Check Yourself: Do You Treat Your Spouse Like a Thing?

The person you chose to connect your life to is a living, breathing, creation of God. He delights in your spouse!

While we know that to be true, how often do we think or act differently in our day to day life? How often are we actually treating our spouse like a thing rather than as a person?


Person – is to be loved, no matter what VS Thing – may be used

Love is an active choice for the other person. No matter the situation we are called to love our spouse. That is our covenant between God and the person we married.

Whether we look to 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 or the traditional marriage vows, all aspects are on how we give love to the other person. Not how we are receiving love.

When love is viewed as circumstantial it is based off of “what am I getting out of it.” Or how is it benefiting me. Meaning we end up using our spouse for the love we are receiving. Our spouse then turns into a thing to be used to get our needs met.

But our spouse is not meant to be the one to fill our needs.

Person – is to be respected VS Thing – can be controlled

Respect is to admire someone or something deeply, as a result of their abilities, qualities, or achievements. That means acknowledging our spouse for who he/she is and focusing on their positive qualities.

To control or to manipulate is the desire to change, alter, and/or move something in the way that we want. Far too often people get married with the belief they can “change” their spouse. That thought process alters the perception of the spouse from a person to a thing that they are able to control.

While we should help encourage the growth process of our spouse. It should always be for their benefit not ours. And we are to be the supporters in the process. Not the one forcing the change.

Person – makes his/her own choices VS Thing – has no choice

This can be as benign as nagging a spouse to complete a chore. Or this can be far worse in not allowing your spouse to make the simplest of decisions.

Either way, the perception is driven by the same thought. You don’t believe your spouse is worthy of making choices and decisions. Even if this is subconscious. The view is that you’re choice and decision is superior to theirs. Your timeline is better. Your way of doing things is better. You are better.

You have placed your thoughts and views above your spouse and reduced them to something you get to demand of them.

Person – is free VS Thing – has no freedom

Free will is something God gave us so that we could actively choose Him. If we didn’t have free will, our love couldn’t be viewed as genuine.

This hold true in our marriages as well. Threats removes freedom in your marriage. Statements such as:

The ultimatum will either enslave your spouse or cause you to lose them. Neither is a positive situation.

Person – is mysterious VS Thing – can be labeled

God made each of us unique and different. Meaning our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are different than anyone else’s. We are mysterious and meant to be explored, discovered and understood.

Melissa Gendreau
Melissa Gendreau
Melissa Gendreau is a Licensed Mental Health Therapist and National Certified Counselor. She works at a Christian counseling center working with children, families and couples. Melissa's areas of exeperience includes: anxiety and depression, self-esteem, attachment disorders, parent education, trauma, marital issues, and autism. Her clients come from all walks of life and are on various paths in their pursuit to know Jesus. Melissa is also a wife and mommy to two pretty neat kids. You can learn more at her website or find her on Facebook or Twitter @humfaithfamwell.

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