A Marital Fool?

Marital Fool - AdobeStock_439147966We just “celebrated” April Fool’s Day on April 1st. It’s an “official” yearly holiday where people enjoy playing practical jokes and hoaxes on others—often yelling ‘April Fools!’ afterward so they know they’ve been pranked. We love jokes and humor, but we aren’t really interested in making anyone feel like a fool; so that “holiday” is just a tiny blip on the radar screen of our life together. We infuse humor in other ways every day. However, it occurred to us that we can sometimes play the role of being a marital fool (us included).

It’s not a “natural” thing to think of ourselves as fools (except when we’re temporarily wrapped up with regrets). More often, we tend to think of others playing the role of a fool. We just can’t understand why he or she would act that way. But let’s back up a bit and think about it. Who can escape being a fool at times? Doesn’t our sinful nature usher us into that role sometimes?

Author/trainer Darren Carlson (in his article, “All Marriage is Difficult – Here’s Why”) brought different ways to our attention, in which we can act like fools. The Bible especially points this out. So, concerning this matter, we’re sharing a few of Darren’s points, and adding related scriptures in red for emphasis. We’ll also add a few additional thoughts in [brackets].

But we want to add a twist here. In each of these points, we encourage you to apply it to your walk in your marriage. And don’t point at your spouse. This is a personal marital journey for you to explore.

A Marital Fool?

Here’s a great scripture to earnestly pray over before you start:

Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me and lead me in the way everlasting.(Psalm 139:23-24)

Now, prayerfully look at each point and the accompanying scripture and see if you need to do any adjusting to your attitudes, and actions. This is a good journey to take—especially spiritually. We’re taking this journey with you, so you aren’t alone. Who doesn’t need an adjustment at different times?

So, “Consider the fool of Proverbs [including the marital fool] as you consider your life.”

• A fool “Is convinced that he is right.”The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice.(Proverbs 12:15)

[Do you ever get caught up in “right fighting”? When you’re conflicting with your spouse, do you keep fighting about the issue at hand until you feel you’ve made the point clear that you are right, and he or she is wrong? Do you sometimes find yourself fighting with your spouse to such a degree that you would much rather prove you are right, than to work on saving the relationship? Be careful or we can fall into a pride trap. And then, “Professing to be wise, they became fools,(Romans 1:22)]

• A fool “Quickly shows his annoyance.”Fools show their annoyance at once, but the prudent overlook an insult.(Proverbs 12:16)

[Are you easily triggered into annoyance where you spill over into unkindness?]


• A fool “Is hot headed and reckless.”The wise fear the LORD and shun evil, but a fool is hotheaded and yet feels secure.(Proverbs 14:16)

[Ouch! In marriage we can too often become so relaxed that we let our guard down and recklessly give into angry impulses. How is that healthy when we aim to hurt our marriage partner like this? Too often we forget we’re partners.]

• A fool “Delights in airing his own opinions.”Fools find no pleasure in understanding but delight in airing their own opinions.(Proverbs 18:2)

[In your marriage relationship, make sure you don’t allow yourself to fall into the habit of lazy listening and hasty speaking. “Let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance.(Proverbs 1:5)Listen to advice and accept instruction, and in the end you will be wise.(Proverbs 19:20)Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.(James 1:19)]

• A fool “Is quick to quarrel.”It is to one’s honor to avoid strife, but every fool is quick to quarrel.(Proverbs 20:3)

[Whenever it is possible, whenever it is wise to do so, slow things down, and make sure you choose your battles wisely. Someone said, “Treat each argument like your second plate at a buffet; be selective about what you pile on.” And it’s true! “To start a conflict is to release a flood; stop the dispute before it breaks out.(Proverbs 17:14)]

In Addition, Concerning a Marital Fool:

• A fool “Trusts in himself.”Those who trust in themselves are fools, but those who walk in wisdom are kept safe.(Proverbs 28:26)

[“The greedy stir up conflict, but those who trust in the LORD will prosper.(Proverbs 28:25)Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.(Proverbs 3:5-6)The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?(Jeremiah 17:9)]

• A fool “Gives full vent to his anger.”A fool always loses his temper, but a wise man holds it back.(Proverbs 29:11)

[“Be not quick in your spirit to become angry, for anger lodges in the heart of fools.(Ecclesiastes 7:9)A fool’s mouth is his ruin, and his lips are the snare of his soul.(Proverbs 18:7) And even if your spouse is fully venting his or her anger, that doesn’t mean that you must participate. Remember that we’re told, “Do not answer a fool according to his folly, or you will also be like him.(Proverbs 26:4)

Sometimes taking a time out and walking away from the heat of the moment is a wise thing to do so you can both regroup and approach the matter in wise, civil, respectful ways. Ultimately, “The words of the wise heard in quietness are better than the shouting of a ruler among fools.(Ecclesiastes 9:17)]

We Don’t Have to Remain a Marital Fool

There’s no doubt that we can all play the part of a marital fool at times. We pray that this has helps you (as it has helped us) to make the important corrections, if it’s needed. Confessions, apologies, and a change of behavior may be advised. As you talk with God about all of this, He will let you know what and if you need to do any of those things.

Above all, in your marriage and your daily walk, remember what we’re told in “Ephesians 5:15-17:

Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore, do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.

That is our prayer for you, and our prayer for ourselves. May we look at each day as a new beginning and a new opportunity given to us by God. Keep in mind: “Each day is a gift; that’s why it is called the present!”

Cindy and Steve Wright


To help you further, we give a lot of personal stories, humor, and more practical tips in our book, 7 ESSENTIALS to Grow Your Marriage. We hope you will pick up a copy for yourself. (It’s available both electronically and in print form.) Plus, it can make a great gift for someone else. It gives you the opportunity to help them grow their marriage. And who doesn’t need that? Just click on the linked title or the picture below:

7 Essentials - Marriage book


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