Is it appropriate for a woman to “brag” about her husband? Children? Grandchildren? Well, it all depends. If the motive is to impress people, or if it springs from pride, arrogance, or a sense of competition, then we ought to keep our mouths shut. But if it is a way to honor your husband or your children in a public way, in a manner that would bless them, I think it can be edifying for everyone.
The bottom line always seems to be wisdom. Who is hearing the comments? What is the context? When I was first married and attending my first Bible study for married women, I was very surprised by the unkind comments made by wives about their husbands. I didn’t want to say anything about my own wonderful husband for fear of making them all feel bad that they got such crummy ones. Later I began to catch on to what was happening, and I decided that I should feel free to be positive about my husband unless the situation was a touchy one.
For example, say your husband sent you a beautiful bouquet of flowers out of the blue, and you are delighted and thrilled. Your good friend (whose husband hasn’t given her a Christmas or birthday gift for years) stops by. You know that she is going to ask you about the flowers, and you know she is going to feel jealous that you have such a generous, kind husband. What do you do? Well you certainly don’t lie, and you don’t hide the flowers under the sink. If she asks, you tell her. At the same time, you don’t need to go on about how wonderful your husband is because it is obvious to everyone he is a great guy. After all, the evidence is on the table.
Sometimes women with healthy marriages are tempted to share something negative just to “connect” with the other women in the room who are having marriage problems. This is not necessary and it isn’t helpful. We don’t need to pretend we have perfect marriages, but neither do we need to give examples to back this up. Discretion, wisdom, kindness, and humility are to govern our tongues. And that’s a tall order.
I love “bragging” about my kids and grandkids. But I don’t want to bore everyone with another story about my grandkids’ antics. It takes wisdom to know your audience. Though my mom would be delighted to hear stories about them, someone else may not have the same enthusiasm. This seems obvious enough.
When it comes to talking about our husbands, we ought to be able to express our gratitude and admiration freely. It really is the golden rule.