What Topics Should be “Off-Limits” with Friends?

Q: Are there certain topics about each other that should be off limits in our conversations with our friends? Where should we draw the line?

A: One of the things we love to tell people is that when we interact with our friends—especially when we’re not together—we envision each other to be there anyway. If you’re getting ready to say something about your spouse, envision him or her there and decide if he or she would be pleased with what you’re about to say. Would you get a smile? If not, then you’re probably about to violate a boundary and what you’re thinking about saying should be left unsaid.

It’s best not to talk about sexual issues that are private. Don’t talk about something that would embarrass your spouse. 


People sometimes get into their little small groups or Bible studies and start talking and the stories start flying. If you jump into the fray in order to top that last story, you may find yourself exposing a story about your mate that is very embarrassing. Don’t do it. Instead, keep your boundaries high. Picture him or her there, listening. In all your words about him or her, show honor, respect, and love. When you do that, you allow your mate to fail with you, and he or she knows that the failure is safe and private. There is great security in that.

Bottom line, always ask, “Is what you’re going to say honoring to your spouse? Does it help or hurt? Does it respect or ridicule?” Think about these questions before you open your mouth.