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Marriage Killer #4: Condescension

My kids tease me about the way I can give a “drop-dead” look by raising one eyebrow. It came in handy as a high school teacher, but it can really get in the way when you need to display a gentle and kind spirit toward your husband. The raised eyebrow usually lets him know I’m not pleased with something he’s done.

Where does that raised eyebrow come from? Well, for me anyway, it stems from a prideful heart. Maybe some people just have a twitch or raise their eyebrows because they’re puzzled. Not me. It’s pride through and through. If I want to communicate to you that I disagree with what you just said or did or I think my idea is better, my way is superior, or I know best, my eyebrow throws an insult to your intelligence. That is pride.

The older I get, the more I realize how much I still need to learn. This realization has resulted in me becoming a less frequent “eyebrow raiser.” In fact, I’m afraid I may almost have forgotten how. (I probably should hang on to that ability in case I ever need to return to the classroom.)

Nothing deflates a man more than treating him with a disrespectful, condescending attitude that communicates: “I’m far superior to you.” Probably none of us believe we’re superior to our husbands (I know I’m certainly not!), but our attitudes can convey this idea—even though it’s unintended.

I may not understand all the ins and outs of practicing biblical womanhood, but one thing that Scripture makes clear is that I’m to respect my husband, and I’m pretty sure that doesn’t include a raised eyebrow.

“The wife must see to it that she respects her husband” (Eph. 5:33).

Your facial expression may not involve raising the eyebrow, but are you guilty of using body language or tone of voice to communicate a negative message to your husband? Are you careful to honor him or is he more familiar with your criticism? Where does this post find you today?

Originally posted 08.26.09 at www.truewoman.com.