Are You an Eraser or a Highlighter?

Are you an eraser or a highlighter in your marriage? Both are useful tools provided we are using them in the best way for our spouse.

Photo by David Pennington on Unsplash

Erasers are used to take away errors giving an opportunity to do it right. Highlighters are used to emphasize something you don’t want to forget. In marriage we can use both to help or hurt our relationship.

How are we to use erasers in a way that will benefit our marriage most?

Proverbs 19:11 says, “Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense.”

Do you find it difficult in the heat of the moment to choose to not make a big deal out of something your spouse did that you don’t like?

Let’s look at the positive ways we can be an eraser:

  • Choosing to overlook when our spouse irritates us.
  • Thinking the best of them when something happens we don’t understand.
  • Focusing on the good we love about them, rather than the areas that still need attention.
  • Not venting to others about their struggles and/or sins.

Being an eraser requires a commitment beforehand to do this. Otherwise we are caught up in the emotions of the moment and will most often react.

How often Christ has modeled this for us in our own lives. He doesn’t nit-pick every mistake or sin. He gently chides us in the areas where change is needed. And He patiently forebears with us as we struggle. He remembers what we are made of. We would do well to aspire to treat our spouse with such kindness.

Highlighters are the exact opposite. They emphasize something to make it more visible.

How can we use a highlighter in a way that will benefit our marriage most? Jesus tells us this analogy that will point us to part of the answer.

“Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.” Matthew‬ ‭7:3-5‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Realizing our sin and how it impacts our spouse will help keep us from being quick to judge our spouse–highlighting our own failures and sins, rather than theirs.

I learned this the hard way, and the lesson will never be forgotten. God didn’t make me the standard-bearer for how my spouse should live. That is God’s job alone, and He is jealous to do His work.

Highlighters are also used to remember something we love in a book. How important to make much of those things we love about our spouse. Quips we can easily recite to ourselves when we are tempted to highlight the negative.

Positive ways we can be a highlighter:

  • Be quick to confess your sin to your spouse when necessary, and ask forgiveness. (This is highlighting your own need to change, a healthy habit in marriage).
  • Think often on those things you love most about your spouse. (Highlighting their strengths).
  • Communicate to them those things. Be specific.
  • Commend your spouse and their positive character to your friends and family. Especially your children. Let them hear your accolades of affection.
  • Remind yourself daily of the Gospel and how Christ’s finished work has informed your life and impacted your marriage to live this way.

We are all a work in progress. Our highest priority is to come alongside each other and help us each be the best version of ourselves we can be, for the glory of God.

Erasers and highlighters are common tools found in every marriage. Let’s not allow our marriage to be one that highlights the bad and erases the good. If this is an area in need of change, plan a night together to talk about it.


This is my 3rd post in the Ultimate Blog Challenge to post everyday in April.


  • About Debi Walter

    Face it, marriage is hard work. But when cultivated daily the fruit produced will satisfy for a lifetime. We're here to help with ideas and encouragement along the way. Having been married 36 years and counting, we share what we've learned with practical tips, Biblical Truths, Date night ideas to help you plow your own vineyard for God's glory.
    This entry was posted in April 2019, Christian Marriage, communication, Encouraging Your Spouse, Growing Strong Marriages, Perspective in Marriage, The Gospel & Marriage, Ultimate Blog Challenge and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

    6 Responses to Are You an Eraser or a Highlighter?

    1. My own life’s highlight reel
      isn’t very long.
      It’s surely not a feel
      good thing; so very much went wrong.
      But if I focus on the negative
      and see darkness everywhere
      I betray God’s imperative
      that there are others in my care.
      The only way to offer grace
      is that it flows through my heart,
      and to love is to embrace
      the fact that I play a part.
      ‘Give compassion.’ Yes, that’s true,
      but your compassion has to start with you.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Shubhra Rastogi says:

      This is such a lovely post. I really like how we can be erasers as well as highlighters in our marriage.

      Liked by 1 person

    3. Great comparison, Debi. When I look in my desk drawer and see both tools, I’ll think of this.

      Liked by 1 person

    4. CarolCooks2 says:

      I agree with Bonnie a great comparison which makes for a much happier life 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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