Change your marriage – tell your spouse the truth with love

One of the best ways to change your marriage is to tell your spouse the truth with love. Are you frustrated and perhaps angry because of your spouse’s annoying or hurtful behavior? Would you like that to change? This post will help you tell your spouse the truth but do it in a way that won’t hurt your relationship.

Tell your spouse the truth with grace

Before I tell you how to tell your spouse the truth, let’s talk about grace. Grace in a relational context is understanding, forgiveness and acceptance. God gave us grace when he sent Jesus who died and rose again so we could be forgiven of our sin and have a relationship with Him. God understands us, forgives us and accepts us for who we are.

If you haven’t read it, take a look at the post on why and how to give grace to others at this link:

Truth on the other hand is reality, structure, accountability and consequences. Truth is not the opposite of grace, it compliments grace.

Truth is not the opposite of grace, it compliments grace

Jesus came full of grace and truth and both are needed

John 1:14 says: The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

Not only did God give us grace through Jesus, he gave us truth. Jesus came full of both grace and truth. We need both in all our relationships.

Truth without grace is harsh, demanding, and lacks understanding. Grace without truth however results in things never changing or improving. With grace and no truth there’s never growth or healing and hurtful or damaging behavior can persist in a relationship or marriage.

For example, imagine a wife who isn’t happy in her marriage but she never says anything to her husband. She thinks she just needs to give him grace and one day he’ll change. Her husband is completely unaware of how his behavior is damaging his marriage. One day she finally gets fed up and says I want a divorce and her husband is completely blindsided. Perhaps this could have been avoided if she had given some truth and confronted her husband with how she was really feeling.

Both grace and truth are ABSOLUTELY needed for a healthy marriage.

How to tell your spouse the truth with love – 4 key steps

Ephesians 4:15 gives us the way to tell the truth with love: – Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.

  1. Soft start up – show your appreciation and express your desire to be closer to your spouse
  2. Share your feelings.  Use this simple formula: “I feel _______ when you _____.”
  3. Make a request. “Would you please______?”
  4. Allow the person to respond.

Here are some possible responses:

  • Apologizing
  • Taking responsibility for their behavior
  • Offering an explanation
  • Making a promise to change

Not only do we need to give grace to others, we also need to be courageous enough to confront. We need to speak the truth in a way that will not damage the relationship. If you want to have a great marriage, give grace and tell the truth in love.

For more on this check out these videos:

Change your marriage – tell your spouse the truth with love

Seven steps to successfully confronting your spouse

Using I statements instead of you statements

Why and how to give grace to others

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