Do thoughts of your spouse bring discontentment or delight? If your attitude ledger is off, you can correct it today.
Once again, he left his plate on the table with crumbs scattered everywhere. You mumble as you shake your head. “I don’t understand why he keeps doing this! He must not love me, if he did, he wouldn’t…. Ugh!”
Like clockwork, she interrupts just as your team is about to score. “How selfish can she be? She knows I watch sports for relaxation. She does this to aggravate me.”
There are ways to deal with the little things before they become big things. It starts with a decision to control your attitude. Pastor Charles W. Swindoll said, “We have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for the day. Life is 10% what happens to us and 90% how we react to it. Our attitude is everything.”
When couples are proactive and pursue mutual marital enjoyment, their relationship demeanor will be enriched. In the article "Ten Secrets to a Successful Marriage," Mitch Temple writes, “Changing behavior is important, but so is changing attitudes. Bad attitudes often drive bad feelings and actions.”
Minor annoyances can cause conflict and get under one’s skin if ignored. Before you know it, you may find yourself disengaged from your spouse. Disappointments happen. They are inescapable. Some are expressed, and others remain unspoken.
How To Adjust Your Mindset
A sign in our home reads, “Dear God, I want to take a moment, not to ask for anything, but simply to say thank you for all I have.” This prayer keeps my mind on the blessings of my spouse, family, and others.
Here are five suggestions for adjusting your attitude:
1. Thank God for your spouse.
2. Refuse to complain.
3. Consider your spouse’s needs and desires.
4. Keep a record of the good.
5. Be quick to apologize when you have wronged your mate.
“Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 2:3-5 NASB).
If your marriage is out of balance, follow the example of Christ. A humble, service-minded attitude will overlook minor irritations. The result can be a marriage reconciled and filled with delight, not discontentment.
This article first appeared in Birmingham Christian Family Magazine.