Honor your spouse with your text messages. It sounds straight forward, easy even. But as I scroll through the last few weeks of texts between my husband and I, I see ones that show respect, and love, and ones that don’t. Actually, far from it. These unflattering texts each have a story behind them, which I could tell you. Yes, I could paint a picture of exactly why I sent those snarky words. But when the burn of my anger fades, or the importance of the moment gets lost beneath more important things, all I have left are the words. Harsh words that I wish I’d never said, but are kept as a record on my phone.
Preparing for this piece, I went through and took screen shots of some of my texts. I had to wince a few times guys. Because I don’t know about you, but when I’m really angry at my spouse, the easiest thing to do is to shoot off an angry text with harsh words that wouldn’t roll off my tongue as easily. If its not clear, I’m the words highlighted in blue.
I asked my husband if I could share, and he agreed to go along, “if it helps other couples.” So, here I am, being a little vulnerable. I’m putting these angry texts in the light, because thats what God calls us to do with the shameful parts of us.
You Aren’t Alone When it Comes to Text Message Temptation
So am I alone in this? Or do you also send off messages to your loved ones that aren’t always so loving?
Too often I don’t think about how my texts can be ill timed, because I have access to my husband through my phone all the time.
But what if my husband is in the middle of counseling a bereaved wife after the loss of her husband, or scribbling down inspired thoughts for his next sermon? Since he’s a pastor, those are both plausible.
“I see why you need to be more thoughtful about what you text him,” you say, “but my spouse has an ‘ordinary’ job.” Okay, then imagine if she receives a snarky text from you while in the middle of showing a client a house, or in the midst of an exhausting day caring for your kids, already on the verge of tears? Or while he’s in the middle of a small lunch break trying to relax and regain energy, that you’ve now zapped with an angry text—that simply couldn’t wait for a face to face conversation?
Its so easy to share our anger or frustration, or ask our accusing questions, with the push of a button. But these easy words that cut through distance and circumstances, are still words—words that can cut, and damage, and steal our spouse’s focus and their joy, ours too. And I think God is challenging me to be more intentional with them.
I am called to be a bearer of God’s light to the world around me, but I’m realizing there’s a hole in my boat. It seems small and innocent, but if it continues, I believe it could continue to
undermine the love, trust, and loyalty that my husband and I work so hard to build. It not only impacts my ability to be a light to others, but it also slowly drains my husband of his joy and light in his world too.
Use Your Texts for Good
But good news guys! The story doesn’t end here. I also got to go through and see the loving exchanges. The tender words we shared over text that I remember savoring all day. Sweet little words that were kindling for a brighter light of love between us that we can pass on to the people around us.
Think about how words like these could rejuvenate, inspire, and encourage your spouse as they go about the duties and to do’s of every day life. What if I could gently offer him words of love, life, and reconciliation that could bring hope to the dry places of his life and soul?
What Would Jesus Text?
Because sometimes, I wait to share the tenderness and romance with my husband. I wait for the
special occasions instead of threading them through the fabric of every day life as a married couple. But as I look at Jesus’ life, I see how He transformed the plain and ordinary into the sacred and miraculous. He used spit and mud to make a man see, and some loaves of bread and a few fish to fill the bellies and souls of hungry people. I think if Jesus lived in a time where texting was common place, he would have found a way to use text messages to share love and light too.
In marriage we spur one another on. My goal this Fall is to use texting to uplift my husband and to funnel my love and God’s love for him, into his ordinary every day.
What do you think? I’d love to see your most loving, inspiring, or silly texts to the ones you love!