I don’t know where you were when the solar eclipse occurred, but in my neck of the woods, we had an excellent view of it. Some said 99.5%! I feel as if the eclipse is a good way to illustrate my next “lesson” in my Back to School series—“Arithmetic – Counting What Counts.”
I think that’s because of the way “not counting” works in our lives.
So what am I suggesting that we should count?
[bctt tweet=”We should count the many blessings our spouses provide. #countwhatcounts” username=”BethSteffaniak”]
I’m sort of a glass-half-empty-kind-of-gal by nature. I notice the problematic details much more quickly than the promising or good details in any situation. It is only by intentionally taking a U-turn in my attitude that I can regain the proper perspective of my spouse and marriage that God desires.
This “glass-half-empty” attitude is very much like the moon coming in front of the sun. The good in my spouse and marriage are like the sun—being so much more important, encouraging and powerful than the bad in any given moment (that is, if I am not in an abusive situation).
But when I focus on the bad (or moon) in my spouse and marriage, it immediately eclipses the good that is in my mate. And it doesn’t wait decades or even hundreds of years, like the lunar eclipse does, to recur.
[bctt tweet=”A focus on the bad in my mate eclipses the good—darkening my attitude immediately! #eclipse” username=”BethSteffaniak”]
The apostle Paul was keenly aware of the temptation we face to look for the bad in any situation. I would say this temptation is felt even stronger in our marriages, since, quite frankly, living with another human being can be rather annoying at times! 😉
Here’s what the Apostle says we should do . . .
“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” ~Philippians 4:4-6
Nothing like setting the bar high, Apostle Paul! There’s no wiggle room in that verse to complain or even harbor a secret rumination over how disappointed we are in our mates.
I don’t know about you, but I am a work-in-progress here.
The good news is that I can testify to how effective being grateful and focusing on the positive is for my view of my husband. Each time I do this, I feel encouraged and more grateful for my guy, no matter how annoying he can be at times. (Me-oh-my-Miss-Molly! Inside joke!)
How to be intentional about this in marriage …
1. Pray daily for God to bless your spouse.
2. Pray daily for God to open your eyes to the good in your mate and marriage—then begin to look for and count those many good things you see.
3. Affirm your mate when you notice the good in his/her life.
Doing this at least once a day, but more if you’re inclined.
4. Point out to your mate the blessings you see and feel because of your marriage.
This can be a really tough assignment for those of you who are facing the “cold winds of marriage.” I’ve been there and know how hard it can be! But to remain idle in this is to head toward a frozen marriage, as well as icy feelings of love!
Whether you’re in a bad place in your marriage or simply want to improve on being more positive about your mate, I’d love to join forces with you by holding each other accountable in a 21-day “Look for the Good in My Spouse” challenge, starting Sunday Aug. 27, 2017. Hopefully this will be long enough to start a habit.
Either let me know in the comments that you’d like to be included in this challenge or email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org and request to partner with me in this 21-day “Look for the Good in My Spouse” effort. I will email you each evening to see how you did and you can ask me daily how I did too. If you didn’t do well, no sweat. Just get back up on your “horse” and ride toward gratitude the next day! So, who’s with me?
I hope you’ll join me next week when I unpack another extremely important lesson in this series—“The ABC’s of Forgiveness.”
What is one good thing your spouse has done for you and/or your marriage lately?
What gets in the way of you making this a daily practice in your marriage?
Be sure to scroll down below to comment!
Here are some lovely linkups I join – Mondays @ Soul Survival, Moments of Hope, Literary Musing Mondays, Testimony Tuesday, Jennifer Dukes Lee, Writer Wednesday, Coffee and Conversation, Coffee for Your Heart, Sitting Among Friends, Faith and Friends, Fresh Market Friday, and DanceWithJesusFriday
Let’s Get this ‘From Messes to Messages’ Linkup Started!
Add any links that are uplifting, helpful and encouraging to our spiritual lives, marriages and families! Be sure to add a link on your blog back to “From Messes to Messages” or Messy Marriage as well. For linkup guidelines/button, click here.