Abandoning the Silent Treatment
Posted: February 23rd, 2023
He knew he must have done something wrong because his wife was giving him the silent treatment.
When he asked what he had done to upset her, she simply ignored him, leaving him guessing and frustrated. In her mind, her silence was justified because she wanted to send him a message. Little did she realise that the message she sent told him he was so unimportant to her and cared so little about him that he was not worth speaking to.
The silent treatment in any relationship usually does far more harm than good. Some couples allow it to go on for days, during which both feel a range of negative emotions that can damage their relationship. When they eventually tire of it and return to each other, they often realise that it hadn’t accomplished anything. All they did was hurt their relationship, waste precious time and fill their lives with a plethora of negative feelings.
Sometimes we give God the silent treatment. We don’t talk to Him. If we are in Sabbath School, we may talk about Him but not to Him. We give Him the silent treatment. When we consider that by not speaking to Him, we are sending Him a message that says He’s not important enough for us to speak to, the enormity of our omission should weigh heavily on us. When we give God the silent treatment, when we don’t pray, we are letting Him know that He doesn’t matter to us.
I remember, there were moments when I didn’t feel like praying, and I didn’t, especially when I was angry with God. It seemed that it made no difference to my life—not until I realised that I was becoming spiritually weaker. I was still actively engaged in the usual religious activities but familiarity with the things of God is not a substitute for a close relationship with Him. My communication with Him couldn’t be intermittent. It had to be consistent, independent of how I felt.
What I have learnt is that an intermittent relationship with God inhibits spiritual growth. When we value a relationship, we give it consistent attention. Spending regular, meaningful time with someone builds a strong relationship. It is the same with God. It is as we consistently talk to Him and contemplate what He says to us through the words of the Bible, and what the Holy Spirit reveals to us, that we develop a deeper appreciation for Him.
Daily communion with God also helps us to become aware of His presence, purpose and power in our lives. We can call on Him, knowing that He hears and acts on our behalf. When we give God the silent treatment, we deny ourselves the awareness of His presence and forfeit the blessings of His power.
It’s time to abandon the silent treatment in all our relationships.