Sometimes you need to give your spouse the silent treatment. I know this sounds weird and contradictory, so let me explain. I’m talking about speaking life. And when you can’t speak life, that’s the time to use the silent treatment.
My mom (and maybe your mom too) used to say, “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.” Well that saying still holds true today and especially in your marriage where we are supposed to be on the same team.
Like apples of gold in settings of silver Is a word spoken at the right time. Proverbs 25:11 (AMP)
Our words contain so much power. We have the power to heal or hurt, bless or curse with our words. The words we speak over our marriage and over our spouse have a lot to do with our success or failure in the marriage relationship.
So here are 3 situations where it’s okay to take a step back until you get your words together.
1. When you’re nagging and using contentious speech
Scripture says a lot about nagging and contentious speech. It’s talking about being disagreeable and argumentative. Everything becomes a battle of trying to prove a point versus reaching an outcome that is best for the marriage. Some people enjoy arguing. They get pleasure out of going back and forth. The better thing to do in marriage is to say what you mean and let it go. If a subject must be addressed again set a family meeting. Scripture:
- Proverbs 10:8 -The wise person accepts commands, but the chattering fool will be brought down.
- Proverbs 27:15 – A continual dripping on a rainy day and a contentious wife are alike.
- Proverbs 21:9 – It’s better to live in a corner on the roof than to share a house with a contentious woman.
2. When you’re gossiping
This is a definition I learned – gossip: spreading intimate or private rumors or facts. Even if it’s a fact, if it’s intimate or private it should not be spread. When you know something about your spouse it gives you power. They have become vulnerable to you. That’s love. Love requires vulnerability. That vulnerability must be guarded and respected. Sharing intimate facts about your marriage with others violates that vulnerability. Thereby violating your love. Share the intimacies of your relationship only when seeking help and be sure to seek help from someone who is qualified. Scripture:
- Ephesians 4:29 (ISV) – Let no filthy talk be heard from your mouths, but only what is good for building up people and meeting the need of the moment. This way you will administer grace to those who hear you.
- James 1:26 (ISV) – If anyone thinks that he is religious and does not bridle his tongue, but instead deceives himself, his religion is worthless.
- Proverbs 11:13 (ISV) – Whoever spreads gossip betrays secrets, but the trustworthy person keeps a confidence.
3. When it’s the wrong time
Most of us have heard it said that timing is everything. A word spoken to your mate at the right time can be so positively powerful. Yet the same word spoken at the wrong time can tear down years of work. You know you mate better than anyone else. Use what you know to determine proper timing. If it’s not the right time, he’s where you invoke the silent treatment. Stay quiet on the matter until the time is right. One of my favorite scripture versions is Proverbs 25:11 it reads like this: “Like apples of gold in settings of silver Is a word spoken at the right time.” Can you imagine your words being like gold in setting of silver? Wow, now that’s precious, rare, and set apart as special. Scripture:
- Psalm 1:3 (ISV) – He will be like a tree planted by streams of water, yielding its fruit in its season, and whose leaf does not wither. He will prosper in everything he does.
- Ecclesiastes 3:7 (ISV) – a time to tear, and a time to mend; a time to be silent, and a time to speak;
- Proverbs 25:11 (AMP) – Like apples of gold in settings of silver
Is a word spoken at the right time.
Reverting to the silent treatment is a safeguard not a punishment when done with a heart of love and a diligence to search out the proper words that will heal, bring hope, and joy to your marriage relationship.