Many years ago, a wiser, older, more mature couple taught us this phrase: praise in public; construct in private. By that phrase they meant to always provide a word of praise for your mate when with your family, at your work place, with your friends or in any social setting. They also encouraged us to never, ever put our mate down, shame them, humiliate them or correct them in a negative sense in public. We took this counsel to heart and have adapted it for our marriage relationship.
When in public, it is difficult to be in a conversation with a person who frequently speaks negatively of their spouse. It is embarrassing and it is often shamed-filled. When a life mate feels the need to continually place their partner in a negative light, I question their own esteem.
Concerning praise, the writer of Proverbs puts it this way, “Let someone else praise you, and not your own mouth; an outsider, and not your own lips.” As married persons we are responsible to, called to, encouraged to speak praise of our life mate publicly. If we do not have words of encouragement, then we should practice not speaking anything.
When we bless our spouse before others, we are blessing ourselves and when we speak negatively and put our spouse down, we are putting ourselves down. How so? When we marry, two have become one. What affects one affects the other. Praise in public; construct in private.