Colossians 4: 6 Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person. ESV
Often, the smallest comment can go a long way in helping a friend feel less alone, more normal, and more empowered to love her hubby better.
Here are a few examples of some conversations, seasoned with Salt.
Head in the Window
When I was much younger, having a rough time in my love life, my Bible Study leader saw me load up my stroller after a morning class. Her car happened to be parked near me, so she came over to my open window and poked her head in (almost too far for my comfort). With a sparkle and a wink she asked, “Hey, Girl, how’s it goin’?” Glancing back at my year-apart toddlers, she added, “Hey, have you gotten any new ‘nighties’ lately?”
What!? Did I look deprived, depressed, or debilitated!? I was not particularly happy with her point blank accosting of my love life. I felt a wee bit “buttonholed,” you could say. But I prayed on the way home, asking God why this question bothered me.
Then I realized it wasn’t the topic. Nor that her words were inappropriate. It was that I inwardly winced at doing the work of forgiving, taking more initiative, and thus improving my marriage relationship. I was put into the position of having to take stock of my attitude. (I had been wearing those Granny Gowns quite often lately…)
God has used the “head in the window” experience to give me more courage to say something to women, even tho’ I might not say that…
Here are a few more examples of what I mean.
My girlfriend came over for lunch and noticed that my bedroom was changed around, spruced up a bit. “Hey, you really fixed up your room! Nice! But what did you do with the TV?”
Here was my golden opportunity to reply, “Well, the TV wasn’t much help to our love life, so we took it out. Now we are more “tuned in” to each other at bedtime…”
Another time, when some friends showed us around their new home, the bathroom “centerpiece,” a whirlpool tub, could hardly be ignored. So instead of ignoring it, I said, “Don’t you love the big tub? I hope you guys get good use out of that. Man, we’d sure use it if we had one!!”
You’re right. She had nothing to say. Quick change of topic. “My, the mashed potatoes are so creamy!” (dinner conversation quote from “While You Were Sleeping.”) But this didn’t spoil the evening. It may have improved the evening for both couples! (Our tub may be smaller, but…)
Have you ever overheard a church restroom conversation? I once heard a woman say to another, “My folks are keeping the kids this weekend, and we’re going to (a romantic place) for his birthday.”
“Yup. That’s the only birthday present he wants…. a whole lot of special alone time. And he’s going to get it.”
The tone I picked up was celebratory and grateful. And, well, I loved overhearing it so much I decided to book a hotel for my husband’s next birthday.
Our marriages are truly meant to change the world.
But platitudes don’t work. Pat answers with rote phrases we’ve heard all our lives don’t work, either. People need success stories, or an approach that’s been proven in the here and now, like yesterday. Our complicated, often confusing, up and down love life could actually bless others, simply by our perspective. We are learning and leaning on Christ for help, so we have seeds to sow. Those “salty” out loud seeds may cause a friend to ask, “How does she have such a good attitude about sex? Hmmm…does God live in even this part of everyday life? Do I really know Him? I guess I should be less selfish in this area…”
Remember that the value of salt in Bible times wasn’t only for flavoring, but even more for preserving. We are to preserve Truth, and hinder the deterioration of marriage.
Here’s the Salty Challenge:
1.) LEARN something to improve your own marriage in this area, and then..
2.) ACT on what you learned.
3.) Then look for an opportunity to SAY something to a friend – appropriately – when the time seems right.
I can’t tell you how much you girls have encouraged me by your comments!! Have you ever discreetly spoken up on behalf of great love-making in marriage? I’d love to hear about it in the comments.