Covering for My Spouse and WW Linkup

Overlook OffensesI think there’s just something in the DNA of every human being that tries to cover up vulnerabilities and weaknesses that we see in ourselves. Believe me, I know what I’m talking about, because that describes me much more than I’d like to admit!

However, I think this pattern started way back in the Garden of Eden when Adam and Eve felt shame because sin had revealed their vulnerabilities and “nakedness.” It continued when Adam blamed “the woman” God had given him, and Eve blamed “the serpent” for deceiving her {See Gen. 3:1-13}. Yada, yada, yada to the present day . . . we duck and run for cover.

The funny thing is, this tendency to cover ourselves typically doesn’t get extended to our spouses. But I really believe that . . .

[Tweet “When you cover your spouse’s failures, you’ll improve your marriage & love will grow! “]

One of the most convicting descriptions of love is found in the 1st Corinthians 13 “love chapter.”

“Love . . . takes no account of the evil done to it [it pays no attention to a suffered wrong] . . . is ever ready to believe the best of every person . . .” (AMP, section from verses 5 and 7).

That, my friends, is an example of “covering” the shame and vulnerabilities of our mates. It is one of the hardest expressions of love to give, but we are never more like our Savior than when we stretch those love and grace muscles in this way with our mates, as well as, others.

I know that I am far from living out this practice when I take delight in exposing my spouse’s weaknesses, sins and vulnerabilities. Sadly, I have taken this path far too often—finding great satisfaction in skewering his failures to the wall, especially if I feel he’s done the same to me.

We can be one hot mess, for sure!

I’m learning ever so slowly to realize in those moments that my husband will always be a flawed, sinful and irritating human being—as will I!

Yet . . .

[Tweet “God extends love and forgiveness to my irritating self over and over and over again! “]

What makes me think that I should be exempt from this constant mercy-giving and kindness-extending? I tend to think it is because I’ve been hurt, so I need to hurt my hubby back in order for him to get the message and change!

What needs to change, however, is my heart.

I need to turn to the Lord, who is my only TRUE love to comfort and heal the damage my hubby may have inflicted. And as I turn to Jesus for that soul-satisfaction, not only do I feel renewed personally, but I also feel refueled to love my hubby better.

If we want to create a confessional culture in our marriages, we have to be willing to do three important and very, VERY challenging things:

  1. Endure insult and emotional injury from our mates {within reason—patterns of abuse are not included here}.
  2. Trust that covering our mate’s vulnerabilities and weaknesses is what Christ calls us to do.
  3. Turn to Christ continually to heal and fill our aching, hungry, and wounded hearts.

I’d love to have you join me in a challenge this week and moving forward …

The next time your mate and mine does something that screams for “exposure,” choose instead to “cover” their weaknesses and sins with mercy and love.*

 

If you made “covering your mate’s failures and sins” your default response, how do you think it would impact your marriage?

 

When have you experienced this “covering” from your spouse and how did it transform your feelings in that moment or over the long-haul?

 

*This is not about enabling unhealthy patterns in our mates, but rather about learning to be gracious and merciful. I’ll be discussing and fleshing out “enabling” in a future post.

Joining with my friends at Giving Up on Perfect, Wifey Wednesday, A Little R & R Wednesdays, Mondays @ Soul Survival, Coffee and Conversation, Cozy Reading List, So Much at Home and Wholehearted Wednesday.

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Unfortunately, I don’t have enough time to visit every blog that links up here, but I do try to visit the blogs of those who comment here. Most importantly, know that you all matter and provide great resources for this linkup. I’m so grateful for your participation!

  • Andrew Budek-Schmeisser

    Well, here’s to dying…covering has become my default response, and usually overcome any temptation to take advantage of the vulnerabilities by thinking about what I’m going to say before I say it…and then not saying a lot of that which I might have said a few years back.

    I’m not sure that it helps the marriage – my wife sometimes sees that forbearance as weak, since she grew up with two brothers, younger but very close in age, and her original household was of the loud, combative but essentially loving variety.

    But it doesn’t matter; I have to answer for what I do, and I would prefer, at this point, to exit this life as a gentleman.

    http://blessed-are-the-pure-of-heart.blogspot.com/2015/06/dream-pig-five-minute-friday.html

    • I think sometimes it takes dying to bring things like that into perspective, Andrew. I think it probably helps your marriage more than you realize. I can tell from the things you write about, although sometimes cryptically, that your wife loves you deeply. I’m sure that anything soft coming from you right now is hard to receive, since it reminds her of what she is going to lose. Better to stuff those emotions and keep the stiff upper lip. I’m glad that you’ve not let any of her lack of response stop you from responding in a loving and compassionate way, my friend. Praying!

  • Ah, love keeps no record of wrongs. Darn! 😉 Love your encouragement, wisdom, and transparency here as usual, my friend. Thank you for sharing it with us!

    • Yes, it would be so much easier in the moment if we could convince our spouse of the wrongs they commit against us, while remaining free from our own personal responsibilities. But then that would be having our cake and eating it too! Thanks for stopping in and encouraging me, Becky! Happy 4th to you and yours!

  • This is so true. For some reason we think it explains ‘how difficult is for us’ when we left ‘them’ know that ‘such and such’ was our fault but ‘his.’ It is all about making ourSELF look better at the expense of our husband. This doesn’t build a marriage. Your post, as always was excellent. Thanks for the linkup too.

    • Yes, in that moment it feels good to unload the hurt on them, Judith. But when we hurt our spouses we hurt ourselves–not to mention our marriages! It’s easy to see that when I’m calm, like right now. But when I feel offended or am angry, the rational and peace-making mindset goes right out the window! Yikes! Thanks for your kind words and happy 4th to you, my friend!

