Titus 1:15 (AMP)
15 To the pure, all things are pure; but to the corrupt and unbelieving, nothing is pure; both their mind and their conscience are corrupted.
Beloved, in life,
no matter how much good there is, you can always find something bad if you look for it.
You can find some fault, some weakness, something that you don’t understand or like. You can either develop an eye for the good, or you can develop a critical eye and always see the bad.
This is why marriages are in so much trouble in our society today. A spouse or both spouses have developed a habit of being negative and only seeing the negative. They’ve become too critical and view everything through their critical eye.
It’s like this lady I heard about. One Sunday morning Her husband wanted to do something nice for his wife before they went to church so he thought making her breakfast was an ideal choice.
He calls out to her “honey I’m making breakfast for you this morning how many slices of toast do you want?” she responded “two please one with butter and jelly and the other plain” So he made breakfast with her desired toast on the plate. When she saw the toast, she gave him this crazy look while shaking her head.
He said, “What did I do wrong now? That’s exactly what you asked for.” She said, “I should have known it. You Put butter and jelly on the wrong toast.”
You see Beloved, you can train yourself to see your spouse’s strengths, or you can train yourself to see their weaknesses. You can focus on what you like about your spouse and amplify their good qualities, or you can focus on what you don’t like and amplify the things that irritate, frustrate, or agitate you.
Some people have become so critically minded that no matter what the other one does, it’s not going to be right. They never see the good their spouse does anymore, and they’ve forgotten the reasons they fell in love and got married. It’s because they’re amplifying the wrong things.
Beloved, I know we all have faults and things that can get on each other’s nerves. But the key is, what are you amplifying? Are you just amplifying the irritation, frustration, or agitation, allowing that critical spirit to rise up? Or are you choosing to see the good and only focusing on the good?
You see, if you’re negative toward your spouse and you operate out of a critical spirit and it’s going to poison your whole outlook. You won’t communicate properly. You won’t want to do things together, and it will affect you in every area of your marriage.
After all, when we’re critical, we begin to badger and embellish and make a big deal out of things that aren’t big deals. Beloved, that’s when we start complaining that the wrong toast has the butter and jelly on it. “Well, you never wash your glass out.” “Well, you never want to take me out.” “You’re always busy.”
Beloved, I’ve discovered people respond to praise more than they respond to criticism. The next time you want your wife to wash and put up the dishes, instead of nagging and saying, “You’re lazy!!!
When are you ever going to wash these dishes? You haven’t put up the one’s from last night that I washed. This kitchen is a mess.” Just say, “Did I ever tell you that when you’re washing dishes and cleaning up the kitchen, you look so good?” or “When I see you cleaning up the kitchen you look so fine and so beautiful. You praise her like that, and she’ll wash the dishes and clean the kitchen every day!!! 😀
Beloved, people respond to praise more than criticism.
When we’re constantly critical, we must realize the problem isn’t with our spouse. It’s not even with our circumstances. The problem is with us.
There was this couple that moved into a new neighborhood. Early one morning while they were eating, the lady looked out the window and saw the neighbor hanging her wash out on the line to dry. She noticed that the wash was so dirty and so dingy. She said to her husband, “That neighbor doesn’t know how to wash. Her clothes aren’t clean. I wonder if she even uses detergent.” Day after day, she made these same comments. “I can’t believe she lets her family wear those dirty, dingy clothes.”
Several weeks later, she looked out that window, and the clothes were just as bright and clean and beautiful as could be. She was so surprised. She called her husband and said, “Honey, look. The lady finally learned how to wash. I wonder what happened.” The husband smiled and said, “Honey, I got up early this morning and cleaned our window.”
Beloved, the problem wasn’t that the neighbor had dirty laundry. The problem was the window she was looking through was not clean. She was seeing everything through a tainted filter. It’s the same way in our marriages. How dirty our neighbor’s laundry is depends greatly on how clean our own window is.
Here’s how the Scripture puts it, “To the pure all things are pure.” Beloved, if you can’t ever see anything right as you drive down the freeway, but only see the traffic and construction and potholes and never the beauty, or you only see the scratch in the floor and never the amazing house, if you never see what your spouse does right and only what they do wrong, then my encouragement to you is to clean your window. The problem isn’t with your spouse. It’s an internal issue.
You know in our home First Lady Donece and I like to make a pro and con list. If you struggle with internal issues, I would encourage you to make a list of the qualities that you like about your spouse. Write down the things that they do right. He may not be a good communicator, but he’s a hard worker. Put that on your list. She may have some weaknesses, but she’s a great mother, cook She’s smart. She’s intelligent. Write that down. Every day go over it. Start focusing on their good qualities.
Beloved, you have to make a switch. Decide today to start appreciating your spouse’s strengths and learn to downplay their weaknesses. If you do, your marriage will be filled with more peace, unity, and love, and you’ll see God bless your marriage in greater ways.
“To God Be the Glory”