To View the Video on YouTube: https://youtu.be/Ztq5pXpd1tI
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.
Sarcasm or Mean-Spirited Teasing
Expressions such as eye rolling
Exaggeration for impact (saying generalities such as “You never” or “You always”)
Insults and name calling
Interrupting and finishing sentences
Correcting and redoing someone’s work
Signs of Empathy
You are an active listener
You use your power and abilities for the benefit of others
You hurt for others when they are in pain
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:
Be kind to one another.
Be understanding and sympathetic
Actively practice forgiveness every day
“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
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.”