  • Mary

    Thank you for being so honest with us each week and for teaching us other strategies or ways to work on our relationships. I love how you point out that we turn to Jesus for soul satisfaction and by doing this we will experience rest and renewal. That is a piece of advice today that I can grab hold of and make my own. Blessed by your words and for you just being you week after week. Love and hugs!

    • Well, Mary the truth of Christ’s calming and loving presence to heal my wounds has been what has brought me and my hubby back from the brink of a very messy marriage–that for all intents and purposes could have very easily gone down in a divorce. I’m so grateful that we learned to turn to Him and found Him refueling our hearts and enabling us to love when love is hard and painful. It’s certainly a work in progress–which keeps me humble! Thanks for your sweet words of encouragement and happy 4th to you and yours!

  • Grace and mercy. Yes and amen. A gentle, needed reminder right about now. As always, I praise God for the wisdom you share, the wise woman you are, friend. Oh so grateful that our paths continue to cross …

    • You always bless me, Linda, when you stop in. I know that you are just as wise, so your humility and graciousness to me is like a big warm hug from across the many miles. Happy 4th to you and Tim. I hope you get lots of time hugging your grandbabies this weekend! 😉

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  • Brandi Clevinger

    I agree. I look to build up my husband, not tear him down. And I don’t agree with sitting around with friends trash talking the husbands. That mind set will only weaken a marriage.

    • Oh yes, Brandi, trash talking has got to go if we ever hope to heal our marriages and improve our attitudes towards our mates. It’s the positive focus that redirects our eyes in the right direction. Thanks so much for adding to the conversation, my friend!

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  • Melanie Redd

    Hey Beth,

    I came over on the Little R and R link up today, and I’m glad to find your site.

    What a great visual – to picture covering over our husband’s faults. I love this – to love and honor him so much that I will protect him! To expose or to cover – what a choice!

    Thanks for sharing today. I am encouraged to cover my man more often than I do!

    I followed you on Pinterest and hope to connect again in the future.
    Blessings,
    Melanie

    • I’m so glad you found it helpful, Melanie. I’m also glad you found MM. It’s always great to make new friends in the blogosphere! Thanks for following me on Pinterest and have a great 4th of July!

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  • Raising Samuels

    This is such a great post! It is easy to find the flaws in other people, especially our spouses because they are the people closest to us. Thanks for hosting the link up and hope you have an amazing week 🙂

    • Yes, it’s the “path of least resistance” but it sure can cause some damage in the long run, my friend! Thanks for jumping into the conversation! Nice to meet ya!

  • How do I think it would impact my marriage? Doug would have to get over the shock first 🙂 Seriously, I will make this a practice this week Beth and hopefully remember to report back. This was so good, the Lord covers MY faults, how can I not do the same? ♥

    • You are too funny, girlfriend! I’m glad that you are taking my challenge, Nannette. I am working extra hard on keeping this my focus too. And yes, yes! The Lord always covers our faults! It’s the least that we can do with our hubbies in the Lord’s honor. Hugs to you and have a fabulous 4th!

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  • Just beautiful & wise, Beth. Oh that we would realize how much like our Lord we are when we cover rather than expose. Amazing to think how deeply our spouses would know our love. Always so good to be here!

    • That’s so true, Joanne. Our spouses would have a close up picture of true, sacrificial love, if we made this our daily habit. Sometimes I do this, though, and Gary doesn’t notice. Then my pride emerges and I’m back at “uncovering” his sins. Better to trust that God is going to bless the process, even when I don’t see immediate results. Thanks for jumping into the conversation, my friend, and have a great 4th of July!

  • Hi Beth, stopping by from Wife Wednesday. It’s true, this can be the hardest to put into practice – especially when in the heat of the moment. But oh how it can build trust and respect…and intimacy in your marriage when you can master this. It takes the Holy Spirit’s guidance within us to walk in daily grace and mercy.

    • Yes, that’s so true, Kim. It does build trust, respect and intimacy in our marriages. That’s a whole lotta good stuff, if we’ll just trust the Spirit’s enablement to love through us! Thanks for your encouragement, my friend! Happy 4th!

  • This is so wise and important. I’ve been married for about a year, and my husband and I are both in our early twenties. I think often I’m tempted to “tell on” my husband for little things he does wrong or doesn’t know how to do (especially to family members!) and this really doesn’t encourage him or help our marriage at all. Feeling convicted and reminded to always have his best interests in mind. Thanks!

    • Oh yes, telling on our spouses to family members brings in a whole new level of hurt and boundary-busting! I did a “Sloppy Joe Time” on that subject called, “Why Can’t I Run to My Mom.” I made the tragic mistake of griping to my mom about my hubby and it really spread the toxicity all around! If you want to view it, go to my Messy Marriage youtube channel and search for that title. Thanks so much for jumping into the conversation, Kelsey! It’s great to have you here and happy 4th!

  • Oh Beth! The nature of man is to show how bad our spouses are and how “good” we. But if we cover our spouses’ weakness and speak positive instead while we focus on their strengths and improving our own weaknesses, we will reap the best spouse we ever imagined having in return.
    God help us all!

    • Yes, it truly does “sow seeds” of love and kindness in our marriages when we “cover” our spouse’s hearts, Ugochi–reaping an incredible marriage. I’m grateful that God works that way–through our acts of love that mirror and are an extension of His great love for us. Thanks for your encouragement, my friend!

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