Lots of discussion and attention has been given over the years to man-made climate change. No, I am not diving in to that mess, I am just using that phrase to talk about a different “climate.” This climate is clearly under our control, and our behavior directly affects it. The climate we will consider today is the one in our homes, specifically our marriages.
Go, eat your bread with joy, and drink your wine with a merry heart; for God has already accepted your works. Let your garments always be white, and let your head lack no oil. Live joyfully with the wife whom you love all the days of your vain life which He has given you under the sun, all your days of vanity; for that is your portion in life, and in the labor which you perform under the sun (Ecclesiastes 9:7-9).
Yesterday, we saw how God views complaining. It is a big deal to Him. He wants us to be thankful. Words of gratitude, blessing and praise should be regular parts of our speech. Christ set us free from darkness and sin so that we would be His kingdom priests, proclaiming His praises (1 Peter 2:9).
This is not to say that we never deal with problems or discuss them. It doesn’t mean we are never discouraged and hurting. Life has real pain and trials. Ignoring, suppressing or minimizing problems is not what God wants. Jesus wept, Paul despaired, and Elijah was depressed.
“Climate” by definition means weather conditions over a long period of time. That is different from today’s weather. Someone may have a bad day or week, just like it might on rare occasion snow in the South. I’m talking about our “climate” as men. What is our consistent pattern of behaviors and attitudes at home?
What I do want to focus on today is specifically our attitude and words around our wives. It becomes very easy to complain. Sometimes being negative and cynical is as comfortable as our favorite recliner. We can settle in to a really nice whine and grumble about all that isn’t right in the world. We can get tired and overwhelmed, and we begin to see problems everywhere. What the kids aren’t doing right. How the wife isn’t doing what she should. The house and car repairs. Health. Finances. Politics. My job and my boss stink.
Husbands, take inventory. Is there a critical, negative, cynical, complaining dark storm cloud over us? If we find ourselves in that negative mindset and we are grumpy about everything, how does that affect the climate of the home? What position does that put our wives in?
Man-Made Climate Change
If God advised us to live joyfully with our wives, and to “eat your bread with joy,” how do we accomplish that?
Try to smile. Really, I don’t mean to be flaky here, but just try to smile…at your wife. Even when all you want to do is gripe…look at your beautiful wife and smile. “He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord” (Proverbs 18:22).
Of course and always, pray! Lord, help transform this grumpy old troll. Help me Lord to see the joy and blessings you have showered me with.
Consciously look around for blessings. Force yourself to see what is going right, and verbally acknowledge it. We have to teach our mouths to do this, because it does not come naturally.
Consider the following Proverb:
The heart of the wise teaches his mouth, and adds learning to his lips. Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the bones (Proverbs 16:23-24).
What kind of “man-made climate change” are we producing in the home?