need to be careful with how many people I share what I consider to be Anthony's "faults"... because it taints how others view him. Sometimes, Anthony's so-called "faults" aren't really his at all... They're mine... and the Lord may be calling me to deal with how I handle a situation... or our relationship.

And if I think about it... Do I gossip to Christopher about Anthony? Or do I protect Anthony... as a father to our son? Do I try to work out the difficulties within our marriage between two adults... or do I think it is beneficial for me to point out Anthony's faults, so that Christopher will not "repeat" them?

Here's the thing... I cannot love like this on my own. This is where the Holy Spirit in me has to bear fruit... not me. But the Holy Spirit within me. I ask the Lord to help me protect my marriage... from my own harsh words and thoughts.

It's interesting... that I would never allow someone else to gossip about Anthony... so why would it be okay for me to do so?

Please! Help me to be accountable! Not that I ever do this... LOL... at least not intentionally... does that count?


elizabeth embracing life said...

To add onto your scripture... I love Proverbs 31: 11-12

"The heart of her husband safely trusts her; so he will have no lack of gain. She does him good not evil all the days of her life."

Oh how we need to uplift our husbands. I know that often I stand alone on this as I sit amounst Christian women who whine and complain. (and believe me I know there are times I would love to whine and complain) Often I am left with to much knowledge of a situation and a bitter taste in my mouth concerning the person speaking out against their husband.

Recently I complimented a young mom. In the few years I have known her not once has she ever said an ill word about her husband. I know they have had some trials in thier lives, but she is always speaking in such an honorable way about his character.

I don't think grumbling is okay, ever. This may sound extreme, but then as verse 23 reads " her husband is known in the gates, when he sits amoung the elders of the land".

Sometimes things don't go our way, or we feel this or that, but at the end of the day I am sure we can all find one good thing our men have done. I have to say that David is amazing. Sometimes I try to grumble towards him, but he way out husbands me, than I as a wife. Did that make any kind of sense. LOL

Great blog!!!

Why would we ever want to cast a shadow on the character of our husbands.

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

When I did this study a couple of years ago, I, too, was struck by this one characteristic of love...

love protects. It had a profound impact on me and is one of those truths that stays and sticks. I love your thoughts about protecting the integrity of your husband.

As a pastor's wife, and leader of Bible study, I find this to be the case all the more. I'm a divulger (is that a word?), meaning that I'm prone to telling all. It's a well-intentioned telling of all as it pertains to our family, but there is level of protection that I must allow my loved ones.

Also, when it comes to gossip...protecting the reputation of others, even when they've hurt us. It allows them the dignity to eventually get it right and to remain human in the midst of the struggle.

Yes, I remember this one. Thanks for the reminder.


StitchinByTheLake said...

It is so tempting to say things in haste that we later regret. I am guilty of this too often. I have found that it is best for me to have one friend with whom I have a pact - we provide holy listening for each other always bearing in mind that these irritations are small things that are brief in nature but can fester if left untended. We rely on each other to point out the positive and refute the negative. This keeps us focused on what is important in our marriages. blessings, marlene

BP said...

This part of the study really touched me when I read that.

Grace said...

Love always protects.

:) That's my vote.
And I didn't see Elaine's comment until I went to click "Publish" ...

Tammy said...

This is a beautiful post. Very thought provoking...thanks for reminding of this.