Trustworthy people are vital to us. Think of the relationships you have and what you feel around someone you trust. I know that when I’m around my loved ones, I feel comfortable, secure, safe, and open. Ideally every relationship would look this way, family, friends, co-workers, and significant others. The reality is, many people can’t be trusted. Too many of us, especially young women, lie, gossip, and manipulate. Are these the actions of a trustworthy person? Are these the actions of a good wife?
Out of the three things listed above (lying, gossiping, and manipulating), lying is the easiest to recognize, understand, and stop. It’s the other two we re going to go more in depth with. Shall we start with gossip? I used to be a huge gossip girl, it was one of my worst character flaws. What made it even worse, was that I didn’t care I was hurting others, nor did I realize I was gossiping. There are often sins we don’t realize we are committing because we do them all the time. This is when a well formed conscience is vital. Gossip is always wrong and should be avoided because it not only damages our relationships with others, but also with God. Here are few tips to help you stop gossiping:
- Pray: Ask God for his grace to show you when you are gossiping. Recognizing when you are doing something wrong is the first step toward making a change in behavior. Because this behavior has been part of your life for so long, you need the Lord’s gift of self-awareness and humility to recognize when you may be saying something unnecessarily.
- T.H.I.N.K.: I’ve always been told to think before I speak. Unfortunately I’m not very good at that. I’m a bit of a talker and tend to ramble about non-sense. I also never really considered what I should be thinking about until I started working with children. I saw a picture on Pinterest that a preschool teacher was using to help the kids be nice to each other. It works with adults too: Before you speak, T.H.I.N.K.
Truthful: is it truthful?
Helpful: is it helpful?
Intelligent: is what you are about to say smart and appropriate at this time?
Necessary: is this comment essential?
Kind: is this story kind to all the people involved (the speaker, the listener, and any third parties)?
When we take the time to run through this list, I found I talk a lot less about other people. Generally the Lord tugs at my heart when it comes to the necessary and kind. Try using this next time you want to talk about someone.
Now let’s talk about manipulation. It comes in many shapes, sizes, and colors. This is one I continue to struggle with. A few of the ways I tend to manipulate others is through puppy dog eyes, a soft smile, and baked goods. Because I have a history of unchecked manipulation, I may become one of those wives that withholds sex because my husband won’t take out the trash. 1 Corinthians 7 would strongly object to that. The thing of it is, what we practice as single women is what we will practice as married women. I praise God that he has shown me that I can be a manipulator now so I have time to correct my behavior before he chooses to bless me with a a husband. The biggest problem with manipulation is that it is extreme pride at its core. It is the thought that I need something from the other person so I’m going to do something to get it. I’m using people as objects for my own personal gain which is completely against God and neighbor. The love Christ calls us to cannot be found when we manipulate people. How do we combat manipulation? Here are a couple tips:
- See God in others: We are all made in the image of God so search for him in the people around you.
- Humble yourself: Before you do or say something, consider how you would feel in that situation. How would you feel if you knew you were being manipulated by someone, and used for their own personal gain, not to help you?
A man must be able to trust his wife in all things. He needs to know she won’t blab his personal information to the neighbors, she won’t spend all the money on new shoes, and that she isn’t trying to trick him. People often divorce because trust has somehow been broken. As single women, we have the privilege of growing more trustworthy before we present ourselves to a husband on our wedding day.
- Would your friends and family call you trustworthy?
- Are you good with money and secrets?
- What can you do to become a more trustworthy person?
Challenge: Today, try THINKing before you speak.
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