10 Hindrances To Cultivating A Romantic Vineyard

#10 – Critical Judgments

Cartoon by Kim Casali

Today marks our final hindrance to cultivating a romantic vineyard, and it is so common many couples may not even realize how this is effecting their marriage.  Critical judgments as opposed to charitable judgments are like a disease that eats away the life and love in our relationship.

Photo Credit: Pacific Ag & Vineyard

To use our analogy once again of a vineyard keeper – one who is critical surveys his beautiful landscape and only sees whats wrong.  It jumps out at him so he can’t enjoy all the good.

And in marriage how quick we can be to only see what our spouse is doing wrong and completely ignore all they do right.  There is a place for helping our spouse see where they need to grow and change, but for every correction we should give 10 encouragements. Otherwise we’re tearing our house down with our own words.

On the Marriage Gems blog yesterday, Lori Lowe posted “Focusing on What’s Missing in Life Can Cause You to Miss What’s There.” She basically explains how many marriages aren’t happy because they never get all they think they need to be happy. She writes about Dennis Prager’s Missing Tile Syndrome:

If you’re looking at a tiled ceiling or floor and one tile is missing, your eye will be drawn to that missing tile, and you’ll continue to focus on that missing tile rather than the rest of the tiles. Dennis Prager calls this the “Missing Tile Syndrome” and says it explains why many of us focus on what is missing in our lives instead of what we have. This tendency causes us much unhappiness.

It isn’t easy to re-route our thinking, especially if this has become a habit.  It will take commitment and diligence and maybe even the accountability of friends to help you see when you’re being critical.  In fact, there’s a good chance if you are critical at home you may be doing the same thing to others in your life.

We have found the Peacemaker Ministry of Ken Sande to be quite helpful in understanding this sin.  He provides an excellent article titled,  Charitable Judgments: An Antidote to Judging Others, we highly recommend if you are currently experiencing critical judgments towards others.  Even if you aren’t, it will help you as you seek to help those with whom you relate in your life.

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