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EP. 63 Three Ways to Eliminate Contempt in Your Marriage


To View the Video on YouTube: https://youtu.be/Ztq5pXpd1tI


SHOW NOTES


Hey friends and welcome to a new week of the Hope Rescue Podcast. Kimberly is back on the show this week, but if you missed the last two weeks make sure to check out episodes 61 & 62 where Tim interviews Evan Wickham. This week we are starting a new series called “Practical Truths Christians Should Know.” Today we are talking about marriage, but specifically contempt in marriage.


Tim kicks off the discussion by listing John Gottman's four predictors of divorce. John Gottman is a psychological researcher and clinician who did extensive work for over forty years on divorce prediction and marital stability. The four markers of relationship failure that Gottman discovered indicate a 93% accuracy in predicting divorce. The four indicators are criticism, defensiveness, contempt, and stonewalling.


These indicators are all normal, self-centered, flesh reactions to life that we may all experience, but they are also signs of a lack of empathy. We don't want our viewers to see this list of divorce indicators and think their marriage is going off the deep end, because that isn't always the case. But the more aware we are of these markers, the easier it will be to catch and correct ourselves when feeling this way.


We can feel contempt for people we know and for people we don’t know. Tim talks about how when a person cuts us off while driving, we can quickly turn to contempt for that person without knowing him or her or anything about them. Many people feel contempt for politicians that they have never met and they don’t know personally. But feeling contempt for your spouse is personal and can do severe damage. Tim says, “Contempt and lack of respect have a diminishing impact on a marriage.”


Signs of Contempt


Contempt is the opposite of empathy. Contempt is a response of rejection, while empathy is a response of acceptance.


  1. Sarcasm or Mean-Spirited Teasing

  2. Expressions such as eye rolling

  3. Exaggeration for impact (saying generalities such as “You never” or “You always”)

  4. Insults and name calling

  5. Interrupting and finishing sentences

  6. Correcting and redoing someone’s work


Signs of Empathy


  1. You are an active listener

  2. You use your power and abilities for the benefit of others

  3. You hurt for others when they are in pain

  4. You are tolerant of your spouse’s ideas


When we are feeling bitterness, contempt, malice, or anger towards your spouse, these feelings can be removed by three things outlined in scripture. Tim quotes Ephesians 4:31-32 which says, “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” The three ways to eliminate contempt in a marriage are:


  1. Be kind to one another.

  2. Be understanding and sympathetic

  3. Actively practice forgiveness every day


QUOTES


“Contempt and lack of respect have a diminishing impact on a marriage.” -Tim


“Contempt is the opposite of empathy. Contempt is a response of rejection, while empathy is a response of acceptance.” -Tim


“We often go after the ones we love the most when we are feeling bad about ourselves because they are the safest target.” -Kimberly


“Feeling contempt for a spouse is not always black and white. We can feel varying degrees of contempt, but if we pay attention we can catch it early on and replace contempt with empathy.” -Tim


REFERENCED SCRIPTURE


Ephesians 4:31-32 which says, “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”



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