A sin of omission is when you know the good you ought to do but choose not to do it. Sometimes the thing causing strife and harm in a marriage is actually something we fail to do more than something malicious we do. Below you will see what I call the 7 Deadly Sins of Omission in Marriage.
1. Failing to speak love and encouragement
A loving word or compliment goes a long way from anyone but it can go for miles from your spouse. Saying, “I love you” and “thank you” and “I’m so glad I married you” are phrases that simply shouldn’t go unsaid in marriage. Compliment your spouse. Don’t make things up. Look for genuine reasons to compliment and speak it. Who knows, your spouse may secretly struggle with confidence or insecurity and the emotional boost of your words could be life giving.
2. Failure to initiate/respond sexually
It is rare to find a couple completely on the same page sexually. It is likely that one of you longs for sexual touch more (and maybe a lot more) than the other. The less-sexually-motivated spouse can easily be guilty of failing to initiate or even respond to sexual advances. This can be crippling to your more-sexually-motivated spouse. Your willingness to initiate and respond sexually is a blessing that should foster a deeper emotional connection to the marriage.
3. Failing to consult on finances
When one person makes financial decisions without consulting the other, a war can break out. The financial stability of a marriage is a big deal. Unilateral financial decisions alienate couples and result in bitterness, anger and distrust. Subtle messages of superiority, judgment, entitlement often come with these sorts of moves. Marriages need transparency, especially related to finances.
4. Failing to give your undivided attention
This is sitting inches from one another, yet miles away because your undivided attention is with social media instead of your spouse. Sure, you break away and talk to each other, but it is clear your attention is really with your phone. Silently and slowly a wall is built between you. You learn to get through the day with no meaningful conversation with your spouse while securing 27 more “likes” on your latest post. Marriage demands you give your undivided attention to your spouse, at least sometimes.
5. Failing to help each other with tasks/chores
Life is busy. There is an unending list of tasks and chores that help keep life manageable. What is it about us that waits to be asked to help out? When we are asked, why do we make excuses or do the minimum to get by? What would it look like to offer your help? Too many couples turn basic tasks and chores into a competition of who has worked harder or who deserves a break. Stepping up and doing what needs to be done is life-giving to any marriage.
6. Failing to give small acts of kindness and service
Kindness is overlooked in so many marriages today. Kindness is what makes marriage fun, sweet and enjoyable. The world speaks of “passion” when kindness is most needed. A small act of kindness or service sends the message that you are special to me. Acts of kindness and service are inherently self-less moves that elevate your spouse. We are often more kind to perfect strangers than we are to our spouse.
7. Failing to celebrate a success
What is your initial reaction when your spouse succeeds at something? Do you celebrate? Do you demean? Are you ambivalent? Your spouse should not have to look further than you for a cheering section. Trust me, your spouse is counting on you being in their corner. Honestly, most people aren’t just outright negative in this situation. Often the most painful response is none at all. Ignoring or not noticing successes is more than selfish, it feels intentionally hurtful.