A picture captures a moment in time to help us remember the experience, the people or the place photographed. I love to look at pictures as much as I like to take them. I see it as a type of journalism. Once the shot is caught on camera I know I’ll always remember it.
Our thoughts are like pictures in our mind. What we allow ourselves to record in our thoughts will be remembered for a long time. This is why it is so important to follow the command of Scripture by taking every thought captive.
When it comes to how we think of our spouse and our marriage it is even more important to guard our thoughts.
It’s often the one with whom we are closest that we are the most critical. We can nit-pick every flaw and judge every (in)action. We can smother our spouse with accusations and never say a word. This is more dangerous than you know.
There is an old adage that says “You are what you eat.” I think it could be said similarly…
“Our marriage is what we allow ourselves to think of it.”
Think the best of your spouse when they don’t do something you hoped they would and your thoughts will stop there. On the contrary, if you critically judge your spouse’s motives you’ll open a door of angry thoughts towards them–like a Pandora’s Box you wished you’d never opened.
Sadly, many couples have lived this way for so many years that the issues are no longer clear, just the animosity they feel towards each other.
How can we erase the photos mounted on the walls of our mind? How can we begin to undo the damage years of unguarded thoughts have wrought? The answer is easier than you might think.
First of all repent. Ask God to forgive you for thinking critically of your spouse. Then ask Him to help you undo the damage done. It might be an impossible task for us, but not for God. His power is limitless and He is able to save. Finally, His mercies are new every morning, so every morning you can ask for His help, His mercy, His power to work in you enabling you to begin thinking differently towards your spouse and marriage.
I love the movie, What About Bob? The concept Dr. Marvin (Richard Dreyfuss) shares with Bob (Bill Murray), his patient, is a good one (albeit a bit exagerrated) to practice and it’s biblical. Here’s the clip:
Zechariah 4:10 says, “Do not despise these small beginnings, for the LORD rejoices to see the work begin…”
Whenever there is work to be done we have to start somewhere, and it can seem daunting. But if God has led you to read this post today, and you are being convicted to change, then God has planted a seed of hope in your heart. Taking the small steps each day to change the way you think and act towards your spouse is like a tiny seedling taking root. It will grow if treated well. Neglect it and no doubt it will wither and die.
So, our encouragement to you today is to decide what one thing you can work on starting today. Pray and ask God for help to do the impossible and watch what happens. We have a feeling your baby steps will end up like giant leaps in the years to come. Now that’s a picture to hang on to.