So, how’s your thought life? Do you spider web when you’re thinking? Boy, I do. You know what I’m talking about; one thought crosses your mind, and then you chase that thought over to another thought that springboards off of yet another. Weave in there a bunch of “what ifs” and “if onlys,” and you’ve pretty much just taken a walk through my brain at any given time of the day. How about you?
And if your husband is anything like mine, he finds it fascinating how I can chase a rabbit down a path in a conversation, and still return to the main point I was trying to make twenty minutes earlier. Okay I seriously just laughed out loud when I remembered the look my hubby gets on his face as he tries to follow my line of reasoning. Although truth be known, rather than following he is more likely just enduring my tangent while he is waiting for me to get back to the real issue at hand.
Let’s get serious for a minute when it comes to your thought life. Take a moment to consider this question:
Do you control your thoughts, or do your thoughts control you?
When it comes to your marriage, do you make it a point to think the best about your man? You know, the same way you hope he will think about you? Or are your first thoughts focused on how he has not measured up to your expectations in some way?
Like when he forgets to the garbage to the curb on trash day, do you find yourself thinking the best about his intentions, or do you rehearse the list of the many ways he lets you down in the everyday chores you need him to take care of?
Do you realize you can heal or hurt your marriage by how you think about your husband?
And if you have made it a habit to not think the best about him, you may need to ask the Lord to help you break that bad habit (or let’s call it what it is, sin). It’s a sin to habitually think negatively about your husband. And as with any sinful behavior, when you repent and genuinely ask God to help you, He can give you victory over it if you are willing to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ (see 2 Corinthians 10:5).
A great way to develop a healthy thought life toward your husband is to follow the advice of the apostle Paul: “Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things” (Philippians 4:8). I suggest you memorize this scripture if you don’t already know it.
But you don’t know my husband…
At this point you may be thinking, “What difference will it make if I try to think on what is best about my husband? He will never be anything but negative and unappreciative.”
I know a woman who would beg to differ. Her name is Anne.
Anne had been married for more than a decade to a man she had learned to “tolerate” as she put it. But after her pastor gave a sermon on Philippians 4:8, she determined she would make every effort to have only good and honorable thoughts about her husband, Ted.
At first Anne could hardly find any good thoughts to replace the negative ones. But with God’s help and a resolve to heal her marriage, Anne disciplined herself to put out of her mind any negative thoughts she had. Instead, she tried to dwell on positive thoughts about Ted.
Eventually Anne found that as she obeyed God’s instruction to think what was best about Ted, Christ’s peace began to wash over her mind.
No longer did Anne find herself anxious, unhappy, or restless.
As Anne’s thought life was being transformed, her attitudes and actions were also changing. Soon Anne was not only thinking well of her husband; she also made it a point to verbally affirm him as well.
After experiencing so many years of Anne’s sharp tongue and condescending tone, Ted was wary of her new demeanor. He had learned a long time ago to keep his mouth shut, watch TV until bedtime, and not cross his wife if he wanted a relaxing evening.
Over time, Ted grew to trust that Anne’s new manner was not a passing phase. He found himself looking forward to arriving home after work. He even started to linger in the kitchen after dinner to talk with Anne as she cleaned up the dinner dishes.
One day Ted told Anne, “I’ll do the dishes tonight, honey. You do so much for me and the kids. It’s the least I can do.” Anne just about fell out of her chair.
It has been more than ten years since Anne determined to think what was best about Ted. She will tell you that decision saved her marriage. And because of Anne’s example, Ted has learned to do the same and dwell on her good qualities as well. Today their marriage is one that others desire to emulate.