National Association of Marriage Enhancement

Venting: Is it Biblical?

“A fool gives full vent to his spirit, but a wise man quietly holds it back.” Proverbs 29:11 ESV

“I just need to vent” is a pretty common phrase that we have probably all heard someone say. It is a wonderful thing to have the confidence of a spouse/friend; it is a blessing from God to have someone who will listen to you… However, according to the verse above venting is not a method that those practicing God’s wisdom use.  Why fully venting your issues not the wisest choice?

1.      Venting can quickly be out of control. Chances are when you are venting your emotions are running rampant. You are angry, sad, disappointed or upset. This is not the clear headspace needed to be ‘sober-minded’ (1 Peter 5:8).

2.      Venting often quickly turns into gossip. And God has made it clear what His stance on gossip is. “A gossip betrays a confidence; so avoid anyone who talks too much.” (Proverbs 20:19)

3.      Venting causes contention in the body of Christ. Contention and gossip go hand in hand. Venting often includes sharing information that you probably should not be sharing; this could rip apart members of the church. God desires that His church be unified in mind and purpose.

4.      Venting is immature. God values maturity (1 Corinthians 13:11, 14:20, & Ephesians 4:14-15). Maturity and wisdom agree, thus if the wise man does not fully vent then the immature man does.

5.      Venting distracts us from our main purpose in life. Our man purpose is to be followers and Disciples of Christ and that should be the framework upon all things in our life is based. Keep the main thing the main thing!

You are probably wondering, “What does this have to do with marriage?” First, avid venting will wear your spouse down. Out of control emotions and aggressive opinions are not a habit you want to establish for your marriage. Second, venting about your spouse to friends is dangerous as it employs gossip, immaturity and contention. Be very wary about what you share. Remember to sober-minded in emotions too. Third, if you have the need to vent, go to God first. Get some of the initial emotions and hurt off your chest. He may clarify things for you and give you a peace to look at the situation more levelheaded.