"Never let evil talk pass your lips; say only the good things men need to hear, things that will really help them. Do nothing that will sadden the Holy Spirit with whom you were sealed against the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, all passion and anger, harsh words, slander, and malice of every kind. In place of these, be kind to one another, compassionate, and mutually forgiving, just as God has forgiven you in Christ." (Ephesians 4:29-32)
It is a beautiful truth that men and women are equal in dignity for they are both made in the image and likeness of God. This entails a relationship built on the mutual admiration for the gifts and responsibilities that God has bestowed on each. Men and women must not only recognize their differences, but more importantly, when husband and wife, they must discover the differences that are unique to their spouse. One should rejoice and commend the other's strengths, and encourage and be patient with the other's weaknesses. Show gratitude for the good and quickly forgive and forget the bad.
In marriage, and every friendship, respect for the other must be taken seriously less it become a romantic notion, a lofty ideal that is talked about but never practiced. Spouses are called to get one another to heaven; in this, one must gently lead, not continually browbeat. One must be careful not to cut away at the confidence of his spouse only to add to his own pride and self-satisfaction at being the presumed moral superior in any situation. Condescension and criticism must never replace compassion and encouragement. A noble soul lifts others up by his joy and patience. When he forgives, it is complete; he is never patronizing toward the other, and never makes another feel inferior.
Let us follow the exhortation of St. Paul, and encourage one another in holiness, with hearts full of mercy and humility.