There’s something that’s sadly accurate about the old saying, “familiarity breeds contempt”—especially in marriage! When you live in close proximity to another human being for any length of time, you will inevitably feel friction and irritation at some point . . . especially if your spouse is abusive or insensitive in any way.
But even if your spouse were “perfect” like Jesus, that perfection would also become annoying to you at times. You’d be tempted to think, “All he wants to do is pray and preach!” or “Every time I turn around she lets people interrupt our day by answering millions of questions, feeding the multitudes, or responding to their pleas for healing!” Funny how that second one is awfully close to what a mom truly does! 😉
You probably already know that if you focus on the negative in your spouse, you will feel more negatively about your mate. That’s a no-brainer, so I won’t be going there today . . .
But I would like to talk about a practice that I feel softens this harsh tendency towards contempt, and often does it in bigger and better ways than simply focusing on the positive.
What is that powerful practice?
It is the intentional practice of creating a culture of acceptance and confession in your marriage.
The first aspect of that practice—acceptance—may actually be easier to do, since it might not always involve any outward statement to your mate that you accept him or her.
[Tweet “Accepting your spouse can be done in the recesses of your heart—simply between you and the Lord.”]
But the second aspect—confession, or more specifically apology—is much harder to do and swallow, since it involves swallowing that nasty tasting “humble pie.” 😉
We must realize that creating . . .
[Tweet “A confessional culture in your marriage is crucial to removing barriers and deepening intimacy!”]
If you have a pulse and a healthy view of marriage, that should be something you long for!
A couple of weeks ago I talked about how we need to make God the one we turn to for our soul and life satisfaction—instead of our spouses. I promised that I would give a tool for identifying your own sins and faulty thinking, and that’s the place you’ve got to start in order to create a confessional culture in your marriage! You can click here to receive a PDF of that tool.
My hope is that you’ll begin to allow God to search your heart and reveal the ways you’ve hurt—both intentionally AND unintentionally—your spouse. But more than that, I pray that God will give you the courage to express your sorrow to your mate! This is where familiarity with our spouse can take a drastic u-turn! When you and your spouse are familiar with the humble view you each hold of your own sins, healing can begin.
I’ll be sharing more about how to express an apology or how to confess in crucial moments in marriage at my next Wedded Wednesday!
What are some fears you have about confessing your sins, faults and mistakes to your mate?
How was a “confessional culture” modeled or not in your family growing up?
Joining with my friends at Giving Up on Perfect, Wifey Wednesday, A Little R & R Wednesdays, Mondays @ Soul Survival, Coffee and Conversation, So Much at Home and Wholehearted Wednesday.
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